James Cole was named deputy attorney general by President Obama in one of six recess appointments yesterday, reports Politico.com. A longtime friend of Attorney General Eric Holder, Cole was blocked by Senate Republicans who raised questions about his views on terrorism and his work as an independent monitor at AIG, the insurance giant that got a federal bailout. “All administrations face delays in getting some of their nominees confirmed, but the extent of Republican obstruction of Obama nominees is unprecedented,” an administration official told Politico. Recess appointments are valid for one year, and the nominees may be resubmitted to Congress.
“Despite repeated requests, for more than five months, Senate Republicans refused to debate the nomination of Jim Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General,” said Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) “His nomination received bipartisan support from public officials and from high-ranking veterans of the Justice Department, and I believe that he would have been confirmed by the Senate had his nomination been given an up-or-down vote. The delays in considering his nomination were unnecessary and wrong. I am glad that he will now finally begin this important work to protect the American people.”