Update: White House official says the Trump judicial nominee whose qualifications were questioned by Republican senator has withdrawn his nomination, the Associated Press reports.
Matthew Peterson, who was nominated by Trump to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, has been the subject of widespread ridicule since he was unable to define basic legal terms during his confirmation hearing Wednesday.
A White House official says Peterson has withdrawn his nomination and that Trump has accepted the withdrawal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the development publicly.
Original Story below:
U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) responded after video of him grilling one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees went viral last week.
In what the New York Times called “an excruciating five minutes of ignorance,” Kennedy skewered Matthew S. Petersen at the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
Petersen is a member of the Federal Election Commission and one of five of the President’s nominees for United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
During the questioning, Petersen told Kennedy that he had never handled a jury or bench trial. He could not also give the definition of the common legal procedures.
“I understand that the path that many successful district court judges have taken has been a different one than I’ve taken,” Petersen told Kennedy.
Kennedy told WWL-TV Monday that he did not know that Petersen was so inexperienced for the position.
“Just because you’ve seen “My Cousin Vinny” doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge,” Kennedy said. “And he has no litigation experience. And my job on the judiciary committee is to catch him. I would strongly suggest he not give up his day job.”
Kennedy said that Trump called him Saturday to talk about the nominee. He said Trump did not personally interview Petersen and the nominations were chosen by his staff.
“He has told me, ‘Kennedy, when some of my guys send someone who is not qualified, you do your job,’” Kennedy said Monday.
Watch the full interview with Sen. Kennedy below: