Sally Yates is President Barack Obama’s choice for deputy attorney general, Reuters reported Sunday. The U.S. attorney in Atlanta will reportedly take over for Deputy Attorney General James Cole at the Justice Department in January.
Yates, 54, served on Attorney General Eric Holder’s advisory committee, the Washington Post said.
The announcement could come Monday or Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. She has more than two decades of experience as a prosecutor and was the first female as U.S. attorney in Atlanta.
One of her advisers, Atlanta defense attorney Don Samuel, raved about her. “We are delighted,” he told the Journal-Constitution. “She’s a fabulous lawyer. We’ll miss her down here. She runs a very competent office, and I’m sure she’ll continue that on a nationwide basis.”
“She’s remarkably talented and has a solution to every problem,” former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, who worked with on the prosecution of Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, said in an interview. “Her biggest fans are the FBI street agents, the DEA agents, the postal inspectors and the Secret Service. Everybody sings her praises. And she has no ego. She would rather be writing a sentencing memo than get up and have a press conference.”
Yates has the “right temperament for the job” and “has terrific judgment,” former Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler.
But not everyone is enthusiastic. Republicans could delay her confirmation as they spar with the president over his new immigration policy, Reuters said. The GOP will have control of the Senate in 2015, and it could make it more difficult for Yates to be confirmed.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch might replace Holder, the Post reported. Holder has said he will stay as attorney generally until a nominee is confirmed.
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