By Jason Devaney
The Rev. Al Sharpton wants to help the White House pick the next U.S. attorney general after President Barack Obama announced Thursday Eric Holder will resign from his post.
Sharpton said in a statementÂ that his civil rights organization, the National Action Network, is “engaged in immediate conversations with the White House on their deliberations over a successor, whom we hope will continue in the general direction of Attorney General Holder.”
Sharpton also praised Holder, who will step down once a replacement is found after a term that began in February 2009.
“The resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder is met with both pride and disappointment by the civil rights community,” Sharpton said. “We are proud that he has been the best attorney general on civil rights in U.S. history and disappointed because he leaves at a critical time when we need his continued diligence most.”
“His accomplishments in working to protect Americanâ€™s from terrorism, fighting to protect voter rights, challenging unfair sentencing, directing U.S. attorneys on fair prosecution, and being the only attorney general to visit the site of a civil rights complaint in Ferguson must be noted in American history.”
Later, Sharpton clarified his comments to Business Insider, saying that he was not yet involved in choosing the next attorney general.
“We did not say we are in the decision-making. We are in conversation to reach out to them to have meetings about what we want to see in a successor,” Sharpton said.
There were rumors last week that Holder might hand in his resignation papers before the end of the year, especially as he was about to accomplish one of his goals since joining the Justice Department: visiting each of the 93 U.S. attorney’s offices across the country.
Holder also had a health scare in February when he was taken to the hospital after feeling faint and with an elevated heart rate.