Attorney General Eric Holder will announce Thursday that he will resign after six years at the Justice Department helm. The attorney general has agreed to remain in his post until the confirmation of his successor, a Justice Department official confirmed to CNN.
At a formal announcement later Thursday, Holder plans to express his personal gratitude to President Barack Obama for the opportunity to serve in his administration and to lead the Justice Department, which he will call the “greatest honor of my professional life.”
Obama will address Holder’s resignation Thursday afternoon from the White House State Room. …
Holder also has been criticized as being overtly political, and some Republican members of Congress are shedding few tears over his resignation. For instance, Rep. Jeff Duncan of California tweeted, “Good riddance Eric Holder. Your disregard for the Constitution of the United States will not be missed.”
Congressional Republicans have been at odds with Holder. They accused him of defying the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby v. Holder, which struck down a component of the Voting Rights Act, and they investigated him over Operation Fast and Furious.
In Fast and Furious, the so-called gun-walking operation, roughly 2,000 guns were allowed into Mexico with the goal of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels. Two guns found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s fatal shooting in December 2010 were linked to the operation.
The House in June 2012 to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents linked to that operation.
The piece notes that Holder “is one of only three remaining members of Obama’s original Cabinet.”
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, in early February 2009 to witness his return 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.
But some of that early glow faded in part due to the politicized nature of the job and in part because of Holder’s own rhetoric, such as a 2009 Black History Month speech where he said the country was “a nation of cowards” when it comes to discussions about racial tension.
Five years later, violence erupted between police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after a white policeman killed an unarmed black 18-year-old. And this time, the White House dispatched Holder to speak his piece, in effect jump-starting that conversation and helping to settle nerves in the frayed community.
It adds: “Holder most wants to be remembered for his record on civil rights: refusing to defend a law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman…”
UPDATE: Some commentary in The Washington Times from John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky:
Even we were shocked when we researched our new book, “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” at the extent to which Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has politicized the Justice Department and put the interests of left-wing ideology and his political party ahead of the fair and impartial administration of justice. However, there is no doubt that the American public has also recognized just how politically corrupt Mr. Holder is, given this month’s very embarrassing poll conducted by Hart Research for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.
The poll asked respondents their opinions about 10 different national political officials, ranging from Bill Clinton to President Obama to Eric Holder, as well as the Democratic and Republican parties. They were given choices of very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, very negative and “don’t know the name.” About a third of respondents didn’t know who Mr. Holder is (37 percent). However, those Americans who knew Mr. Holder gave him the second-lowest “positive” rating of anyone or any organization on the survey at a mere 15 percent. Only Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio had a lower “positive” rating than Mr. Holder. The attorney general’s “positive” rating was less than half of the positive rating of the Republican Party and 27 points behind that of his boss, Mr. Obama, who was rated favorably by only 42 percent of respondents. …
As a longtime, current employee of the Justice Department told us, Mr. Holder and his subordinates have “racialized and radicalized” the department “to the point of corruption.” They have “embedded politically leftist extremists in the career ranks who have an agenda that does not comport with equal protection or the rule of law; who believe that the ends justify the means; and who behave unprofessionally and unethically. Their policy is to intimidate and threaten employees who do not agree with their politics, and even moderate Democrats have left the department, because they were treated as enemies by administration officials and their lackeys. Another black employee who has worked for the Justice Department for decades said to me, ‘There is no justice left in Justice under this administration.’”