Trump Judicial Nominee Unable To Answer Basic Legal Questions

Mr. Petersen lacked knowledge regarding basic legal definitions and admitted he had never tried a case in any court.

The rationale behind Republican Senator Chuck Grassley's (Iowa) recent call for President Trump to reconsider two of his judicial nominees was on full display during the congressional questioning of one grossly unqualified candidate Wednesday.

Matthew Spencer Petersen was part of a panel of nominees being interviewed on Wednesday. In one clip, the Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana asked the panel members to raise their hands to answer the question, "Have any of you not tried a case to verdict in a courtroom?"

Petersen was the only nominee to raise his hand, and the following exchange transpired:

Kennedy: "Have you ever tried a jury trial?"

Petersen: "I have not."

Kennedy: "Civil?"

Petersen: "No."

Kennedy: "Criminal?"

Petersen: "No."

Kennedy: "Bench?"

Petersen: "No."

Kennedy: "State or federal court?"

Petersen: "I have not."

Kennedy: "Have you ever taken a deposition?"

Petersen replied that he was "involved in taking depositions" as an associate attorney fresh out of law school.

Kennedy also asked Peterson for definitions of basic legal terms, which the nominee was mostly unable to accommodate.

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