Eric Holder is planning to announce this afternoon that he will step down as attorney general as soon as a replacement can be confirmed, according to a report from NPR. Holder has led the Justice Department since February of 2009.
Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.
Holder already is one of the longest serving members of the Obama cabinet and ranks as the fourth longest tenured AG in history. Hundreds of employees waited in lines, stacked three rows deep, for his return in early February 2009 to the Justice Department, where he previously worked as a young corruption prosecutor and as deputy attorney general — the second in command — during the Clinton administration.
Holder’s tenure has been rocky from the start and over the years calls have come for his resignation from the right, the left, the right, and, well, the left again. Holder’s resignation does not come as surprise. Indeed, he told the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Tobin in February that he planned on stepping down sometime this year.