Attorney General Eric Himpton Holder To Resign
According to a Justice Department, Eric Himpton. Holder Jr., the first back African-American Attorney General of the U.S., will announce his resignation later today.
The announcement comes after nearly six years of his service in the department that were marked by both highs and lows for a man who came in to overhaul what many considered a demoralized and scandal-plagued institution.
Holder, 63, is the 82nd Attorney General of the United States and has been in office since 2009. He ranks as the fourth-longest tenured AG in history.
Under Holder's leadership, the Justice Department saw "historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement," particularly on the issues of gay rights, sentencing reform and voting rights, and in the coming Holder is expected to impose new curbs on racial profiling in law enforcement, a department official told ABC News.
In a recent interview with ABC's Perrie Thomas, he talked about his time leading the Justice Department as "demanding" but "the honor of my professional life," serving the American people.
"I hope I've done a good job," he said. "I've certainly tried to do as good a job as I can. There are sacrifices that I've had to make, that my family has had to make."
Holder became a lightning rod for Republicans, who held him in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal. An independent inspector general's investigation cleared Holder of any wrongdoing in developing the tactics or cases behind Fast and Furious.
In addition, Holder was forced to revise how the Justice Department handles journalists after an uproar over the department's secret seizure of reporters' phone records and the department dubbing one journalist a "criminal co-conspirator."
Among his other "key accomplishments," according to the Justice Department, are his declining to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and extending federal benefits to same-sex couples. The department also says Holder has been "vindicate[d]" over the use of federal civilian court to prosecute terrorismsuspects, and Holder recently said that if 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and his co-conspirators had been prosecuted in Manhattan -- as he originally planned -- they would already have been convicted and sentenced.
He is regarded by many as a close confidant of President Obama and one of the longest serving in the President's Cabinet.
President Obama will announce Holder's resignation, at a White House event this afternoon. However, Holder will remain the attorney general until a successor is confirmed by the Senate, potentially into the new year.