[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/07/holder.confirmation/art.ericholder.gi.jpg caption="Eric Holder likely will face a grueling round of questions from Republicans during his confirmation hearings."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama's presidential transition, already disrupted by the sudden withdraw of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, may face another challenge in the confirmation hearings of his pick for attorney general.
While the Senate is expected to easily confirm the majority of the president-elect's Cabinet appointments, it increasingly appears that attorney general designate Eric Holder could face a grueling round of questions next week from Senate Republicans who are already emboldened by charges of "pay-to-play" politics against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and a federal investigation into Richardson, who Obama picked as his commerce secretary.
"Republicans are seeing enough different stories in the taints of possible corruption around Democratic politicians lately," said Alexander Keyssar, a professor of history and social policy at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. "Where they can score some political points around this corruption issue, they will try to do it."