Eric Holder as New Attorney General

Posted: Nov 18, 2008 3:20 PM

Eric Holder

Former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder has accepted an offer from President-elect Barack Obama to become the next Attorney General.

Before becoming deputy attorney general Republican President Ronald Reagan nominated Holder as judge of a D.C. Superior court.

This election cycle, Holder was tasked with vetting Obama's choices for vice president with Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson and Caroline Kennedy.

Holder will dredge up bad memories of the Clinton administration for many Republicans. While Holder was deputy attorney general Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg and Linda Sue Evans were pardoned,  the controversial seizure of Elian Gonzales took place and Holder is believed to have played a prominent role in the pardoning Marc Rich.

Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris has said Holder was the man behind the decision to pardon Marc Rich during the Clinton administration.

Upon hearing the news Holder would be a member of Obama's vetting team Morris wrote, "In 2002, a congressional committee reported that Holder was a 'willing participant in the plan to keep the Justice Department from knowing about and opposing' the Rich pardon. It is one thing to reach back to Obama's pastor to raise doubts about his values. But it is quite another to scrutinize the record of his first appointee. It couldn't be a bigger mistake."

If he is confirmed by the Senate Holder will be the first African American named to become Attorney General.

To do this, Holder will leave his partnership at Covington & Burlinton, a law firm where he has represented clients such as the National Football League, Chiquita Brands International and Merck.