Whitehouse not interested in replacing AG Holder

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse walks through the Capitol on Feb. 25, 2014. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

WASHINGTON (WPRI) — U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has no interest in being attorney general for the United States, despite being named as a possible replacement for Eric Holder.

Pres. Barack Obama is expected to formally announce Holder’s departure Thursday night. The Associated Press reported that Whitehouse was among the names being mentioned to take his place, but he said he plans to remain Rhode Island’s junior senator in Washington.

“It would be a great honor to be considered for Attorney General of the United States, but my heart’s desire is representing Rhode Island in the Senate, and I have no interest in other positions,” Whitehouse said. “I look forward to participating in the Judiciary Committee’s process for considering the eventual nominee.”

Whitehouse previously served as a U.S. Attorney and the Attorney General for Rhode Island.

In a written statement released Thursday, Whitehouse thanked Holder for bringing honor and dignity to the department, saying he “restored the confidence and morale of the Department, led successful prosecutions of terrorists and cyber criminals, and safeguarded the civil rights of all Americans.”

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick’s name was also thrown around as a potential replacement for Holder, but he told the Associated Press he too is not interested in the job.

“I thank him for his service to the administration and his service to the nation,” Patrick said. “That’s an enormously important job, but it’s not one for me right now.”

The White House said Holder plans to remain at the Justice Department until his successor is in place.

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