The White House announced Wednesday that Brett Talley, a deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department who was nominated to be a federal judge, is no longer a nominee.
President Trump nominated Talley to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in September, but a White House official confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Talley offered to withdraw his nomination.
The White House didn't offer a reason, but Democrats closely scrutinized Talley, who reportedly never tried a case. He received a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association due to his lack of trial experience.
Additionally, the Alabama lawyer failed to list his wife, a top White House lawyer, on a Senate questionnaire when asked to identify family members that were likely to present potential conflicts-of-interest. Talley’s wife, Ann Donaldson, is chief of staff to White House counsel Don McGahn.
Talley said instead that he would “evaluate any other real or potential conflict, or relationships that could give rise to appearance of conflict, on a case by case basis and determine appropriate action with the advice of parties and their counsel, including recusal where necessary.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Talley’s nomination out of the committee on a 11-9 party-line-vote last month. But Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the committee’s chairman, asked the White House to reconsider his nomination, as well as that of Jeff Mateer to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
“I would advise the White House not to proceed,” Grassley told CNN on Tuesday.
Talley reportedly told the White House last week he was willing with withdraw his nomination.