U.S. Sen. John Kennedy on Monday said that he spoke with President Donald Trump after grilling one of the president’s nominees for a federal judgeship.
The Louisiana Republican said that Trump called him on Saturday to talk about the nominee, Matthew Spencer Petersen, who struggled during a hearing to define a series of basic legal terms and acknowledged having never made arguments in a courtroom nor having tried a case. Kennedy told WWL-TV that Trump did not personally interview Petersen and that the nominees were chosen by members of the president's staff.
“(Trump) has told me, ‘Kennedy, when some of my guys send somebody over who is not qualified, you do your job,” Kennedy told WWL.
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Petersen, who’s currently a member of the Federal Election Commission, was nominated by Trump for a district court judgeship in the District of Columbia.
Kennedy’s grilling of Petersen — who likely won’t face a committee vote until next year — went viral Thursday night after Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat and fellow member of the Judiciary Committee, posted the video to Twitter.
WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy hammered one of President Donald Trump’s nominees for a federal judgeship with a probing, five-minute series of…
In his interview with WWL, Kennedy said that he did not know before the hearing that Petersen was inexperienced for the position.
"Just because you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’ doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge,” Kennedy told the station. “And he has no litigation experience. And my job on the judiciary committee is to catch him. I would strongly suggest he not give up his day job.”