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Attorney General Holder Hospitalized After Feeling Faint

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was discharged from a Washington hospital where he was taken earlier today after feeling faint and experiencing shortness of breath, the Justice Department said.

Holder was treated at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center for an elevated heart rate. “After successfully completing a full range of tests, doctors were satisfied that the attorney general could be discharged,” according to a Justice Department statement. Holder went home after being released from the hospital and the statement didn’t say if he would return to his duties tomorrow.

Holder, who has served as attorney general since 2009, suffered similar symptoms a few years ago but “in a milder form that did not require serious medical attention,” according to the statement.

The attorney general began feeling sick during a daily staff meeting between 9:15 and 9:30 a.m., the department said. He never lost consciousness and walked out of the meeting before being taken by ambulance to the hospital. He was released at 1:15 p.m.

Holder is an original member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet and was sworn in on Feb. 3, 2009. The nation’s first black attorney general has been the Obama administration’s point man on issues of racial equality. One of his major efforts has been to reduce prison crowding and to seek changes in laws that disproportionately affect minorities, including reducing the comparatively stiff sentences for crack cocaine versus regular cocaine.

Holder battled the Republican-controlled House over his role in overseeing a botched attempt to track gun smuggling called Fast and Furious. The House held Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: Del Quentin Wilber in Washington at dwilber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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