One of President Trump's more controversial federal district judge nominees failed to disclose that he is married to a top White House lawyer on publicly disclosed congressional documents.
Brett J. Talley's filled out a Senate questionnaire that asked him to identify family members that could present "potential conflicts-of-interest" as he serves in his new role. But he didn't mention that his wife is Ann Donaldson, chief of staff to White House Counsel Donald McGahn.
Instead, Talley answered generally that he would take steps to deal with possible conflicts of interest.
"If confirmed, I will recuse in any litigation where I have ever played a role," he wrote. "I will also recuse in any case that was handled by the Solicitor General's Office during my time with the Alabama Attorney General. I will evaluate any other real or potential conflict, or relationships that could give rise to appearance of conflict, or a case by case basis and determine appropriate action with the advice of parties and their counsel, including recusal where necessary."
Talley, 36, was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to serve as a lifetime appointment on a federal court and he now awaits a Senate confirmation vote.
Talley is a former Alabama deputy solicitor general, and has yet to try a single case, a resume that has the American Bar Association, Civil rights groups, and Democrats blasting the judicial pick.
A judicial rating committee in the American Bar Association rated the nominee is "not qualified" to serve as a federal district judge.
“Mr. Talley served as deputy solicitor general for the state of Alabama, currently serves in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy and was recommended by Alabama’s U.S. senators,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, according to the New York Times. “He is more than qualified to serve in the federal judiciary.”