February 2nd, 2009
06:44 PM ET
6 years ago

BREAKING: Holder confirmed as Attorney General

Eric Holder will become the country's first African-American Attorney General once he's sworn in after being confirmed by the Senate Monday.
Eric Holder will become the country's first African-American Attorney General once he's sworn in after being confirmed by the Senate Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Senate confirmed Eric Holder as attorney general Monday, voting 75-21 to place him in charge of the Department of Justice.

Holder, 58, is a former federal prosecutor and served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration. His confirmation makes him the first African-American confirmed to the post, though he held the job on an acting basis in early 2001.

Monday's vote leaves him set to take over a Justice Department battered by a series of controversies during the Bush administration, from questions about how it laid legal groundwork for harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists to the sackings of top federal prosecutors in several cities.

"There's a big job to do, and it's going to be Mr. Holder's duty to turn this department around and restore its credibility," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

During confirmation hearings, Republicans questioned his role in former President Bill Clinton's widely criticized last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich and questioned whether he would be independent of the White House.

Updated: 6:44 p.m.


Filed under: Eric Holder • Justice Department
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. aware

    No kidding?

    Obama sure can pick them! This bunch will guarantee public cynicism for Barack! :)

    February 2, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. Corey W

    Praise the Lord justice now will be served according the laws of the land.

    February 2, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Chris E

    Well I am happy for him and at least he do pay his taxes on time and he will do a great job as AG.

    February 2, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Sye the Pychic

    Now go do your job and put political criminals from the Bush administration in jail.

    February 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Enforce The Law of The Land

    OK,

    Now let's prosecute those law breakers from the prior administration.

    Karl Rove .... I'm willing to bet you will show up for those Congressional supeonas NOW ... won't you??

    February 2, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    i want to join this dumbocrat club.

    February 2, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. scdemocrat

    Look out Bushies who signed off on torture, your day is coming!! I am very glad this deserving man was nominated and confirmed. Isn't it nice to hear an Attorney General answering questions directly and not saying things like the President won't let me comment on that or all the other ridiculous things Mukasey said when Bush nominated him.

    February 2, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Outspoken

    So we now have a pardon salesman for Attorney General, tax cheats for Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Health and Human Services, and a plagarist for Vice President. I love these new higher ethical standards. Over the next four years, I predict we are going to see a level of corruption this country has never seen before.

    February 2, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    ...you can get away with anything and everything.

    February 2, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. branbeth

    It should never have taklen this lomh pt confirm him. The GOP have some never questioning his integreity when the man they put in office twice ruined our reputation aroudn the world adn i dare say beyond the world. They are the biggest bunch sh–theads in the world. If they are allowed to any say so we are alled doomed!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. EVOLVE

    LONG OVERDUE!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Perusing-Through

    ERIC HOLDER's FIRST TASK:
    Investigate the 21 Senators that voted NO to his confirmation. Why?

    Because it is likely the "21 NO's" came from the same 21 Senators to help Bush-Cheney destroy America and try to cover it up. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder can 'start with' the previous U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzalez and then move on to Scooter Libby.

    February 2, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. Simmy

    That's my guy – don't start done, won't be done Congress!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    OK Eric, you're in.Lets get to prosecuting those Bushies for all the crap they pulled the past eight years.

    February 2, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. Amber

    "Waterboarding is torture." – Eric Holder Jan 26, 2009.

    Please follow through with that, sir. For the good of America's moral authority in this world, we MUST prosecute US officials who condoned, enabled, carried out or indemnified torture.

    February 2, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Steve

    Ethnicity aside, I have been impressed by Mr. Holder's pragmatic and clear answers to the Congressional confirmation committee's questions. Rather than trying to avoid answering questions, Mr. Holder answered them clearly and concisely. What a breath of fresh air!

    February 2, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    Wow, I can't believe the republicans rolled over on this one after letting Geithner through. Surely the republicans have enough balls to stop Daschle from being appointed. It's Obama 2, republican Senate 0.

    February 2, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. Truth B Told

    2009 the year of the half and halfs, the amusing thing is they and the country have the nerve to call these oreo's Africans. has anyone checked his taxes?

    February 2, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Bill in Ct.

    Good, now lets see if he'll go after those corrupt people in the Killer Bush admin.. Now lets see if the Justice Department will go after corruption in the Police Department, the DA departments in this country, and those scam artist out here that are robbing the average citizen blind. Ok Holder please return the JD back the way it should be and not alone those who do wrong just walk away, free of charges.

    February 2, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Matt

    A guy who seeks clemency for cop killers is now the top cop in the nation. A tax cheat in charge of the IRS. Whats next Obama's illegal Aunt in charge of the INS?

    February 2, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Terry

    So Daschle is a tax evader with a wife who is a lobbyist…he should sail thru the confirmation….because I'm sure he is the ooooonly one in the wwwwwwworld who is qualified for the job.
    We now have another tax evader, one who had an illegal worker, the largest conflict of interest nominee ever, Eric Holder...sailed through and now we have an attorney general with shady dealings in defending terrorists & a pardoner of crooks .....and lobbyists all over the place even after the Executive Order said no lobbyists..

    What does it take to be a disqualified nominee?

    Dorothy…Click your heels together and say "there's no place like Illinois…there's no place like Illinois"

    February 2, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Mike

    Hide your guns.

    February 2, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Ryan

    Nice, now quit bs'ing around and get the other secretary's confirmed .

    Stop waisting time .

    Now get !!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. smiff

    Who knew Ro'n Glas's could live three lives at once. Sted'man, himself and now AG Ho'lder. Amazing talent since Blarney meeller. Hope the Clamptons dont have any more loser pals to pardone. Of course, Obama will need this dude for Res'co. Hol'der has the stomach for such pardones and the experience to get away with it. Cheecago th'ug poli'tics mov'in on up, to the top!!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. Jacque Bauer

    With all of the highly qualified and deserving individuals that could honorably and ably fill this position, why did Obama go with this Clinton retread that encouraged pardons for Marc Rich and the murderous Puerto Rican terrorists? Makes no sense at all, which is in keeping with O'man's other appointments.

    February 2, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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