One of President Trump's nominee for a federal judgeship is taking flak from Democrats for failing to mention a potential conflict of interest—the fact that his wife, Ann Donaldson, is one of Trump's senior White House lawyers. Brett Talley failed to mention in the Senate questionnaire for judicial nominees that his wife is chief of staff to the White House Counsel Donald McGahn, who has been helping Trump fill judicial positions, the New York Times reports. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says Talley made a "glaring omission" by failing to mention his wife's position and the fact that she has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, the AP reports.
The judiciary committee advanced Talley's nomination for an Alabama judgeship last week and a full Senate vote is expected soon. His wife's job was "no secret," said Taylor Foy, a spokesman for the GOP-controlled committee, per CNN. "She was sitting behind Mr. Talley at his nominations hearing. Anyone who had any concerns about his wife's occupation could have raised them at the hearing." Talley's nomination was already controversial: The 36-year-old has never tried a case and he received a rare "not qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. According to a 2014 Washington Post profile, his side projects include writing horror novels and moonlighting as a paranormal detective. (Read more judicial nominations stories.)