At a Glance
- Career History:
Partner at Bryan Cave Law Firm (1995 to present); Outside Counsel for the Ethics Subcommittee Investigating
Rep. Newt Gingrich
(R-Ga.) (1997); Partner at Bryan Cave (since 1995); Deputy of the Public Integrity Division at the Justice Department (1979 to 1992)
- Birthday: May 2, 1952
- Hometown: Evanston, Ill.
- Alma Mater: University of Colorado, B.A., 1975; University of California-Hastings, J.D., 1979
- Web site
Path to Power
Born in Evanston, Ill., Cole moved West for college to attend the University of Colorado. He graduated in 1975 with a degree in political science, and decided to attend the University of California law school.
Public Integrity Prosecutor
In 1978, while in law school, Cole clerked for Colorado Supreme Court Justice William H. Erickson. A year later, he graduated and joined the DOJ, serving as a trial lawyer within the Criminal Division's Public Integrity unit, which prosecutes corruption in elected and appointed officials at all government levels. This began a 13-year stretch at DOJ.
Cole joins the DOJ to run the day-to-day operations of a department with a $24 billion budget and over 100,000 employees. His predecessor, David Ogden, left after just over a year in office and the job is known for quick burnout.
The deputy AG post is more of an internal management position, but Cole will touch on issues key to national security. Two pressing matter include whether or not to try 9/11 mastermind Khaleid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court, and how to properly close Guantanamo Bay prison where most suspected terrorists are held.
Cole worked in the Justice Department from 1979 to 1992, which coincided with current AG Eric Holder's first run at the DOJ. The two met while working there and became good friends, and play poker with each other.
Cole replaces Acting Deputy AG Gary Grindler and work closely with top DOJ lawyers David Margolis and Thomas J. Perrelli.
While working at Bryan Cave, Cole donated over $16,000 to various campaigns since 2001. All of his money has gone to support Democratic candidates or the Bryan Cave PAC.