Sources: Holder to Be Attorney General
Eric Holder, the man charged with vetting Barack Obama's vice presidential picks, is almost certain to be the attorney general in the Obama Administration, according to knowledgeable Democratic sources.
Newsweek's Michael Isikoff first reported the news of Holder's likely selection. The Obama transition team, however, is not confirming the report.
It's worth noting that in his item, Isikoff writes that Holder has yet to go through the formal vetting process that would be expected before the decision is finalized and announced publicly.
Holder did not return a series of emails seeking confirmation of the Newsweek report. If he is named to the post, he would be the first African American to head the Justice Department.
Holder, like many of Obama's early appointments, has long ties to former President Bill Clinton. Clinton named Holder U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in 1993 and four years later the former president appointed Holder deputy attorney general -- the second-ranking position in the Justice Department. Holder also found himself in the middle of the controversial pardon of financier Marc Rich issued just before Clinton left office.
Holder is currently a "litigation partner" with the firm Covington & Burling and, over the summer, served as the semi-public face of Obama's vetting process.
Initially Holder was part of a three-person vetting team but Jim Johnson was forced to step aside due to his ties to Countrywide -- the mortgage lending giant. And, Caroline Kennedy, the other member of the trio, played an almost entirely behind the scenes role -- leaving Holder to deal (albeit it rarely) with the press on the vice presidential issue.
The Obama campaign has been extremely tight-lipped about the individuals the president-elect is considering for the top Cabinet slots in his White House. The most far-advanced selection process appears to be for secretary of State where Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) is considered the frontrunner for the job.
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