The confirmation hearing for Eric Holder Jr. has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8.
The office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced the date today, a day after Leahy and Holder met to discuss Holder’s nomination to be attorney general. Leahy (D-Vt.) said he had hoped to begin the hearing a day earlier but Senate Republicans have a caucus retreat scheduled.
“President-elect Obama has shown great care in his Cabinet selections, and his early announcement of Mr. Holder’s designation should lead to prompt consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate,” Leahy said in a statement.
“The American people and our justice system need our constructive engagement and the installation of the new leadership of the Justice Department without delay,” he added.
On Monday, Leahy said that he also wants other senior Justice Department officials in place soon after President-elect Barack Obama takes office.
Also today, Holder met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in the Capitol building. In a brief appearance with reporters, Reid said the Justice Department needs help rebuilding its credibility with the public.
UPDATE: Outgoing Attorney General Michael Mukasey has extended an invitation to meet with Holder, a Justice Department official says. Holder was receptive to the offer, but no date has been set, the official says.