UPDATE (4:44 p.m.): The Washington Post is reporting that Holder "is almost certain to be selected" as AG, but an Obama spokeswoman told the newspaper that the position had not yet been offered. The Associated Press and The New York Times are reporting that Obama is deeply considering Holder for the AG post but that no decision has been made. Apparently, Obama aides have been feeling out Republican senators to get a sense of Holder's chances. An official in the Obama camp told the Times that the Newsweek report was "wrong."
Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff is reporting that President-elect Barack Obama has selected Covington & Burling’s Eric Holder Jr. as his attorney general. Holder, a former deputy attorney general and former U.S. attorney in the District, would be the first African-American to lead the Justice Department if confirmed.
Long considered the front-runner for the post, Holder accepted Obama’s offer in discussions over the past few days, two legal sources close to the transition told Newsweek. Holder, the co-chief of Obama’s vice presidential-selection process, actively campaigned for the president-elect and is a close friend.
Holder, 57, has yet to undergo a formal vetting, and it’s unlikely that his nomination will be announced before Obama selects the heads of his Treasury and State departments. The transition team is still debating whom to place in the department’s No. 2 spot, the sources said.
Holder comes with some baggage, though probably not enough to jeopardize his nomination: His involvement in the controversial pardon of fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich, whom Clinton pardoned at the end of his administration. Holder sent the pardon request to Clinton's desk with a stated position of "neutral, leaning towards favorable."
Click here for a summer profile of Holder by our prescient sister publication, The American Lawyer.