While A Federal Judge Issued A Stay On His Executive Order, Trump Lost His Army Secretary Nominee

Posted: Feb 04, 2017 6:30 PM

Justin covered Judge James Robart’s decision to stay the travel provisions of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration nationwide. Robart is a Bush-appointed district judge for the Western District of Washington state. The Trump administration has vowed to file a stay on his Robart’s ruling and get the higher courts, possibly the Supreme Court to deliver a final ruling. 

Yet, as lawfare erupted over Trump’s order Friday night, he also lost his nominee for the Secretary of the Army. No, it wasn't because Senate Democrats blocked him or anything, though I'm sure they wish they could, it was mostly because Billionaire Vincent Viola couldn't sever his ties with his various business interests that he had built up over the last 35 years. On Friday, as the news media celebrated Judge Robart's stay, he quietly withdrew his name from consideration (via Bloomberg):

Vincent Viola, the billionaire founder of trading firm Virtu Financial Inc., has withdrawn his nomination to be Secretary of the Army after distancing himself from his business ties proved too difficult, according to two Trump administration officials and a third person familiar with Viola’s decision.

Viola informed President Donald Trump Friday that he will be unable to accept the nomination because separating from the organizations that he has built over the last 35 years have proven insurmountable, said two of the people familiar with Viola’s decision, who asked not to be named.

The full extent of Viola’s financial holdings and ownership stakes in other companies would’ve been detailed in ethics and financial disclosure forms to be filed as the nomination process unfolded. Without them, it’s difficult to know what business arrangements tripped him up. This is the first Trump nominee to withdraw from consideration.