From NBC's Pete Williams
President-elect Obama has offered Eric Holder the position of attorney general, and Holder has accepted it, according to sources involved in the process. The formal announcement has been held up while Obama transition team members ran the idea past key senators. And Obama wanted to announce members of his financial team first -- Treasury Secretary and so on.
Holder is a former superior court judge and U.S. attorney in Washington and a former prosecutor in the Public Integrity section of the Justice Department. He was Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno, during which he was well regarded. At one point, he strongly considered running for mayor of Washington, D.C., but decided being the No. 2 official at Justice was too good to pass up.
He also led the search team for Obama's running mate.
His only potential hang-up for confirmation is the controversy over the pardon of Marc Rich in the closing hours of the Clinton administration. Holder approved the pardon as acting attorney general, after Reno left, without paying much attention to it, and it turned out to be a big embarrassment to Clinton.
So far, the Hill response to Holder has been positive, officials say.
The offer to Holder was made last week, officials say, and he accepted it, conditioned on a good reception from the Hill. So this is as close to a done deal as it can get before it's announced.
*** UPDATE *** NBC's Chris Donovan adds that Holder has held three jobs over his career that required U.S. Senate confirmation and he has yet to see a recorded vote against him.
In July 1997 he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a roll call vote of 100-0 for the job of Deputy Attorney General.
In September 1993 he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by Voice Vote for the job of U.S. Attorney for D.C.
In October 1988 he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by Unanimous Consent for the job of Associate Judge of Superior Court of D.C.