— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) December 15, 2017
Matthew Spencer Petersen is currently a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission. He’s also a district court nominee for the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Petersen underwent questioning in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for the position, and it did not go great, to say the least. In this cringeworthy video posted on Twitter by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Petersen is grilled by Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy about the most basic experiences someone with a law background should have. Petersen is unfailingly (but with very much fail) able to answer any of them to the affirmative.
Imagine the worst job interview you’ve ever had. This is worse. Much, much worse. Things go awry immediately, when Sen. Kennedy asks the panel if any of them had not tried a case to verdict, and Petersen was forced to raise his hand. From there he went on to admit that he had not tried a jury trial, civil, criminal, bench, state or federal court. Then the line of questioning became even more excruciating, as Sen. Kennedy asked Petersen to define even the most legal definitions and basic principles of law and he struggled with each and every one.
This is not the first time we’ve seen an astounding lack of knowledge from a Trump nominee. Last month Trump’s pick for Council on Environmental Quality Kathleen Hartnett White, rejected basic science during a Senate confirmation hearing.