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June 15, 2010
9:22 AM

CONTACT: Government Accountability Project

Bea Edwards, International Reform Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 155

or: Dylan Blaylock, GAP Communications Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 137

GAP Scrutinizes Nominee for Deputy Attorney General

Inside Sources Prompt Questions about James Cole’s Record at AIG as Independent Monitor

WASHINGTON - June 15 - The Government Accountability Project (GAP), which has been critical of the nomination of James Cole since he was rumored to be on the short-list for Deputy Attorney General, has posted mock questions for members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to pose to Cole at his confirmation hearing later today. 

Cole was nominated by the Obama administration last month to be second-in command at the Department of Justice. For years, Cole has served as the Independent Consultant (IC) stationed at insurance behemoth AIG as a result of two deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) between the corporation, the SEC, and the Department of Justice in 2004 and 2006. The DPAs were put in place as part of a settlement when AIG previously faced massive fraud charges.

"The administration is trying to deflect attention from Cole's poor record of oversight at AIG in the years leading up to the financial crisis by claiming he was not asked to monitor the troubled subsidiary," said Bea Edwards, GAP's International Program Director. But in fact, it was Cole's own decision that exempted that subsidiary from his scrutiny."

When rumors of Cole's potential nomination began to emerge in April, GAP began receiving frequent and disturbing calls from AIG alumni and current staff about serious problems with Cole's actions during his tenure. Since then, Edwards has been steadily posting blog entries about Cole based on the disclosures we have received.

In advance of this hearing, Edwards has produced a primer on Cole's role at AIG, followed by five questions GAP believes should be asked at the hearing.

Click here to read the primer!

The questions that GAP would like to pose to Cole involve the following topics (please click the first few words of each topic to go directly to the video question):

"Cole was the Justice Department's and the SEC's eyes and ears at AIG as the corporation assumed unmanageable risk. If, as the administration claims, he actually was completely unaware of what was happening at AIG-FP, that alone should raise serious questions about his suitability for the post of Deputy Attorney General," said Edwards.

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is a 30-year-old nonprofit public interest group that promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. We pursue this mission through our Nuclear Safety, International Reform, Corporate Accountability, Food & Drug Safety, and Federal Employee/National Security programs. GAP is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization.


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