Trump's pick for Treasury second-in-command, James Donovan, withdraws from consideration

Saturday, 20 May 2017, 09:15:09 AM. The decision prolongs a vacancy at a key position in the administration.

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President Trump and Steven Mnuchin, U.S. treasury secretary, walk down the hall of the Treasury Department. (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

James Donovan, President Trump’s pick to be the second-in-command at the Treasury Department, is withdrawing from consideration, senior administration officials said Friday.

The announcement comes two months after the administration announced Donovan's selection.

Donovan, in a statement, said "at this time I want to focus on my family, and I can no longer accept" the job. "I hope to be able to serve this administration in the future and fully support President Trump and Secretary Steven Mnuchin's ongoing work to reform the tax system and grow the U.S. economy.”

Donovan is a longtime Goldman Sachs executive who was slated to join several other Goldman veterans in the Trump administration and serve as Treasury’s deputy secretary.

“Secretary Mnuchin offers Jim his support and friendship as he focuses his attention on his family,” Treasury assistant secretary Tony Sayegh said. “Jim has been an enormous asset to the department helping recruit and fill many of the senior jobs at Treasury. The Secretary appreciates Jim’s continued support of the President and his administration.”

There have been a number of people who have withdrawn from consideration for top jobs following their selection by Trump. Many departments — including Treasury — are missing top political appointees four months into the administration. The White House has named several other top nominees for senior Treasury jobs, but they have not yet had hearings in the Senate.

The White House has blamed Senate Democrats for what they allege is slow-walking confirmation hearings, but Democrats have said the White House simply hasn’t submitted paperwork or, in some cases, even made the picks.

The Treasury Department has a huge workload, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is the only Senate-confirmed appointee. Treasury officials are working on an overhaul of the tax code, a review of financial regulations, and they are also trying to urge Congress to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.

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