Former Attorney General Eric Holder says he's not running for president

Holder will instead focus on efforts to overhaul how congressional districts are drawn, he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
Image: Former Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention
Former Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016.J. Scott Applewhite / AP, file

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By Allan Smith

Former Attorney General Eric Holder won't join the growing list of Democrats running for president in 2020, he announced in a Washington Post op-ed on Monday.

He wrote they he will instead focus on his redistricting reform efforts through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

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"For too long, Democrats have lost sight of the state and local races that shape the day-to-day lives of the people we serve," Holder wrote. "With state legislatures set to begin drawing new voting districts in 2021, what happens in those races over the next two years will shape the next decade of our politics. Our fight to end gerrymandering is about electing leaders who actually work for the interests of the people they are supposed to represent.

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the next Democratic president is not hobbled by a House of Representatives pulled to the extremes by members from gerrymandered districts," he continued.

Holder served as President Barack Obama's first attorney general and became a lightning rod for conservative criticism of the administration. President Donald Trump, in a 2017 interview with The New York Times in which he complained about his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, asserted that Holder "protected" Obama.

“I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama," Trump said. "Totally protected him.”

Holder ripped Trump for the remark, saying that as attorney general, he "had a president I did not have to protect."

In a recent podcast on the national security blog Lawfare, Holder said he disagreed with a Department of Justice legal opinion that a sitting president may not be indicted.