US Attorney General Eric Holder to step down

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US Attorney General Eric Holder to step down
Attorney General Eric Holder announces he is leaving the Department of Justice while U.S. President Barack Obama looks on. (
A packed room watches Holder's speech. (
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 21: Attorney General Eric Holder makes a separated statement on the unrest after the unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, during a major financial fraud announcement press conference August 21, 2014 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. Holder spoke on the current situation in Ferguson one day after his visit to the town and met with Browns family, saying the investigation of the shooting will be thorough and will be fair, and Department of Justice stands with the people of Ferguson. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Eric Holder (L) is sworn-in as US Attorney General by US Vice President Joe Biden (R) as Holder's wife, Sharon (C) holds the Bible during ceremonies on February 3, 2009, at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
US Attorney General Eric H. Holder is sworn-in during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill May 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Holder and other members of the Obama administration are being criticized over reports of the Internal Revenue Services'(IRS) scrutiny of conservative organization's tax exemption requests and the subpoena of two months worth of Associated Press journalists' phone records. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 28: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. Department of Justice May 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. During the event Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Citizenship to approximately 70 new U.S. citizens. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Vice President Joseph Biden administers the oath of office to Attorney General Eric Holder during a ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009. At center is Holder's wife, Sharon Malone. At left is a portrait of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama speaks with Attorney General Eric Holder as news photographers photograph their meeting regarding the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Attorney General Eric Holder, left, talks with Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew before while they wait for President Barack Obama to give State of Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, announcing a new action to protect voting rights. Emboldened by the Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, a growing number of Republican-led states are moving aggressively to tighten voting rules. Lawsuits by the Obama administration and voting rights activists say those efforts disproportionately affect minorities. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - President Barack Obama sits with Attorney General Eric Holder during the 32nd annual the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is reportedly stepping down.

Holder, the country's first African-American AG, will make the announcement Thursday, NPR is reporting, after five and a half years in the role.

The 63-year-old will remain with the Justice Department until his successor is named, but has been "adamant" about his departure, a source told NPR. The final decision was reportedly Holder's to make, the Obama administration wanted him to stay on the full eight years.

Holder is leery about remaining much longer over fears he "could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama's second term," according to the source.

The final decision was agreed to by Holder and Obama over Labor Day weekend, sources told NPR.

Possible successors include former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, according to the Wall Street Journal. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's name has also been mentioned in reports.

Holder is the 82nd AG and was one of President Obama's earliest appointees after working as the deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

His tumultuous tenure, the fourth-longest in history, has been marked by political infighting and racial divides across the nation, which culminated with the Michael Brown shooting last month in Ferguson, Missouri.

The AG was dispatched directly to the St. Louis suburb to handle he inquiry into the unarmed black teen's death at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson.

He also notably called America "a nation of cowards" during a 2009 speech for Black History Month. A line meant to address racial tensions that instead became a lightning rod for criticism.

Holder also surprisingly decided to bring 9/11 suspects to trial in a downtown Manhattan court.

He later reversed course amid intense criticism from federal, state and local politicians and city residents and sent the trials to a military court.

Not all was bad, though, as many civil rights advances also occurred during his time in office.

The Justice Department refused to help enable laws that would restrict gay couple's right to marry and relaxed prosecution of low-level drug offenses that many argue are targeted at minorities

Holder also went after states with voter registration laws on grounds they were targeted at restricting minorities' right to vote.

It is not known where the New York native plans to go after his time at the Justice Department ends.

Attorney General Eric Holder to Resign

Related links:
White SC Trooper faces 20 years in prison for shooting unarmed black male
Ferguson police chief apologizes for Michael Brown shooting -- 47 days later
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