A former MSNBC contributor was tapped by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to question Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker during a congressional hearing on Thursday, officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings told The Federalist. Daniel Goldman, a former legal analyst for MSNBC, posed multiple questions to Volker during Thursday’s closed-door interview of Volker.
Payroll records from the U.S. House of Representatives show that Schiff hired Goldman in January of 2019. News reports from last March indicate that Schiff named Goldman as the director of investigations for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Schiff has used his perch as chairman of that committee to investigate and spread debunked conspiracy theories, such as Russian collusion, about President Donald Trump. Former special counsel Robert Mueller confirmed earlier this year that his investigation found zero evidence of treasonous collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign to steal the 2016 election from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“How can the American people trust that this impeachment process is fair if MSNBC and Adam Schiff are running the show behind the scenes?” a congressional official with direct knowledge of Thursday’s hearing told The Federalist. “This partisan mockery cannot be ignored. Schiff should be ashamed.”
At one point Goldman became so flustered during his questioning of Volker that Schiff unexpectedly shut Goldman down and began questioning Volker himself, one official said.
Following a New York Times report that the anti-Trump complainant and his team previewed their allegations with Schiff’s committee before filing the complaint with the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), Schiff was blasted for blatantly lying about his committee’s secret coordination with the anti-Trump complainant. Schiff’s most egregious lies about his staff’s illicit interactions with the anti-Trump complainant were made on MSNBC, the left-wing cable news network where Goldman previously worked as a legal analyst.
Last December, Goldman endorsed discredited conspiracy theories from Christopher Steele, a former British spy who was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to work with foreign governments to spread dirt about Trump in order to influence voters in the 2016 presidential elections. In December, Goldman claimed that a debunked allegation that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague in August of 2016 to secretly plot with Kremlin officials had been corroborated. He also claimed, long after the Steele dossier had been debunked, that “nothing had been undermined” in the dossier.
In his 448-page report detailing the findings of his sprawling, multi-year investigation of Russian collusion allegations, Mueller explicitly debunked the notion that Cohen traveled to Prague.
“Cohen had never traveled to Prague,” the report declared.
In July of 2018, Goldman claimed the FBI would have been “derelict” if it failed to cite false claims from the Steele dossier in multiple Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrants in 2016 and 2017. Goldman’s article, entitled “FBI Would’ve Been Derelict Not to Use Steele Dossier for the Carter Page FISA Warrant,” argued that the FBI was obligated to use the debunked claims from a Clinton- and DNC-funded foreign operative to justify spying on Trump campaign affiliates.
As an MSNBC contributor, Goldman also falsely claimed during the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that Christine Blasey Ford’s rape accusations against Kavanaugh had been corroborated.
“[S]ome corroboration already does exist,” Goldman wrote in October of 2018. Goldman also claimed that notes from one of Ford’s 2013 therapy sessions, which did not even mention Kavanaugh’s name, nonetheless corroborated her allegations that Kavanaugh tried to rape her at an unspecified place on an unspecified date at some point in the 1980s.
In fact, none of the individuals Ford named as having been present when the alleged altercation occurred corroborated her account. Leland Keyser, Ford’s best friend at the time who Ford claimed was at the house party where Kavanaugh allegedly tried to rape Ford, said she did not believe Ford’s story.
“I don’t have any confidence in [her] story,” Keyser said. Keyser also told the FBI during a follow-up investigation of the allegations that she had no recollection of the events Ford alleged, didn’t know Brett Kavanaugh, and that Ford’s friends pressured her to change her story after she said she could not corroborate Ford’s account of what happened.
Prior to joining MSNBC, Goldman worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York under federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, an anti-Trump partisan and former Democratic Senate staffer who Trump fired in March of 2017.
A spokesman for Schiff did not respond to questions asking if other former cable news commentators also asked questions of Volker during Thursday’s interview, or if Goldman leaked allegations from the anti-Trump complainant before the ICIG informed HPSCI of the complaint on Sept. 9.