President Donald Trump’s plan to nominate SEC Chair Jay Clayton to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is running into trouble before it’s even gotten off the ground.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday stepped up his attack on Clayton, signaling he will move to block the nomination and saying the SEC chief “should salvage whatever is left of his reputation” by withdrawing.
If the nomination even gets a hearing — the process has already been threatened over broader questions about the abrupt departure of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman — Clayton will be grilled over his close ties to Wall Street and lack of experience as a prosecutor.
Clayton, who worked for more than two decades at the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm representing many of Wall Street’s top banks, would be tasked to head an office that plays a crucial role in policing the financial sector. Under Berman, it had also investigated associates of Trump, including his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.