Matthew Petersen, President Donald Trump’s district court nominee who struggled to answer basic legal questions at his confirmation hearing last week, has withdrawn his nomination. Petersen, who was up for a lifetime appointment on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, struggled to answer basic questions during an exchange with Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican.
The exchange went viral after Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, tweeted a link to the five-minute long exchange. In a letter to Trump, Petersen said he is “no stranger to political realities” and did not wish to be a “continued distraction” to the President’s or administration’s work. He bemoaned his performance at his confirmation hearing, saying, “I had hoped that my nearly two decades of public service would carry more weight than my worst two minutes on television.”