98 Facts About Eric Holder


Eric Holder next served as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia before being appointed by President Bill Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and subsequently Deputy Attorney General.


Eric Holder was senior legal advisor to Barack Obama during Obama's presidential campaign and one of three members of Obama's vice-presidential selection committee.


Eric Holder was a close ally and confidant of Obama's and was selected as President Obama's first Attorney General.


Eric Holder became the first sitting attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress during an investigation of the Operation Fast and Furious ATF gunwalking scandal.


Eric Holder was succeeded as attorney general by Loretta Lynch in April 2015.


Eric Holder's mother, Miriam, was born in New Jersey, while his maternal grandparents were emigrants from Saint Philip, Barbados.


Eric Holder grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens, and attended public school until the age of 10.


Eric Holder received his JD degree from Columbia Law School, graduating in 1976.


Eric Holder worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund during his first summer and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York during his second summer.


In 1969, while a freshman at Columbia, Eric Holder was one of several dozen students who staged an occupation of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps office, renaming it as the Malcolm X student center.


In 1988, Ronald Reagan appointed Eric Holder to serve as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.


Eric Holder stepped down from the bench in 1993 to accept an appointment as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from President Bill Clinton.


Eric Holder was the first Black American US Attorney in that office.


Eric Holder was a US Attorney until his elevation to Deputy Attorney General in 1997.


Eric Holder served on The George Washington University's Board of Trustees in 1996 and 1997.


In 1997, after the retirement of Jamie Gorelick, Clinton nominated Eric Holder to be the Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno.


Eric Holder was confirmed several months later in the Senate by a unanimous vote.


Eric Holder later advised Reno in the matters regarding the Independent Counsel statute.


Eric Holder said that the current laws placed major constraints on the ability of federal investigators and prosecutors to assist in these types of cases.


Eric Holder said that he was told that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had asked Clinton to grant the pardon.


Eric Holder said that, at the time, he did not give the case much thought, because he did not think the pardon would be granted, as no fugitive had ever previously been granted a presidential pardon.


Eric Holder later said he wished that he had looked into it more thoroughly, and expressed regret over the incident.


Republicans on the House Government Reform Committee disagreed with Eric Holder's version and alleged that he was a knowing participant, according to a 2003 report.


Former FBI director, Louis Freeh, commented on the matter in 2009, saying that the Clinton White House had "used" Eric Holder and kept both the FBI and the Department of Justice in the dark as to their full activities around the last minute pardons.


Eric Holder represented the NFL during its dog fighting investigation against Michael Vick.


In 2004, Eric Holder helped negotiate an agreement with the Justice Department for Chiquita Brands International in a case that involved Chiquita's payment of "protection money" to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a group on the US government's list of foreign terrorist organizations.


Eric Holder represented Chiquita in the civil action that grew out of this criminal case.


The firm represented Guantanamo inmates but Eric Holder "never participated directly in the firm's Guantanamo work" and was not expected to recuse himself from matters pertaining to it.


In late 2007, Eric Holder joined then-Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign as a senior legal advisor.


On December 1,2008, President-elect Obama announced that Eric Holder would be his nominee for Attorney General of the United States.


Eric Holder was formally nominated on January 20,2009, and was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 28 with a bipartisan vote of 17 to 2.


Eric Holder was officially confirmed by the entire Senate on February 2,2009, by a vote of 75 to 21 becoming the nation's first African-American Attorney General.


Eric Holder's installation took place on March 27,2009, at the Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University.


In May 2011, Eric Holder testified before Congress on the legality of the operation in which US special forces killed Osama bin Laden earlier that month.


Eric Holder testified that the operation to kill bin Laden was legal, stating that international law allows for targeting enemy commanders.


Eric Holder defended the legality of drone strikes against alleged terrorists.


In July 2010, Eric Holder attended a heads of state summit of the African Union in Kampala, Uganda, where he told African leaders that the US would continue to support the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.


Eric Holder vowed to work closer with African officials to stop terrorism, and announced that the FBI would be providing a team of forensic specialists to help assist in the investigation of the terrorist bombings in Kampala during the World Cup.


Eric Holder is a vocal proponent of defending the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was reauthorized in 2006 with bipartisan support.


In May 2012, with over a dozen states pushing new voter identification laws, Eric Holder stated that he believed these new laws would hamper the ability of the elderly, students and minorities to vote.


Eric Holder went on to say that "We have to honor the generations that took extraordinary risks" to achieve the right to vote.


In May 2010, Eric Holder expressed concerns over reports he had received regarding Arizona SB 1070, an Arizona immigration law.


Eric Holder said that he feared that the law could lead to racial profiling.


Eric Holder received criticism on the political right for criticizing the law before he had read it in its entirety.


In July 2010, after the DOJ reviewed the law, Eric Holder filed suit against Arizona on the grounds that the state law is preempted by federal law.


Eric Holder said that although he was pleased that much of the law had been struck down, he remained concerned over the burden it might place on local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law and the possibility that it might be used to discriminate against the Latino community.


Eric Holder vowed to continue to monitor the impact of the law.


Eric Holder has stated that he supports comprehensive immigration reform, adding that it is a "matter of civil rights and human rights".


In February 2011, Eric Holder announced that the DOJ would no longer defend cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act in court.


Eric Holder had recommended this course of action to the President, arguing that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, as laws that prohibit the marriage of gay couples do not meet the legal principle of strict scrutiny.


In February 2012, Eric Holder reaffirmed his position and stated that the DOJ would not defend DOMA in a legal challenge brought by members of the US military, who were seeking benefits for their same-sex spouses, including: medical insurance, visitation rights in military hospitals and survivor benefits.


In May 2011, Eric Holder set aside the decision to deport Paul Dorman, an Irish man who was in a same-sex partnership with a New Jersey citizen.


Eric Holder then asked immigration officials to reconsider their decision in order to determine whether Dorman can be considered a spouse under New Jersey law and whether Dorman would be considered a spouse under immigration law were it not for the Defense of Marriage Act.


In 2009, Eric Holder decided to drop the corruption case against former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska after evidence of prosecutorial misconduct emerged.


Eric Holder was reportedly "horrified by the failure of prosecutors to turn over all relevant materials to the defense" and was alarmed at rebukes of federal prosecutors by Judge Emmet Sullivan, a friend and former colleague of Eric Holder.


In 2010, in the run up to the referendum on California Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana use for personal recreation, Eric Holder stated that the DOJ would continue to prosecute individuals on the federal level for possession of marijuana even if voters approved a ballot measure.


Eric Holder spoke at a press conference afterwards, celebrating the largest single-day operation against the Mafia in United States history.


Eric Holder was reportedly "surprised" by news reports pointing out this statistic, and was said to have told associates that he did not wish to have leak prosecutions be his legacy.


Several prominent leak prosecutions under Eric Holder involved communications between criminal defendants and journalists, and the pervasive use of traceable electronic communications between journalists and their sources provided the prosecution with a tool to determine the potential origin of published information.


Eric Holder testified under oath to the House Judiciary Committee that he had recused himself from these leak investigations to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.


Eric Holder said his Deputy Attorney General, James Cole was in charge of the AP investigation and would've ordered the subpoenas.


NBC confirmed with the Justice Department that Eric Holder had personally signed off on the Rosen subpoenas.


In 2009, Eric Holder announced and oversaw the federal government spending of $1 billion in grants to law enforcement agencies in every state to pay for the hiring of police officers.


When questioned about weapons regulations during a news conference to announce the arrest of Mexican drug cartel members, Eric Holder stated that the Obama administration would seek to re-institute the expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which he strongly supports.


Eric Holder has stated that he favors closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp; in 2002 he said that the detainees are not technically entitled to Geneva Convention protections.


In March 2011, Eric Holder left open the possibility that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp might remain open beyond President Obama's first term.


Eric Holder's comments come just weeks after CIA Director Leon Panetta told a Senate panel that Osama bin Laden would probably be shipped to and held at the Guantanamo Bay facility if he were captured.


Eric Holder gave a speech on racism on February 18,2009, during Black History Month.


Former lawyers who had served under the Bush Administration have stated that the current DOJ under Eric Holder is unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations.


Grassley and Issa urged Eric Holder to cooperate and turn over subpoenaed records that would reveal the scope of the alleged government coverup.


Republicans claimed some of those documents indicated that Eric Holder had been sent early memos about Fast and Furious and therefore must have known about it before early 2011, which is when he had testified that he had learned about it to the House Judiciary Committee; a later report from the Justice Department's independent inspector general found that Eric Holder had "no prior knowledge" of the operation before early 2011.


On June 19,2012, Eric Holder met with Issa in person to discuss the requested documents.


Eric Holder said he offered to provide the documents to Issa on the condition that Issa provided his assurance that doing so would satisfy the committee subpoenas and resolve the dispute.


Eric Holder became the first US attorney general in history to be held in both criminal and civil contempt.


Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry called on Holder to resign, stating "America simply cannot tolerate an attorney general who arms the very criminals he is supposed to protect us from".


In September 2012, after a nineteen-month review, the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General cleared the Attorney General of any wrongdoing with regard to Fast and Furious, stating that there was "no evidence" that Eric Holder knew about the operation before early 2011.


Eric Holder has endorsed the notion that prosecutors, when deciding to pursue white-collar crimes, should give special consideration to "collateral consequences" of bringing charges against large corporate institutions, as outlined in a 1999 memorandum by Eric Holder.


Responsibility remains so diffuse, and top executives so insulated," Eric Holder said, "that any misconduct could again be considered more a symptom of the institution's culture than a result of the willful actions of any single individual.


Eric Holder announced his resignation on September 25,2014, citing personal reasons.


Eric Holder remained in office until the Senate confirmed his successor, Loretta Lynch.


The law firm's clients have included many of the large banks Eric Holder declined to prosecute for their alleged role in the financial crisis.


In early 2016, Eric Holder was hired by the MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company as a part of its efforts to combat a $3.9 billion fine handed to the MTN Group by the government of Nigeria.


Rather than attempt to negotiate with the regulatory body that issued the fine, the Nigerian Communications Commission, Eric Holder worked with the Nigerian Attorney General Abubakar Malami to reach a compromise.


In October 2016, Eric Holder announced that he would chair the newly incorporated National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group aiming to support Democratic candidates in state races ahead of the redistricting that will follow the 2020 Census.


Eric Holder added that he believed he possessed those five qualities, but noted that his wife would be involved in his decision.


In October 2018, Eric Holder was one of multiple individuals targeted by mailed pipe-bombs sent to Democratic lawmakers and officials.


On March 4,2019, Eric Holder announced that he would not seek the White House in 2020 but would continue his work with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to help elect a Democratic candidate who had the five qualities he thought were necessary.


In 2023, Holder was one of the lawyers representing Tennessee politicians Justin Jones and Justin J Pearson, who were expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives for leading a protest in favor of gun control on the House floor.


Eric Holder has been involved with various mentoring programs for inner-city youth.


Eric Holder is an avid basketball fan and the uncle of former NBA All-Star Jeff Malone.


On May 16,2010, Eric Holder delivered the commencement address at Boston University, for both the all-university ceremony and the School of Law.


On May 22,2011, Eric Holder delivered the commencement address at the University of Virginia School of Law.


On May 19,2009, Eric Holder was chosen by his alma mater, Columbia College, to be its Class Day Speaker.


In May 2009, Eric Holder visited Barbados and met with government representatives from across the Caribbean.


At the announcement of the project it was announced that Eric Holder was the first candidate nominated for the final list.


In 2012, Holder received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.


Eric Holder delivered the commencement address at Harvard Law School in May 2012, the UC Berkeley School of Law in May 2013, and the UCLA School of Law in June 2020.


Eric Holder received an honorary Doctor of Laws from his alma mater, Columbia University, in May 2017.