Brooklyn’s newly-elected Congress Member Dan Goldman has been tapped to serve on a controversial new House committee, where he promises to act as a “bulwark” against overreach and corruption by congressional Republicans.
The freshman Democrat on Wednesday was appointed to the “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,” a new group formed by the Republican majority to investigate what they say is censorship carried out by federal agencies.
Goldman, a former federal investigator who has loudly criticized the formation of the committee, dubbed it the “Republican Subcommittee to Obstruct Justice,” and claimed it “will operate as simply another vehicle for the Republicans’ attacks on our democracy and efforts to interfere with ongoing criminal investigations.”
Goldman vows to fight against ‘Republican overreach’
Republicans claim the subcommittee is necessary to investigate the “collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of information on U.S. citizens” by the federal government.
But critics say it will likely be used instead to undermine and obfuscate the ongoing investigation of former President Donald Trump, which has swept several House Republicans up in its scope.
Committee members will have “broad investigatory powers” and access to information shared with the House Intelligence Committee, per Goldman’s office.
“I look forward to using my experience directly relevant to the focus of the Subcommittee to serve as a bulwark against Republican overreach and politicized investigations,” Goldman said in a statement.
Goldman will serve on the subcommittee alongside 12 Republicans and nine Democrats, who were named to the committee by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries — also a Brooklynite.
The panel is chaired by firebrand Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a close ally of Trump’s. Congress Member Elise Stefanik, a Republican from upstate New York, also serves on the subcommittee.
Jordan defended the need for the committee on the House floor on Jan. 10, claiming federal agencies like the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security were treating people “as terrorists” and asserting that then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi had violated American’s First Amendment rights to assemble and petition the government.
“The Democrats kept the Capitol closed,” Jordan said, seeming to reference the Jan. 6 insurrection. “You couldn’t as a citizen come to your Capitol that you pay for to address your member of Congress to redress your grievances because Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t let you in.”
The House voted down party lines, 221-211, to approve the formation of the subcommittee.
“We just want it to stop, and we want to respect the First Amendment to the Constitution that the greatest country in the world has,” Jordan continued.
‘This time, they’re trying to protect themselves’
Democrats loudly condemned the creation of the panel. U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts compared it to the McCarthy-era “House Un-American Activities Committee.” The subcommittee is a “ploy,” McGovern said, to push right-wing conspiracies.
Goldman agreed, and took aim at the Republicans who closely allied themselves with Trump and have since found themselves under the microscope.
“This is a shocking abuse of power, but it’s not just the usual efforts by members on the other side of the aisle to once again do Donald Trump’s dirty work,” he said. “This time, they’re trying to protect themselves.”
The Congress Member took aim at one Republican in particular — U.S. Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, whose cell phone was seized by the FBI last summer as part of an investigation of his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Now, as a member of the committee, Goldman plans to use his prior experience investigating Trump and election interference to keep his colleagues in check. The legislator served as senior advisor and Director of Investigations during the House’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, then as lead counsel on the government’s impeachment inquiry of Trump.
“We Democrats will not only counter the extremism and expose the hypocrisy of the Republicans, but we will also work to restore faith in the rule of law and our democratic foundations,” Goldman said.