A senior Justice Department official has reportedly been named the leader of a committee that is considering replacing Justice Department nominee James Cole with another nominee.
The official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the announcement is not a surprise and that the department is confident that the president will nominate the right person for the position.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations and was not allowed to speak publicly.
“We will be working with the president on the details,” the official said.
“I can confirm the president is making the decision.”
Cole, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in March to serve as the top judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has received praise from both parties.
Cole, who has been confirmed twice, is the first judge of his generation to be confirmed by the Senate.
Cole was the first of the federal judges to be nominated by a Republican in nearly a decade.
Cole is the longest-serving federal judge in the history of the United States.
He was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005 and served until 2018.
President Donald Trump’s nomination of Cole to serve on the D.C. Circuit, the nation’s second-highest court, is an indication of the high expectations that have been placed on the president by Republicans and Democrats alike.
At least a dozen Democratic senators have said they will support Cole if he is nominated.
Republicans have vowed to block Cole’s confirmation.
While the announcement comes as Cole is awaiting confirmation by the House, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been working on a plan that would allow Cole to be seated on the bench, though he could be removed by the president if he fails to meet that threshold.
On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he is “confident” Cole would be confirmed and added, “The president will make that decision.”