James Donovan, the Goldman Sachs executive who was poised to become deputy Treasury secretary, is backing out of consideration.Mr. Donovan, 50, recently told administration officials that he could not take the job because of unexpected family matters that required more of his attention.
Two months ago, James Donovan, a longtime Goldman Sachs executive, became Donald Trump's nominee to serve as deputy to the Treasury secretary, serving just below Steve Mnuchin. On Friday afternoon, that nomination came to a rather abrupt halt.
While Donovan is hardly a household name, and his nomination wasn't considered a major development, his withdrawal is a story with a fairly broad reach.For example, Trump, after having used Goldman Sachs as a punching bag for much of the campaign, had chosen seven veterans of the Wall Street giant to work on his team. With Donavan stepping aside, and Anthony Scaramucci also walking away from an administration job offer, there are now five prominent Goldman Sachs executives remaining on Team Trump.There's also the fact that the president still has far too many vacancies in key posts throughout his administration. The Treasury Department is ostensibly poised to play a key role in a massive tax-reform initiative, but the cabinet agency remains understaffed: there are 28 positions at Treasury that require Senate confirmation, and as of today, only one of those offices has a confirmed nominee in place. With Donavan out, the president now needs to nominate someone for 19 of the 28 posts.And then, of course, there's the growing list of Trump World members who've already moved on to other career opportunities.Circling back to a piece from early April, I've been keeping a running list of some of the more notable departures from the Trump administration, some of which were voluntary, some of which weren't:- Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor- K.T. McFarland, Deputy National Security Advisor- Monica Crowley, advisor to the National Security Council- Katie Walsh, Deputy White House Chief of Staff- Boris Epshteyn, a Special Assistant to the President (he led the White House's television surrogate operation)- Andy Puzder, nominee for Labor Secretary- Vincent Viola, nominee for Army Secretary- Philip Bilden, nominee for Navy Secretary- Anthony Scaramucci, White House liaison to the business community- Shermichael Singleton, Senior Adviser at HUD- Craig Deare, the NSC's senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs- Marcus Peacock, senior White House budget adviser at OMB- Todd Ricketts, nominee for Deputy Commerce Secretary- Mark Green, nominee for Army Secretary
- James Donavan, nominee for Deputy Treasury SecretaryI suppose we could add former FBI Director James Comey to the list, though he was already at his post when Trump arrived.Regardless, for a White House team that's only existed for four months, this represents a rather volatile employment environment.