Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. (upper right), consulting with an Apple Store employee while hunched over a store counter Monday. (Photo by Ed O’Keefe/The Washington Post)

The Federal Eye spotted the attorney general rushing in with his security detail in tow around 7:15 p.m. Very few of the dozens of customers and store employees seemed to notice or care that the nation’s top lawyer was consulting with an employee, first about his iPhone and then his iPad. (See the photo above.)

Holder’s latest visit to the store was much less awkward than a trip he made in June, where he was confronted by store employee Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency official who at the time faced charges of unauthorized possession of classified documents.

“I’m Thomas Drake, the former National Security Agency official who’s been in the news,” Drake told Holder, according to bloggers who spotted the exchange.

“Do you know why they have come after me?” Drake asked the attorney general.

“Yes, I do,” Holder replied.

“But do you know the rest of the story?” Drake asked.

At that point, Holder quickly left the store without saying another word. Drake later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in a settlement with the Justice Department.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed Holder’s Genius Store appointment Monday night — not that we needed any confirmation since we saw him with our own Eyes — and reminded us that the he’s an avid Apple user.

Appearing before a House appropriations subcommittee in March, Holder lamented that he wasn’t permitted to bring his iPad along with him to the hearing.

“I’m a big iPad fan,” Holder told lawmakers at the hearing.

Most agencies prohibit federal employees from using Apple products for official duties, but several top Obama administration officials carry a BlackBerry or other approved device for official duties and use an iPhone or iPad for personal messaging and browsing.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Further reading:

A gunrunning sting gone fatally wrong

Ex-NSA official Thomas Drake to plead guilty to misdemeanor

For more, visit PostPolitics and The Fed Page.