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Could Jon Kyl and Eric Holder End Up Working Together?

Things may be just a bit awkward if Holder returns to Covington & Burling.

Before his January retirement, Senate minority whip Jon Kyl made no secret of his disdain for attorney general Eric Holder. He loudly opposed Holder’s decision to try terror suspects in federal courts. And amid calls from the right for Holder’s resignation in the wake of the Fast and Furious gunrunning controversy, Kyl told the Daily Caller, “There are a lot of reasons the country would be better off without Eric Holder.”

All of this is to say things could get a little awkward if Holder decides to return to Covington & Burling—where he was a star litigation partner before joining the Obama administration—because Kyl recently became a senior adviser in the firm’s lobbying practice. Kyl considered about a dozen firms—four or five seriously—before choosing Covington. Among the issues on which he plans to advise clients are national security and immigration—areas in which a former attorney general’s insight would be a huge asset.

But would Kyl have trouble collaborating with Holder if the attorney general rejoined the firm? The former senator says no. In fact, he’s already got a plan for extending an olive branch: “I’d invite him to have lunch.”

This article appears in the May 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She recently wrote “A Murder on the Rappahannock,” a two-part investigation into the troubling, decades-old slaying of a young mother in rural Virginia. Kashino lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.