Trump judicial nominee, a BYU grad, withdraws due to embarrassing video

Remember the cringe-worthy video from last week showing one of Trump’s judicial nominees struggling to answer basic questions about courtroom procedure during a Senate confirmation hearing? That nominee withdrew his name from consideration on Monday.

Matthew Petersen, who was up for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, withdrew his name following the brutal video showing him unable to answer questions from Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy. 


Petersen was a graduate of BYU and the University of Virgina Law School has been a lawyer for the Federal Election Commission since 2008, but has no trial experience. From the Washington Post:

“While I am honored to have been nominated for this position, it has become clear to me over the past few days that my nomination has become a distraction — and that is not fair to you or your Administration,” Petersen wrote to Trump in a letter dated Saturday. “I had hoped my nearly two decades of public service might carry more weight than my two worst minutes on television. However, I am no stranger to political realities, and I do not wish to be a continued distraction from the important work of your administration and the Senate.”


Until last week, Trump’s record of getting judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate stood out as a bright spot for a president who has struggled for big wins on Capitol Hill. In addition to Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the Senate has confirmed 12 circuit court judges and six district court judges.

Petersen is the third Trump judicial nominee in the last week who has either withdrawn or had their nomination pulled.