President Obama will nominate white collar attorney James Cole to be deputy attorney general later today, a senior administration official tells ABC News. Cole will replace former deputy attorney general David Ogden, who announced he was leaving the Justice Department in December amidst reports of a less than stellar working relationship with Attorney General Eric Holder.
Cole, a longtime friend of Holder’s, is a partner at Bryan Cave LLP and worked for the Justice Department for 13 years, most recently as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section.
A former official in President Clinton’s 1992 transition team, Cole is a fixture in the Washington, DC, legal world, having been appointed Special Counsel to the House Ethics Committee for its investigation of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. He represented the chief risk officer of Enron and was lead defense counsel in the United States v former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.
In 2004, he was appointed Independent Consultant for American International Group, Inc., responsible for examining AIG’s transactions and overseeing the revision of its corporate compliance and financial disclosure policies – a role he will unquestionably be asked about during his Senate confirmation hearing.
-Jake Tapper and Jason Ryan