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US Attorney General Eric Holder announces his resignation

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that he was resigning.

The formal statement was released late in the afternoon, but the news was out by early morning.

Public radio tweeted out:

In an emotional ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama said Holder did a “superb
job” and credited him with driving down both the nation’s crime and
incarceration rate — the first time they have declined together in more than 40
years.

“He believes as I do that justice is not just an abstract theory,” Obama
said. “It’s a living and breathing principal. It’s about how our laws interact
with our daily lives.”

Holder, 63, took office in 2009 and is the fourth-longest serving attorney general in the nation’s history. He said he wouldn’t leave until a successor had been confirmed.

Holder has drawn severe criticism over actions taken by his Justice Department — including the botched straw gun scandal, IRS targeting of “Tea Party” groups and the embassy attack in Benghazi — and Republican demands for his resignation.

In February, he told the New Yorker he would be leaving office this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.