December 18, 2017
Matthew Petersens letter to Trump withdrawing his judicial nomination

In Matthew Petersen's letter to President Donald Trump withdrawing his judicial nomination, Petersen says 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."
Read his nomination withdrawal letter below.


December 16, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
1600 Ave.
Washington, DC. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I write to inform you that I am withdrawing from consideration to be a United States District
Judge for the District of Columbia. While I am honored to have been nominated for this
position, it has become clear to me over the past few days that my nomination has become
a distraction?and that is not fair to you or your Administration.
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia is unique, and I was looking
forward to applying my experience in administrative and constitutional law on this court where
regulatory matters and cases challenging agency action?rather than trials?dominate this docket
within our nation?s capital. As you know, I have practiced law for almost two decades?both in
private practice and in public service. I have worked as an attorney in both bodies of Congress?
and rose to the position of Chief Counsel to one of the most prominent Committees in the United
States Senate. Nine years ago, I was unanimously con?rmed by that body to serve as a
Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, where I also served as its Chairman. I
believe that the hallmark of my tenure on the FEC has been and remains the fair treatment of all
who have come before me and rigorous, well-reasoned opinions involving complex areas of
administrative and constitutional law?similar to the kinds of cases that often come before
judges of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. On that record, I was
unanimously rated ?quali?ed? to serve as a judge on this court by the American Bar Association,
which rendered its decision based on my integrity, professional competence, and judicial
temperament.
I had hoped that my nearly two decades of public service might carry more weight than my two
worst minutes on television. However, I am no stranger to political realities, and I do not wish to
be a continued distraction from the important work of your Administration and the Senate.
Accordingly, at this time, the best decision for me and my family is to withdraw from
consideration. Until the time is otherwise appropriate, I look forward to returning to my duties at
the Federal Election Commission. Thank you again for this tremendous honor.
Matthew Spencer Petersen

Matthew Petersens letter to Trump withdrawing his judicial nomination

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