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Judge nominee's White House connection should've come up in committee, Grassley says

Joe Williams, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Any concerns over Alabama federal district judge nominee Brett Talley's marriage to a top-ranking White House employee should have been addressed during the confirmation hearing, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Monday.

Talley did not list his marriage to Ann Donaldson, who serves as chief of staff to White House counsel David McGhan II, on his public disclosure forms, according to a New York Times report.

"That wife was in the audience when we had a hearing. How come that didn't come up at that particular time?" the Iowa Republican said. "His wife was employed at that time. She was in the very room where that question should have been asked."

Judiciary's ranking Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein released a statement earlier Monday reiterating her disapproval of Talley and criticizing the nominee.

"But by failing to disclose that his wife is one of President Trump's lawyers, Talley has betrayed his obligation to be open and transparent with the Senate and American people," Feinstein said.

Talley was given a "not qualified" ranking from the American Bar Association. His nomination cleared the judiciary panel last week.

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