A onetime top attorney to former President George W. Bush is accused of trying to kill his wife at their Connecticut home by beating her with a flashlight and choking her.

Fifty-seven-year-old John Michael Farren is charged with strangulation and attempted murder. He was ordered held Thursday on $2 million bail.

His lawyer Eugene Riccio calls it "a tragic situation."

Farren was deputy White House counsel to Bush. He also worked on the campaign and transition for former President George H.W. Bush.

An arrest affidavit says the attack occurred after Mary Farren delivered divorce papers Monday.

Police say she passed out during the attack Wednesday night at their New Canaan home and later fled with her children.

She is stable at a hospital with a broken nose, broken jaw and other injuries.

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