Over and out: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. waves at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial last year. Shutterstock

He’s spent almost six years guiding the Justice Department through some tricky terrain — think Benghazi, Ferguson and DOMA — and Thursday, Eric Holder made it known he is preparing to exit his position as U.S. attorney general.

His decision to step down comes after months of conversations with President Obama, who was set to announce Holder’s resignation Thursday afternoon, according to ABC News:

Holder became a lightning rod for Republicans, who held him in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal. An independent inspector general’s investigation cleared Holder of any wrongdoing in developing the tactics or cases behind Fast and Furious.

In addition, Holder was forced to revise how the Justice Department handles journalists after an uproar over the department’s secret seizure of reporters’ phone records and the department dubbing one journalist a “criminal co-conspirator.”

Among his other “key accomplishments,” according to the Justice Department, are his declining to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and extending federal benefits to same-sex couples. The department also says Holder has been “vindicate[d]” over the use of federal civilian court to prosecute terrorism suspects, and Holder recently said that if 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and his co-conspirators had been prosecuted in Manhattan — as he originally planned — they would already have been convicted and sentenced.

Once he’s transitioned out of the Justice Department, where he’s spent the last 26 years of his career, Holder plans to continue working on building better relationships between minority communities and law enforcement, as he spent time doing in Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting this summer.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.