WASHINGTON — It’s been anything but smooth sailing for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. since he took the job on Feb. 3, 2009. In fact, he’s often been a pinata for some key Republicans, who have bashed him at hearings time and again.
Still, despite the shuffling of people in the Obama administration, and the departure of some key figures, it appears Holder is staying put for the time being, according to Josh Gerstein of Politico.
Earlier in the week, he gave a pep talk to some 150 Justice Department employees and laid out his plan of attack in going after crime and terrorism.
“I’ve enjoyed my two years here, which is not to say that every day has been great. There have been disappointments, but there’ve also been substantial victories as well,” Holder told reporters, according to Politico. “My confidence, my faith in this department is constantly renewed as I interact with people in this department, and I see how dedicated they are — the sacrificing they do.”
“We have a long list of agenda items, and I will be pushing those over the next couple of years,” he said. “I’m happy. I’m content. My wife says I’ve got some more time. So long as she’s in the same place, I’ll be around.”
Politico reported that a senior Justice Department official said the move to prosecute Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others before a military commission has freed Holder to speak out.
“In some sense, KSM being finally over is liberating, and that’s why you’re seeing him out now doing other things that he has wanted to do all along as attorney general,” the official said, according to Politico.
“He has been working on other things near and dear to his heart as long as he’s been AG,” but they just always have “been overshadowed by KSM. That shadow is gone now,” said the official.