The Trials and Tribulations of Eric Holder

A look at issues dogging the U.S. attorney general.

Hard Times - A mere six months into President Obama's second term, Attorney General Eric Holder may be wishing he'd followed his initial instinct to step down. The beleaguered AG is getting it from all sides and some are calling for his resignation. And this isn’t the first time Holder has played defense. A look at Holder’s drama. – Joyce Jones  (Photo: Susan Walsh, Associated Press/SF)

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Hard Times - A mere six months into President Obama's second term, Attorney General Eric Holder may be wishing he'd followed his initial instinct to step down. The beleaguered AG is getting it from all sides and some are calling for his resignation. And this isn’t the first time Holder has played defense. A look at Holder’s drama. – Joyce Jones  (Photo: Susan Walsh, Associated Press/SF)

Photo By Photo: Susan Walsh

Pressing Matters - Holder is currently at the center of two scandals that critics say violate the freedom of the press. In the first, the DOJ secretly obtained the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors as part of its investigation into a national security leak. It was later learned that Holder signed off on a search warrant seeking email and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen and his parents' phone records and monitoring his movements at the State Department.  (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Pressing Matters - Holder is currently at the center of two scandals that critics say violate the freedom of the press. In the first, the DOJ secretly obtained the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors as part of its investigation into a national security leak. It was later learned that Holder signed off on a search warrant seeking email and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen and his parents' phone records and monitoring his movements at the State Department.  (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Whole Truth? - House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee in a letter to Holder have expressed "great concern" that he may have perjured himself in testimony related to the seizure of Rosen's records that named the reporter a co-conspirator in the leak of classified information. "This is not something I've ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy," he said in May 15 testimony. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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The Whole Truth? - House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee in a letter to Holder have expressed "great concern" that he may have perjured himself in testimony related to the seizure of Rosen's records that named the reporter a co-conspirator in the leak of classified information. "This is not something I've ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy," he said in May 15 testimony. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain - "I campaigned in 2012 all over this country for months: 'Repeal and replace Obamacare.' That was not the mandate of the voters. If they wanted to repeal Obamacare, the 2012 election would have been probably significantly different," said Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona).(Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

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Drumbeat - A growing chorus of Republicans are calling for Holder to step down. "[The] attorney general has to ask himself the question: 'Is he really able to effectively serve the president of the United States and the American people under the present circumstances?' That's a decision he'd have to make," said Sen. John McCain on CBS' Face the Nation.(Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

Washington Two-Step - In a New York Times article published June 2, a former government official said, "The White House is apoplectic about him, and has been for a long time.” Asked on MSNBC's Morning Joe if Holder should resign, former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said, "Absolutely not. He was carrying out his responsibilities."  (Photo: Morning Joe via MSNBC)

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Washington Two-Step - In a New York Times article published June 2, a former government official said, "The White House is apoplectic about him, and has been for a long time.” Asked on MSNBC's Morning Joe if Holder should resign, former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said, "Absolutely not. He was carrying out his responsibilities." (Photo: Morning Joe via MSNBC)

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Is That Why Issa Is Still Gunning for Holder? - DOJ turned over 7,600 pages of records, but Holder refused to give the committee internal communications made after Feb. 4 relating to the department's response to the controversy and the ensuing congressional investigations. According to Cummings, the Republicans on the Oversight panel wanted to know what happened after Feb. 4 and whether there was an effort to retaliate against the whistleblowers.(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Gives as Good as He Gets - Holder has been remarkably cool under intense fire.  But if he feels his congressional inquisitors are going too far, he is willing to put them in check. At a recent House Judiciary hearing, Holder lashed back at Rep. Darrell Issa, calling his conduct "unacceptable and shameful."(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Fast and Very Furious - House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa was unrelenting in his investigation into Holder's role in the failed and misguided gun trafficking program known as Operation Fast and Furious even though he was unaware of the program before Congress began its inquiry.  (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Fast and Very Furious - House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa was unrelenting in his investigation into Holder's role in the failed and misguided gun trafficking program known as Operation Fast and Furious even though he was unaware of the program before Congress began its inquiry. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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A First - In addition to being the nation's first African-American U.S. attorney general, Holder is also the first cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress. The party-line vote was the result of his refusal to turn over about 1,500 additional pages of documents related to the gun-tracking program Operation Fast and Furious.(Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Operation Scapegoat - "I've become a symbol of what they don't like about the positions this Justice Department has taken," Holder said in response to the contempt vote. "I am also a proxy for the president in an election year. You have to be exceedingly naive to think that vote was about … documents."  (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Operation Scapegoat - "I've become a symbol of what they don't like about the positions this Justice Department has taken," Holder said in response to the contempt vote. "I am also a proxy for the president in an election year. You have to be exceedingly naive to think that vote was about … documents." (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Standing His Ground on Voting Rights - Holder's ardent defense of the Voting Rights Act and fight against attempts to disenfranchise minority and other voters won him no Republican fans during the 2012 election cycle. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Standing His Ground on Voting Rights - Holder's ardent defense of the Voting Rights Act and fight against attempts to disenfranchise minority and other voters won him no Republican fans during the 2012 election cycle. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Photo By Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Guantanamo Bay - In 2011, Holder conceded defeat in his plan to prosecute alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged plotters in U.S. civilian courts. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers seriously objected to and took measures to prevent what New York Sen. Chuck Schumer described as a "wrong-headed idea," that critics said showed he was soft on terrorism.(Photo: Courtesy of FBI/Getty Images)

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Guantanamo Bay - In 2011, Holder conceded defeat in his plan to prosecute alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged plotters in U.S. civilian courts. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers seriously objected to and took measures to prevent what New York Sen. Chuck Schumer described as a "wrong-headed idea," that critics said showed he was soft on terrorism.(Photo: Courtesy of FBI/Getty Images)

New Black Panthers, Same Old Problems - Holder's decision to drop a Bush-era Department of Justice case against the New Black Panther Party, in which the group was accused of voter intimidation, has been used by Obama opponents to suggest the president and the group were political allies. (Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

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New Black Panthers, Same Old Problems - Holder's decision to drop a Bush-era Department of Justice case against the New Black Panther Party, in which the group was accused of voter intimidation, has been used by Obama opponents to suggest the president and the group were political allies. (Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

Shooting the Messenger - When Holder announced Obama's decision that DOJ would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in existing court cases, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) accused the attorney general of deciding to "abandon your duty." House Speaker John Boehner responded by hiring a private law firm to defend DOMA.  (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Shooting the Messenger - When Holder announced Obama's decision that DOJ would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in existing court cases, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) accused the attorney general of deciding to "abandon your duty." House Speaker John Boehner responded by hiring a private law firm to defend DOMA. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Cuba Libre - During his confirmation hearing in 2009, Holder received the first of many Capitol grillings to come. This time it was over the role he played as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration in the seizure and return to his father in Cuba of five-year-old Elian Gonzalez. (Photo: AL DIAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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Cuba Libre - During his confirmation hearing in 2009, Holder received the first of many Capitol grillings to come. This time it was over the role he played as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration in the seizure and return to his father in Cuba of five-year-old Elian Gonzalez. (Photo: AL DIAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Deception - The pardon of fugitive financier Mark Rich is another scandal that has tainted Holder's career. He "made assumptions that turned out not to be true," he said during his confirmation, but former FBI director Louis Freeh in his defense said Holder had allowed himself "to be used" by the Clinton White House and had been deceived during the pardon process.(Photo: Alex Wong/Newsmakers) 

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Deception - The pardon of fugitive financier Mark Rich is another scandal that has tainted Holder's career. He "made assumptions that turned out not to be true," he said during his confirmation, but former FBI director Louis Freeh in his defense said Holder had allowed himself "to be used" by the Clinton White House and had been deceived during the pardon process.(Photo: Alex Wong/Newsmakers)