Dem Congressman Rocked Ethics Complaint

Attorney Dan Goldman addresses supporters on the evening of the Democratic primary election Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in New York. Goldman is running in the packed Democratic primary race for New York's 10th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

With a grandstanding performance during the select subcommittee hearing into the weaponization of the federal government and subsequent accusations hurled at a political rival via Twitter, Democratic Congressman Dan Goldman (D-NY) finds himself on the receiving end of serious accusations of unethical behavior.

On Wednesday, a House ethics complaint and a Justice Department (DOJ) referral were filed against Rep. Goldman for his now-infamous tweet claiming that Steve Friend, Garret O’Boyle, and Marcus Allen, the FBI whistleblowers who testified in the May 18th hearing, “lied under oath in exchange for payment” from fellow witness and attorney Kash Patel.

The complaint was filed by Patel, who served as the chief of staff to the acting secretary of defense under President Trump and as the senior counsel for the House Intelligence Committee under then-Rep. Devin Nunes.

“Rep. Goldman’s dishonest tweet is a corrupt attempt to obstruct, influence, or impede the investigation of the Select Subcommittee,” Patel’s complaint stated, citing Section 1512(C)(2) of the criminal code as a potential violation.

Former Acting Director of the United States National Intelligence Ric Grenell also excoriated Goldman for the comments, pointing out that such accusations against his witnesses had not been established in the hearing itself.

The complaint further claimed that by publishing lies about a private citizen on his official House-related Twitter account, Goldman had violated House Rule XXIII, which provides that a member “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

Goldman’s performance in the March hearing of the select subcommittee wasn’t all controversy. His questions to witnesses Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger provided an interesting dynamic to the hearing, with Goldman quibbling with the guests over what constituted “direction” from the FBI to Twitter to remove posts or accounts before stopping to complain about the committee not discussing Republican book banning and the Trump administration’s misdeeds.

The tweet missed the mark, however, when Goldman neglected to do his homework. The tweet Goldman was referring to was from Robert Kennedy, Jr. regarding Hank Aaron’s death after he received the vaccine, and Goldman had appeared to try and call it “unlawful” speech.

It remains to be seen if Rep. Goldman will receive any punishment for his ill-advised tweet, or if the Justice Department will take any action on the referral, but the complaint serves as a reminder that one-upping political rivals on social media can lead to more than just embarrassment.

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