Hearing Set for Deputy Attorney General
By Carrie Johnson
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing Feb. 5 on the nomination of David W. Odgen to serve as the Justice Department's second in command.
Ogden, a partner at the WilmerHale law firm in Washington, had previously led the department's civil division and managed the office of then-Attorney General Janet Reno as her chief of staff. During his time at the Justice Department during the Clinton era, Ogden famously advanced the government's landmark lawsuit against big tobacco companies.
In private practice, he has defended a host of companies in industries from airlines to technology. Ogden's nomination drew letters of support from former GOP Senate aide Manus Cooney, the National Association of Police Organizations, former State Department legal adviser John Bellinger and several judge advocates general.
The deputy attorney general post for which Ogden has been nominated is among the most critical but little noticed in the 110,000 person department. If confirmed by the Senate, Ogden essentially will act as the Justice Department's chief operating officer and regularly will be called upon to resolve conflicts between divisions and U.S. attorneys over corporate prosecutions and other high-profile cases.
Meanwhile, the full Senate appears poised to vote on the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. to become the nation's first African American attorney general as early as Monday, according to congressional aides. The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved Holder's bid in a 17 to 2 vote, shrugging off concerns and a week-long delay imposed by GOP leaders.
Posted at 12:10 PM ET on Jan 29, 2009
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