Eric Holder planning to write memoir, sources tell AP

AP News
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Posted: Jun 06, 2016 12:29 PM
Eric Holder planning to write memoir, sources tell AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to write a memoir, The Associated Press has learned.

Holder has been meeting with publishers about a book covering his years in the Obama administration, according to three people with knowledge of the negotiations. All three asked not to be identified, saying they weren't authorized to discuss the book.

Holder, who left office in April 2015, didn't respond Monday to several requests for comment. The country's first black attorney general, he has returned to the same law firm, Covington & Burling LLP, where he worked before being appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009.

His six-year tenure prioritized civil rights protections, with the Justice Department under his watch endorsing federal benefits for same-sex couples and suing states that it felt were impeding access to the ballot box. He also promoted sweeping changes to the criminal justice system under a 2013 initiative known as "Smart on Crime," in which he encouraged prosecutors to seek shorter sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

As attorney general, he presided over federal civil rights investigations arising from the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting did not result in any criminal charges, but the Justice Department issued a scathing report about the Ferguson police department's practices.

One of his most contentious times in office came in 2012, when he was held in contempt of Congress during a documents dispute with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives over the botched gun-walking operation called "Operation Fast and Furious."

He's continued to make news even in private practice, saying in a podcast interview last month that Edward Snowden performed a "public service" in fostering a dialogue about secret domestic surveillance programs — but that he should return to the U.S. to stand trial.

As a National Security Agency contractor, Snowden leaked details in 2013 of the U.S. government's warrantless surveillance. He now lives in Russia and faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.

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Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.