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Holder may become first black attorney general

Video by Sarah DRURY

Text by REUTERS

Latest update : 2009-01-22

According to Newsweek magazine, US President-elect Barack Obama has decided to appoint Eric Holder as attorney general. Democrat sources said Holder has accepted the job, but he has yet to be formally approved.

WASHINGTON - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has decided on Eric Holder, a former senior official in the Clinton administration, to be attorney general, Newsweek said on Tuesday.

 

The magazine, citing two legal sources close to Obama's transition team, said on its website that the 57-year-old Holder, who served as deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, "still has to undergo a formal vetting review" before the selection is final and announced.

 

If the appointment is confirmed, he would be the first African American to head the Justice Department.

 

Newsweek said that in discussions over the last several days, Obama had offered Holder the job and he had accepted.

 

"The announcement is not likely until after Obama announces his choices to lead the Treasury and State Department," the magazine said.

 

Officials with Obama's transition team declined to comment.

 

Holder helped to vet candidates to become Obama's vice presidential running mate and has been a senior legal advisor for Obama's presidential campaign.

 

A partner at law firm Covington & Burling in the District of Columbia, Holder could not be immediately reached for comment.

 

Holder has said that the United States must reverse "the disastrous course" set by the Bush administration in the struggle against terrorism by closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and must declare without qualification that the United States does not torture people.

 

Obama has announced several White House staff appointments since his victory in the Nov. 4 presidential election, but so far has not publicly announced any picks for cabinet positions.

 

Date created : 2008-11-18

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