The House Intelligence Committee has hired a former federal prosecutor with a history of trying securities fraud, racketeering and international organized crime to lead its investigation of President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, the panel announced Tuesday.
The appointment of Daniel Goldman, who oversaw prosecutions of Russian organized crime networks during his 10 years in the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, suggests that the intelligence panel’s chairman, Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), plans to scrutinize Trump’s finances and foreign contacts as he investigates whether Trump colluded with foreign governments to sway the 2016 election.
Schiff has long promised to focus the committee’s efforts on questions of money laundering, financial leverage foreign entities might have over Trump and his businesses, and whether Trump sought to use his political and presidential contacts to improve his own bottom line, during the campaign and since becoming president. Along those lines, the panel has expressed particular interest in the extent to which Trump knew of Russian hacking efforts during the election, including WikiLeaks’ planned dissemination of hacked emails embarrassing to the Hillary Clinton campaign; how long into his presidential campaign Trump attempted to build a tower in Moscow; and whether he or his relatives and surrogates have conducted business with other foreign governments.
Schiff’s panel is not the only committee with an interest in such topics: There are six House panels running active investigations into various parts of Trump’s campaign and his businesses. Earlier this week, the House Judiciary Committee sent out more than 80 document requests for information pertaining to everything from emoluments to pardons; Trump retorted on Twitter, calling it a “big, fat, fishing expedition” and “the greatest overreach in the history of our Country.”
In the meantime, the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees teamed up to demand materials pertaining to Trump’s contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the House Financial Services Committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), said last week that she expects Deutsche Bank will cooperate in that panel’s probe of how Trump allegedly sought to secure certain loans.
The Intelligence Committee, however, may be uniquely able to conduct probes requiring both the clearance to peruse sensitive intelligence and the forensic expertise needed to investigate serious financial crimes.
Goldman’s experience with Russian organized crime is punctuated by a racketeering, gambling and money-laundering case he oversaw that resulted in the conviction of more than 30 people in 2014. Goldman also successfully prosecuted members of the Genovese crime family, including securing a murder conviction for its acting boss.