President Donald Trump is nominating Trey Trainor, an Austin lawyer well known in Texas politics, to serve on the Federal Election Commission.
The White House announced Trainor’s appointment late Tuesday night. He must be confirmed by the Senate.
Trainor is a longtime attorney specializing in election law, campaign finance and ethics. He has served as the lawyer for the conservative group Empower Texans, representing it during its long-running battles with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Reporters out of Trainor’s home state of Texas have been reporting some important details about Trainor. David Saleh Rauf of the San Antonio Express-News tweets “He’s a mega advocate for campaign finance deregulation” and “one of Texas’ biggest defenders of dark money”. In summary: “Guy who has called for eliminating campaign finance regulators becomes one himself.” He also represented several groups at battle with the Texas Ethics Commission.
He was also called by the now White House counsel Don McGahn to see if he could help with some legal matters for the Republican National Convention. Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity asks a good question: “this nomination raises obvious question: would Trainor recuse himself on matters before the FEC involving Trump/RNC?”
This appears to be for Commissioner Goodman’s seat, but there is some uncertainty and concern about the FEC losing a quorum.