Eric Holder Considering Presidential Bid for 2020 Election, Sources Say
It’s been more than two years since former Attorney General Eric Holder quit the Obama administration, but the seasoned lawyer is seemingly ready to step back into the political arena.
Holder is now hoping to lead the legal resistance against President Donald Trump’s agenda, and sources close to him say he’s even considering a 2020 presidential run.
“Up to now, I have been more behind the scenes,” Holder told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview about his upcoming plans. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. A certain familiarity as the first African-American [AG].”
“There’s a justified perception that I’m close to President Obama,” he added, “so I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.”
Holder traveled to California Monday, June 19, to launch this new phase of his career. He was joined by key leaders of the anti-Trump resistance, including Sen. Kevin de Leon, L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck and Linda Lopez, head of immigrant affairs for the mayor of L.A., as they pushed to promote a piece of legislation called the California Values Act, or SB 54. The bill, introduced by de Leon in December 2016, is aimed at preventing the Trump administration from bullying local police agencies into assisting in the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, Yahoo News reported.
Critics of the controversial bill say its measures would extend “sanctuary” protections to undocumented immigrants across the state. Holder disagreed, however, and argued that SB 54 is constitutional because “the federal government doesn’t have the ability to force states to do things that are inherently federal in nature.” He even spoke out against the president’s threats to withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.”
“The federal government can’t coerce states into doing something states don’t want to do by threatening to withhold support,” Holder said.
Though his involvement with the resistance may have come as a surprise to some, Holder’s new stance didn’t just develop out of the blue. Yahoo News reported that, over the past few months, the former AG has been working with the California legislature, de Leon and other key Democrats to create an aggressive legal response to combat what they consider to be some of the president’s worst and most threatening policies.
Holder, who’s largely been seen as a mild-mannered political figure, told the news site he never envisioned himself as an anti-Trump crusader.
“I thought, frankly, along with everybody else, that after the election, with Hillary Clinton as president, I could walk off the field,” he said. “So, when she didn’t win, I thought, ‘We’ll have to see how this plays out.’ But it became clear relatively soon — and certainly sooner than I expected — that I had to get back on the field and be in effective opposition.”
In the coming months, Holder said he plans to expand his Trump resistance efforts, starting with a project with the new National Democratic Redistricting Committee, an Obama-backed group that’s helping to prepare Democrats for redistricting in 2020. Moreover, Yahoo News reported that the former judge has plans to become “more visible” in the political arena and hopes to create a privately funded, PAC-like organization aimed at developing and coordinating legal resistance strategies across a number of states.
“We have come too far as a nation, sacrificed too much, made too much progress to allow the state of our nation to be undermined by the extreme part of a divided minority administration,” he said. “If opposition is to be the course — and it must be — we must recognize and remember that the power of the American people has been too often underestimated.
“Once roused, we are a mighty force.”