Republicans have long been calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign.
But citing new controversies at the Justice Department, The New York Times reported Sunday that even some West Wing aides in President Barack Obama’s White House now want Holder gone.
“Over the course of four and a half years, no other member of President Obama’s cabinet has been at the center of so many polarizing episodes or the target of so much criticism,” the paper reported. “While the White House publicly backed Mr. Holder as he tried to smooth over the latest uproar amid new speculation about his future, some in the West Wing privately tell associates they wish he would step down, viewing him as politically maladroit.”
The story particularly notes the latest uproar after the revelation that the Justice Department secretly obtained records of reporters from the Associated Press and Fox News while conducting security leak investigations.
Before the 2012 election, many Republicans called on Holder to resign, citing the Justice Department’s role in the Fast and Furious scandal.
The Times reported Sunday that after the election, Holder had actually considered stepping down.
“He decided against it, in part because before he left he wanted to move beyond the disputes that had characterized his tenure, accomplish some of the goals he had set for the job and leave on his own terms,” the paper reported.
But the New York Times added: “If Mr. Holder really thought he could escape controversy, the last few weeks have reinforced how inescapable controversy has become for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.”