Obama Plans to Name Attorney General Pick Before Thanksgiving, Adviser Says

He may seek confirmation during the lame-duck session of Congress if Republicans are willing, Dan Pfeiffer said.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. (L) speaks while flanked by President Barack Obama while announcing his resignation, September 25, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Barack Obama plans to name a nominee before Thanksgiving to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder and may seek confirmation during the lame-duck session of Congress if Republicans are willing, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics on Friday.

Obama hadn't ruled out making the announcement before he leaves Sunday for Asia and Australia, but he is more likely to announce it just after his Nov. 17 return, Pfeiffer said.

In any event, Obama will announce his pick in time for her or him to be considered during the lame-duck session while Democrats still control the Senate. “That is our plan,” Pfeiffer said. Whether it happens this year or waits for the new Congress depends largely on discussions that haven't happened yet about the eventual nominee with the incoming Republican leadership. “Once we have our nomination we will sort out with Republican and Senate leadership and committee chairs and rankings about how the best way to proceed is,” Pfeiffer said.

While Loretta Lynch, a federal prosecutor from New York, has emerged as the leading candidate for the post, officials emphasized Friday that a decision has not been finalized. U.S. Solicitor General Don Verrilli is the most likely other contender, while Labor Secretary Tom Perez also is seen as a strong candidate. Lynch would be the first black female U.S. attorney, while Perez would be the second Hispanic male attorney general.