Watchdog groups exist to keep a close eye on elected officials, especially in regards to potential ethics violations.
So far in 2022, these groups have exposed numerous politicians and leveled countless accusations, many of which include very serious charges.
Now, the latest set of allegations includes a top staffer for one Democrat leader — and the accusations are major.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has often been an enemy of Republican leaders, frequently pushing the liberal agenda in a variety of ways.
And it appears one of his highest-ranking employees has violated multiple rules, and he’s apparently done so for “years.”
If this is true, it could create some problems for one of the country’s most visible elected officials.
Via The Daily Caller:
A top staffer for Democratic New York Rep. Jerry Nadler has been violating federal law by providing legal services to the congressman’s campaign and leadership PAC, a watchdog alleged in an ethics complaint Monday obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The staffer under the microscope is Robert Gottheim, who was the district director for Rep. Nadler’s office between 2019 and 2021.
He technically qualified as a “senior staffer” and was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his position, according to the report.
That isn’t the problem, though: the problem is that he was also paid for legal services by Nadler’s campaign and PAC.
This is an illegal maneuver, because senior staff aren’t allowed to be paid through a role that includes “fiduciary relationship, including the practice of law.”
This is what the Americans for Public Trust cited in their complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). Said executive director Caitlin Sutherland:
House ethics rules make this simple prohibition abundantly clear: senior staffers cannot be paid to be campaign attorneys.
But Nadler’s team has done exactly that.
A senior staff member is one who earned over $132,000 in 2021 and $135,000 in 2022; Gottheim earned $140,000 in 2019, about $165,000 in 2020, and over $180,000 in 2021.
Therefore, it appears he does qualify as a senior staffer. But he also seems to have raked in over $80k from Nadler’s campaign for “legal and political consulting.”
And that’s the point of investigation, which could lead to more allegations and possible charges.
A spokesperson for Rep. Nadler claimed Gottheim is just a “campaign adviser,” with no fiduciary responsibility.
But Sutherland isn’t buying this explanation, saying it’s “laughable” when federal records show he was paid many times for campaign legal consulting.
- A top staffer for Rep. Jerry Nadler is accused of campaign violations that span several years.
- As a senior staffer, he’s banned from doing any legal consulting, but FEC records allegedly show that he was paid for this type of work.
- He allegedly earned over $80k in one year for consulting services.
Source: The Daily Caller