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Dem Lawyer for Trump Impeachment Has Dumb Take on Biden Classified Doc Scandal

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Many of the Sunday morning shows treated President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents a topic worth discussing at length. Even Democratic members such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) were forced to admit, albeit begrudgingly, that the situation didn't exactly look good for the president. Another member that networks had on was Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), though he didn't exactly give a compelling response. 

If Goldman sounds familiar, it's likely not merely because his role as a congressman, as he was just sworn in earlier this month for the 118th Congress. How he did come to hold that seat is noteworthy though, as he won his primary in August by beating out an incumbent, former Rep. Mondaire Jones, a freshman, in New York's redrawn 10th Congressional District. Jones had come in third place.

Goldman is also known for being  an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and as lead counsel for former President Donald Trump's first impeachment trial. Thus, one can expect him to perhaps know a thing or two about the legal concerns facing classified documents. 

Well, you can abandon any and all hope of nothing less than partisan statements. 

When Goldman appeared on CBS News' "Face the Nation," host Margaret Brennan began the segment by pointing out viewers "may recognize him" because of his role in the impeachment trial. An even more noteworthy aspect to the start of the segment is how Brennan pointed to Brennan's past view that there didn't even need to be a Special Counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents, though Attorney General Merrick Garland ultimately appointed Robert Hur to the role last week. Brennan went on to ask the congressman if he thought such an appointment was a mistake. 

While Goldman did say that he didn't think the appointment was a mistake, such was an aside to the point he really wanted to get across. 

"I do think it goes to a really important fact that is being missed here, which is that this administration is doing things by the book, there is a divide and a separation between the Department of Justice and the White House that certainly did not exist in the last administration. And President Biden and his team have reached out to the archives, they've reached out to the Department of Justice, they have done everything they can to cooperate," the congressman said, singing the praises of how the Biden administration has handled the debacle before denouncing Trump. 

The timeline of what we know would suggest that the president and his team have not "done everything they can to cooperate." It bears repeating every time that the documents were discovered on November 2, 2022--a week before the midterm elections where Democrats performed better than expected--but the news didn't break until a week ago. Even more damning to the president is that news broke on Saturday of even more documents being discovered, just before Goldman's appearance on "Face the Nation." This is despite how White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had already made assurances on Thursday that the search was "complete."

Brennan, to her credit, pushed back, as she clarified Goldman's remarks for him in that "obviously, in the handling of classified material, not by the book," when it comes to the administration's handling, "because the regulations are pretty clear there."

She went on to ask Goldman if he could explain, "for the search that we just laid out that was happening at the president's home for- the current president--his Wilmington home on Thursday? Why would he send lawyers who don't have a security clearance to search for classified material?"

Goldman's response was perhaps the most dumb, and memorable answer, leading to a rather frank tweet from Arthur Schwartz about the clip. 

"I'm not sure, and we don't know the circumstances of that," Goldman began his response with. "But certainly, the documents leave the Vice President's office and have to be stored somewhere. I do hope we will find out more information about it." Oh, gee, they "have to be stored somewhere" is certainly some kind of an excuse. 

The congressman went on to repeat his talking points from earlier. "I do hope we will find out more information about it," he offered, which you can be the judge of when it comes to such sincerity. "But as you see from the White House, a statement from the personal attorney, Bob Bauer statement, they are doing everything by the book, they take this classified information, being where it should not be. And we all acknowledge it should not be there, they take it very seriously. And they are abiding by the laws, they have reached out and been as cooperative as possible. And that's part of the reason why they can't speak is that they would be potentially interfering with an ongoing investigation, which once again, this administration takes very seriously."

While Brennan did not appear to take issue with the absurd response, she did still press Goldman, this time on whether or not it seemed "appropriate" to him for White House attorneys to take over in being involved. 

"Yes, of course, that's appropriate. When you have matters of national security, you need to make sure that those who have clearance to review them are reviewing them," Goldman quickly explained, before once more repeating the narrative he had been using throughout. "And once again, we're focusing on a lot of the nitty gritty details here. The bigger picture is broad cooperation from the president who clearly takes this very seriously. And that--that should be really underscored here. As well as the importance of an independence of the Department of Justice."

Least shockingly of all, Goldman took the opportunity presented to him by Brennan to throw Trump under the bus further. In agreeing that Biden and Trump should be held to the same standard, the congressman also claimed that "we don't have any indication that President Biden knew about them. He certainly has demonstrated no intent to deceive or obstruct the government by keeping them." He went on to further claim that that's in "direct contrast to President Trump, who refused to cooperate, who refused to comply with a subpoena, and who ultimately forced the Department of Justice to execute a search warrant to retrieve the classified documents. When you look at this very clearly, and you compare them there is no comparison."

Unfortunately there was no mention of the hypocrisy involved when it comes to Biden having criticized Trump's actions as "irresponsible" in an interview with "60 Minutes" also on CBS, from last September.


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