President Barack Obama bypassed the Senate last week to make six recess appointments, including a deputy attorney general whose links to the insurance giant American International Group had stalled his confirmation.
Obama first nominated James Cole to the No. 2 Justice Department post in May. But Republican lawmakers blocked his confirmation in part because of questions about his role as an independent consultant for AIG before its near collapse and government bailout in 2008. Senate Republicans complained that confidentiality agreements prevented them from receiving answers about his work for the company.