In a statement first reported by NPR, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is said to resign.
According to the report, Attorney General Holder, the nation’s first African-American Attorney General, had been in discussions with President Obama regarding his plans to resign and solidified those plans over the Labor Day weekend.
The statement came from a Justice Department official who added that Attorney General Holder will make his formal announcement later this afternoon. He will not immediately step down however; his departure will be once a successor is confirmed. A confirmation of a new Attorney General can possibly take months.
Attorney General Holder apparently doesn’t have any specific plans upon his retirement but according to the Justice Department official he “wishes to stay actively involved in some of the causes to which he has devoted his time in office.”
Eric Holder is the 82nd United States Attorney General and has been in office since the start of President Obama’s administration in 2009. His background consisted of a public school education, a Bachelor’s from Columbia College then to Columbia Law. He was a litigation partner at Covington & Burling, LLP, a firm located in Washington, DC.
Attorney General Holder has worked tirelessly over the course of more than 5 years, sacrificing time and memories with his family for an opportunity he referred to as the “greatest honor of my professional life”. However, Holder has indicated to the toll his demanding position has put on him and his family. As expressed in as interview with Pierre Thomas of ABC News:
“And I am forever in the debt of my wonderful wife, who has done a great job with our kids while I’ve not been able to be there as much as I’ve wanted to be. And I also am indebted to my kids, who have, you know, missed their dad over the course of these 5 1/2 years or so.”
Attorney General Holder’s appropriately feeble concentration to African American issues garnished him with criticism yet he remained dedicated to help with issues for civil rights and fairness to the civil justice system. In his address this afternoon, Holder will talk on his love for the Justice Department which sparked when he witnessed its role in the progression of the Civil Rights Movement.
An Obama administrative official told CNN “He revitalized the Justice Department’s praised Civil Rights Division, protected the rights of the LGBT community, successfully prosecuted terrorists, and fought tirelessly for voting rights, to name a few.”
Not only has the Attorney General been active in African American issues like that of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, he has had a staunch voice in foreign affairs as well. Attorney General Holder has expressed concerns on how foreign issues like the dangers in Syria and Israel can potentially affect the safety within the United States. He works closely with the FBI to gather intelligence on potential terrorist within the United States and is tenacious in his approach.
Attorney General Holder is one of the few original members of President Obama’s Cabinet.
President Obama is addressing Eric Holder’s resignation at 4:30 p.m. from the White House State room.