President Barack Obama's recent appointments during the congressional recess are under fire from GOP lawmakers.
On Dec. 29, the President announced the appointments of six officials, including James Cole as deputy attorney general. Although Cole cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee over the summer, Republicans have questioned his stance on prosecuting terror suspects.
In a written statement, Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Cole's appointment shows that the Obama administration wants to enact "dangerous policies" of treating terrorism as a criminal issue, according to FOX News. He cited statements made by Cole in 2002, in which he compared the Sept. 11 attacks to activity such as organized crime, rape, child abuse and the drug trade.
"I find it absolutely shocking that President Obama would appoint someone who has diminished the 9/11 terrorist attacks by comparing them to the drug trade and who believes that a civilian courtroom is the appropriate venue for 9/11 trials," King said in the statement.
Obama also named the first United States ambassador to Syria since 2005, appointing career diplomat Robert Ford. According to Bloomberg, GOP Senators opposed Ford's nomination because they claimed the appointment would be a reward for Syria, a nation they believe is tied to foreign terrorist organizations.
Because the President's appointments were made while Congress is in recess, the officials may serve without Senate confirmation until the end of next legislative session.