Federal courts have been instrumental in halting some of the policies that the Trump administration has sought to implement. However, the White House, with counsel Don McGahn taking the lead, has been hard at work appointing new federal judges to lifetime positions in an attempt to give the federal courts a conservative makeover. One nominee: Brett Talley, a 36-year-old Justice Department staffer who happens to be married to White House lawyer Ann Donaldson.
According to publicly available records, Talley, who recently passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, did not disclose his marital union when asked if he had any people in his life who would be “likely to present potential conflicts of interest.” The revelation is the latest piece of information to give many Democrats pause when considering Talley’s suitability for a judgeship. Talley, who has never tried a case, is also known for his pro-gun blog posts. He’s the fourth Trump nominee to receive a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association and the second to receive the rating unanimously from the group. Since 1989, the ABA had only unanimously rated two other judge candidates as not qualified.
Ms. Donaldson, Talley’s wife, works as the chief of staff to McGahn, the White House counsel. She was recently interviewed by investigators as part of Special Counsel Mueller probe’s examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election (with an emphasis placed on the firing of former FBI director James Comey), according to reports.