Eight former deputy U.S. attorneys general have written to Senate leaders asking them to hold a confirmation vote for James Cole, who is President Barack Obama's pick for the post.
The group includes Democratic and Republican former officials, including three who served under President George W. Bush: Mark Filip, Larry Thompson and Paul McNulty. Though it stops short of calling for senators to confirm Cole, the letter says Cole deserves “expeditious consideration.”
“There is a capable individual currently serving as Acting Deputy Attorney General,” the letter reads, “but it is important to the proper functioning of the Department that there be a confirmed official in this position. Only a Deputy appointed by the President may formally and automatically assume all of the duties of the Attorney General when that Cabinet official is unavailable for one reason or another.”
A copy of the two-page letter (PDF) was released today by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the other signatories are Donald Ayer, Carol Dinkins, Jamie Gorelick, Philip Heymann and David Ogden. Cole, a partner at Bryan Cave, has been awaiting a vote by the full Senate since July.
Ogden, who was President Barack Obama's first deputy attorney general, gave notice almost a year ago that he planned to resign.
Some Republicans have objected to his nomination because of past statements favoring the use of civilian courts to try terrorism suspects and because they haven’t had access to certain documents related to American International Group, for which Cole served as an outside monitor.