Trump Judicial Nominee Embarrassingly Fails to Answer Basic Hearing Questions
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) December 15, 2017
One of President Trump‘s district court nominees is getting a lot of attention over a moment where he failed to answer basic questions about the legal system during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Matthew Spencer Petersen, a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, appeared before the committee on Wednesday to take questions regarding his nomination to the District Court for Washington DC. Petersen faced questions from Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) about legal procedure, which led to Petersen admitting he has never tried a jury trial, taken deposition by himself, or argued a motion in state or federal court.
From there, the questions became steadily more basic as Kennedy asked Petersen about various rules and legal definitions. Petersen was unable to answer several of Kennedy’s questions, and he ended up defending himself by saying that his pathway to a district court nomination was unusual since he doesn’t have a background in litigation.
The segment was posted online by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who tweeted “hoo-boy” in mockery of how the exchange went.
In recent weeks, several of Trump’s judicial nominees have come under fire for their controversial histories and/or lack of legal qualifications. Two of Trump’s district court nominees were withdrawn for these reasons after committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced his opposition against them.
[Image via screengrab]
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