AG pick may face quizzing on Clinton pardon

November 19, 2008 7:25:46 AM PST
The man who's reportedly agreed to be the next Attorney General has impressive credentials from the Clinton administration, though that role could also come back to haunt him. Washington attorney Eric Holder has reportedly been offered the post, which would make him the nation's first African-American attorney general. And sources say he's accepted. But it's all unofficial, since the vetting process is still under way.

The 57-year-old is a former judge, prosecutor and defense attorney, and has been one of Barack Obama's advisers. He was also the No. 2 official in the Justice Department under Bill Clinton.

On the last day of Clinton's term, Holder told the White House he was "leaning toward favorable" for a presidential pardon for commodities dealer Marc Rich, who'd spent years running from tax charges. The pardon provoked protests and a congressional investigation over whether it was politically motivated.

Holder later apologized for what he called a snap decision. He said he would have advised against it had he paid more attention.

Holder's nomination could be formally announced as soon as this week.