Former impeachment lawyer Dan Goldman says Trump is even worse than he thought: Q&A
- Dan Goldman spoke with Insider about why he's running for Congress in
- Goldman was the House Democrats' staff lawyer during
Trump's first impeachment.
After giving a quick pep talk to around 20 campaign volunteers on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood, Democratic New York House candidate
Back in February 2019, Goldman served as staff lawyer for the Democrats during Trump's first impeachment, leaving his MSNBC contributor deal at the door. The Preet Bharara disciple later jumped into what was initially an open primary for the New York attorney general race, but dropped out after the current AG, Tish James, scrapped her run for governor and decided to run for reelection instead.
Goldman, 46, cut his teeth under Bharara as an assistant US attorney from 2007 to 2018 after graduating from the Stanford School of Law in 2005.
As the volunteers converged on bodegas and storefronts to put up Brooklyn Bridge-themed campaign signs, Goldman spoke to Insider about why he decided to run for the newly drawn House seat in New York's 10th district, a biproduct of New York's bungled redistricting process that threw House primaries into chaos.
The district covers all of lower Manhattan south of 18th Street and stretches into the northern and western neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
Goldman, a resident of lower Manhattan for 16 years, is in a crowded Democratic field that includes former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, and Rep. Mondaire Jones, who switched to the district after Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney bumped him out of his district to the north in Rockland and Westchester Counties.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Insider: When you first heard about the new lines for this district, what made you want to jump into the race?
Dan Goldman: I have been horrified by what has been going on in Washington and around the country with Donald Trump and the Republican Party that he controls. And for many of the same reasons that I picked up and commuted down to Washington to work for Adam Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee — with five kids at home — is because I want to do everything that I can to promote our basic democratic values and improve the lives of Americans. And I am gravely concerned with the direction that the country is going and the direction that the Republican Party under Donald Trump is going. And so for the same reasons that I went down to Washington to work for the House Intelligence Committee are very similar reasons to why I ran for AG, and very similar reasons to why this opportunity, when it presented itself to me, was something that I had to jump at.
Insider: What do you think of the job Mayor Eric Adams has been doing, and how have voters been feeling about the state of the city in your interactions with them?
Goldman: I think the mayor was dealt a really bad hand and has a lot to dig out of. I think that he is trying very hard to do that, and to right the ship. But it's just too early to tell whether he'll be able to do that.
Insider: On that bad hand, what do you make of Bill de Blasio's legacy as mayor?
Goldman: The good thing about Bill de Blasio is that he is a known commodity to every single voter. So I will leave it up to the voters to make their own decision as to how they thought he did as mayor.
Insider: Has your mind changed on anything about Trump?
Goldman: Yes. He's even worse than I thought. He is more of a wannabe dictator than we could have ever imagined.
And January 6th was the beginning, not the end, of Donald Trump's efforts to subvert our democracy. And he and his Republican Party are trying to lay the foundation to steal the 2024 election by correcting what they perceived to be the mistakes that prohibited them from stealing it in 2020.
Insider: At the top of the Democratic Party, how well do you think President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Schumer have done in enacting the president's agenda? For anything you and your rival House candidates campaign on, there's still the obstacle of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on the Democratic side in the Senate.
Goldman: Look, I do generally think there needs to be more effective messaging in the Twitter day and age, where it's very difficult to persuasively use a message that is more than one sentence. And Democrats generally have a lot of ideas and a lot of policy proposals, Republicans generally are trying to tear the house down. It is easier to demolish a house than it is to build a house.
All that being said, I do think that the Democrats need to be a little bit more well coordinated, and that goes not just for leadership, but that goes for all aspects of the party.
The fact that the Democratic majority in the Senate is so slim makes a stronger case for my candidacy because I am a solutions-oriented candidate. I worked with Sen. Schumer's team during the impeachment trial. My objective would be not just to work with my colleagues in the House to get a bill passed, but with the recognition that a bill only becomes law when the House and Senate, and the president signs it, and it's of no use if the House passes a bill that will not get passed by the Senate. So one of the things that I will do is work very aggressively with Democratic colleagues in the Senate to try to figure out legislation that can pass both houses in order to actually get results for the American people.
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