Former Attorney General Eric Holder has said he is eager to become more involved in resisting President Donald Trump and is also considering a presidential run in 2020.
“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes,” Holder told Yahoo News in an interview. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. A certain familiarity as the first African-American attorney general. There’s a justified perception that I’m close to President Obama. 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, who served as Barack Obama’s Attorney General from 2009 to 2015 before being replaced by Loretta Lynch, also said that he had planned to take a back seat role in politics, but Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016 election inspired him to re-engage in frontline politics.
“I thought, frankly, along with everybody else, that after the election, with Hillary Clinton as president, I could walk off the field,” he continued. “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.”
Since Trump took office, Holder has been involved in legal attempts to torpedo Donald Trump’s immigration agenda. In January, he was hired by Democratic leaders to represent the state of California to maintain its status as a sanctuary city.
On Monday, Holder spoke at a public meeting at the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles, alongside California Senate leader Kevin de Leon, to promote legislation known as the California Values Act, which prevents local police from enforcing immigration law.
During the meeting, Holder claimed that the “federal government does not have the ability to force states to do things that are inherently federal in nature,” and that attempts to withhold federal funds for failing to comply with immigration law are unconstitutional.
“Now is the time to be more visible,” Holder added. “Now is the time to be heard.”
Other Democrats mooted as potential 2020 presidential candidates include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden.