WASHINGTON Jan 9 U.S. Attorney General Eric
Holder, a lightning rod of criticism from Republicans, is
staying on in his job as President Barack Obama starts his
A White House official said on Wednesday that Holder is
among the Cabinet members who will remain in their position. He
has been working on Vice President Joe Biden's task force on
finding ways to reduce gun violence after last month's mass
killing in Newtown, Connecticut.
It is rare for an attorney general to serve more than four
The country's top law enforcement officer has been the
target of fierce criticism from Republicans, who tried to oust
him after a botched department operation called "Fast and
Furious" that targeted gun trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
allowed more than 2,000 weapons to illegally slip into Mexico.
The operation was brought to light when a U.S. border patrol
agent was killed in December 2010 in Arizona and two guns
connected with the case were found at the scene of the shootout.
It is unclear how much longer Holder plans to work for the
Democratic president. There has been speculation that he might
stay for six months to a year.
Holder has joined Biden in holding talks with various
interest groups on how to cut down on mass shootings. The Biden
group is expected to recommend a ban on assault weapons and
high-capacity ammunition clips along with making background
checks universal for all gun purchasers.
"He remains focused on his job, as illustrated by his
involvement in the gun violence sessions," said a Holder aide.