07.20.10

Judiciary Committee Approves Deputy Attorney General Nomination

Cole Nominated To Fill Number Two Position At Justice Department

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, July 20, 2010) – The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday voted to send the nomination of James Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General to the full Senate for consideration. 

The Deputy Attorney General is the second highest-ranking official in the Justice Department.  The position has been vacant since February, when David Ogden stepped down. Cole was nominated by the President in May, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing on the nomination in June.

“Jim Cole served as a career prosecutor at the Justice Department for a dozen years and has a well-deserved reputation for fairness, integrity and toughness,” said Leahy.  “As he clearly demonstrated during his confirmation hearing five weeks ago, he understands the issues of crime and national security that are at the center of the Deputy Attorney General’s job.”

Cole has held various positions in the Department of Justice, including in the Office of the Attorney General and in the Criminal Division.  He also previously served as a special counsel in the House of Representatives.  His nomination has received bipartisan support from public officials and high-ranking veterans of the Justice Department. 

Also on Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee voted to report the nomination of Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to the full Senate, as well as four other executive nominations.  There are now more than 30 nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee pending on the Senate floor.

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Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),

Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,

On The Nomination Of James Cole To Be Deputy Attorney General

July 20, 2010

The Deputy Attorney General is the number two position at the Justice Department.  It is vital to our national security and Federal law enforcement that this position be filled promptly, and I hope we can do so without further unnecessary delay.

I had hoped that we could have sent the Deputy Attorney General to the Senate before now. In requesting another week holdover after the recess week, Republican members said that they had not reviewed the reports from Mr. Cole’s work as a court-appointed monitor for AIG that I had assisted them in obtaining the week before.  I trust we can now proceed with consideration of this important nomination and that he will be approved in the same spirit that we approved the nominations of Larry Thompson, James Comey, Paul McNulty and Mark Filip to serve as the Deputy Attorney General during the last administration.

Jim Cole served as a career prosecutor at the Justice Department for a dozen years and has a well-deserved reputation for fairness, integrity and toughness.  As he clearly demonstrated during his confirmation hearing five weeks ago, he understands the issues of crime and national security that are at the center of the Deputy Attorney General’s job. 

This nomination has received strong endorsements from Republican and Democratic public officials and from high-ranking veterans of the Justice Department, including former Senator Jack Danforth who worked with him for more than 15 years and described him as someone without an ideological or political agenda.   

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