Obama attends Holder swearing in at Lisner


President Barack Obama came to Lisner Auditorium this morning for the ceremonial swearing in of Attorney General Eric Holder, a former member of the GW Board of Trustees.

In their brief remarks, both Obama and Holder emphasized the importance of following the rule of law and not letting ideology cloud the judgment of the Department of Justice. The comments were likely meant to represent a shift from the Bush administration, which was often accused of injecting politics into the legal system.

University President Steven Knapp met Obama backstage before the event, later describing him as “very warm, very genuine” and “very friendly.” Knapp spoke with Obama about GW’s achievements in public service and Obama responded that new legislation is being developed that would enable graduates to do more public service.

Knapp was unable to meet with Holder, who simultaneously arrived at another entrance. Holder served on the GW Board of Trustees from 1996 until he was appointed deputy attorney general in 1997.

Standing outside the event afterward, former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said he asked Holder to be on the Board after meeting him through some mutual friends.

“One of my great regrets is that no sooner had he joined the Board of Trustees than he had to quit because he became deputy attorney general,” Trachtenberg said.

A full article will be posted later this afternoon.

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