Ethics Dunce (And Partisan Hack): Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman

Daniel Goldman earns the Ethics Alarms clip with Sir Thomas More’s scalding indictment of the character of “A Man For All Seasons” villain Richard Rich, “Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. . . but for Wales?”

Donald Trump, fighting a coordinated (I believe) Democratic assault from all sides in a desperate effort to neutralize him (an effort than has continued unsuccessfully for a ludicrous six years!) invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at a deposition for New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). While the ongoing January 6 kangaroo court in the House seeks to prove that Trump planned an “insurrection,” and the Justice Department raided his home ostensibly to find sufficient evidence to prosecute him for mishandling of classified documents, James is continuing her state’s long-running attempts to prove Trump engaged in illegal financial activity and/or corrupt business practices

After Trump’s non-response was reported, Goldman, who was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York for 10 years, tweeted,

“The Fifth Amendment ensures that people are not forced to incriminate themselves. But you don’t take the Fifth if you didn’t do anything wrong.”

Not only is that wrong, Goldman knows it is wrong, meaning that it is a lie. Institute for Justice senior attorney Paul Sherman reacted to this disgraceful partisan hackery by saying,

“Mr Goldman is a Stanford-trained former federal prosecutor and he knows with 100% certainty that this is not true. He’s comfortable lying about it because he’s running for office, and we’ve convinced ourselves that lying is okay if it secures power for your team.”

Bingo. Goldman is currently running for Congress as a Democrat; he also served as lead counsel in both impeachment cases against Trump, which further explicates the legitimacy of those fiascos.

A lawyer cannot reference the fact that a witness or defendant invoked the 5th Amendment in a criminal trial to impute guilt; to do so is misconduct and will probably trigger a mistrial as well as sanctions for the attorney. Lawyers know that the public and juries assume that Goldman’s insidious analysis is fair, which is why attorneys often try to force witnesses to “take the Fifth” over and over again to create prejudice against them. Nonetheless, there are many reasons why an individual may be wise to access the right against self-incrimination, which also includes a criminal defendant’s right not to testfy, a decision that also cannot be used by the prosecution to suggest guilt. Trump, in his inimitable way, accurately described why invoking his right made sense in this case:

I once asked, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.

Exactamundo, as Fonzi might say. To be fair, there is some condign justice in Trump being impugned with the False Fifth accusation: he was skewered by the Washington Post. After Hillary Clinton’s computer staffers took the Fifth repeatedly under questioning about her secret server scandal in 2016, Candidate Trump said at an Iowa campaign rally, “The mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Yes, Trump isn’t a lawyer (or even close) and has never been a paragon of consistency. That doesn’t excuse Goldman…he has no excuse.

I believe a lawyer making a public statement like his, that is deliberately “contrary to Constitution. Contrary to Supreme Court 5th Amend. jurisprudence,” as former Assistant Attorney General Jeff Clark wrote, deserves professional sanctions. However, because he is a political candidate, it’s a close call.

Clark also called Goldman’s remarks a “disgraceful position.” “An indication that any oaths you took while in the fed’l gov’t were a farce,” Clark tweeted. “No way you’d be saying this if it were the Clintons or Bidens.”

Ya think?

Or for Wales, presumably.

14 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce (And Partisan Hack): Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman

  1. And if it does end in a mistrial, as unlikely as that may be, the Democrats and their allies in the news media and the entertainment industry will spin this that Guilty Trump Got Off on a Technicality.

    They are shameless.

  2. “But you don’t take the Fifth if you didn’t do anything wrong.”

    I’ve heard increasingly from the Left the argument of “you have nothing to worry about if you’ve done nothing wrong” these days. It’s frankly terrifying.

    Here’s another one defending the Democrats’ massive expansion of the IRS by 87,000 agents:

      • It’s boggled my mind, on a strictly political front. The democrats know that everyone and their grandmother’s are fed up with them, so they make nice by quintupling the size of the most detested and invasive part of the us government. The only way this makes sense to me is a) since it starts in November, they’ll pin it on the Republicans; or b) they don’t feel like they need to make nice. Which is just chilling, as it implies that they simply aren’t worried about the elections. Which any reasonable person would be, so what cards aren’t they showing?

        • The fear is that 2020 was the last time your vote could have mattered. The behavior of the Democratic Party suggests massive election fraud is planned this time. With all the ‘lost ballots’, illegal ballots, illegal voting, vote harvesting, changed votes, and miscounts, you could see why Trump might think that could have change the election outcome. He only lost by 43,000 votes in Arizona (where we probably will never know what happened), Minnesota (that saw illegal vote harvesting), and Georgia (with ballots suddenly appearing from under tables after the observers and press were sent home and sequestered ballots being left unguarded with the door open). What has been done to address any of this? What has been done to address the illegally late votes counted in Pennsylvania? What about the machines in Michigan that flipped Trump vote to Biden or Detroit, where there were more votes than voters and certification of the election results only happened by doxxing, lying to, and bullying someone so badly that they had to be removed from the meeting and escorted to their car by guards? The fact that nothing has been done about any of this suggests it will be worse next time. If anyone cared about election integrity, these items would have all been addressed. They haven’t.

          • A number of countries have foreign observers to observe their elections. With all the controversy about your elections in the USA it is about time for foreign observers to observe your elections.

      • The NR article is good but the author misses some big points about the IRS. It is true that it is a big government agency. Yet, the IRS is fully empowered with the police powers to execute search warrant, seize property, recommend criminal charges for tax evasion, in addition to its auditing powers.

        Another issue is that the IRS is big, slow moving, staffed by entrenched employees who can’t be fired for incompetence. They have no incentive to do their jobs with a semblance of integrity.

        The auditing process is frustrating and confusing, time consuming and stressful, and the millions of pages of tax laws and regulations are arcane, written in a language most people don’t comprehend and are set up to favor government decisions. When the IRS selects 2021 as a tax year to audit, that triggers a whole lot of other powers which includes auditing prior years. Once you are on their radar, it is impossible to get off of it.

        The process of an audit goes something like this: You file your tax return. The IRS reviews it and makes a determination that there is a problem/issue, and most probably a balance due. The IRS sends a letter advising that the tax return has been selected for review, and will typically advise that a balance is owed. That balance is required to be paid by a date certain or further penalties and interest will accrue until the balance is paid in full.

        The burden of proof is flipped – it is presumed the IRS is correct and the taxpayer has to prove the amount the IRS says is owed is incorrect. The IRS disallows a deduction or exemption or expense. You, then, ave to prove that the deduction is proper. That is a long, expensive process and most people cannot afford the Adam Markowitzes of this world to help them through the process. This guy is supposedly a registered agent for tax matters with the IRS and he doesn’t comprehend why people are afraid of the IRS? I don’t know if he is playing dumb or merely playing . . . . something else.


        • You are forgetting the part about the IRS being allowed to lie to you. Then, there is their partisan approvals of charitable organizations. Some of my parents’ friends are currently having problems because the IRS has lost their quarterly tax payments. They made the payments and the checks were cashed, but the IRS claims no record of the receipt of the money. They are having to pay again and pay penalties. Lots of reasons to fear the IRS.

          BTW: Why do courts allow governments to fire workers who refuse to lie in court?
          usatoscientist fired for refusing to

    • Agreed. When someone goes on a murder trial, claims innocence and is proven innocent do you think that was “fun”? I’ve never had an IRS audit but the phrase “stressful” comes to mind even if there wasn’t “anything you did wrong” it’s extremely naive to presume an audit when innocent is going to be no big deal. Even if you “have nothing to hide”. Nothing is in my underwear drawer either, doesn’t mean I want people looking through it now because we need to keep 87,000 people busy.

      • The ultimate problem these days is the tax code is so convoluted and byzantine that no one can be reasonably certain they aren’t making a mistake AND no one can be reasonably certain that even if they did follow the code to the best of their interpretation that there isn’t a way for the government to unravel the pretzel and claim you did something wrong. And woe to the citizen that the federal government decides to focus its vast resources on.

    • This guy is an enrolled agent? Makes me wonder if he has ever had a client who was audited by the IRS.

      Bulletproof? So you’re absolutely truthful and have a legitimate deduction and the revenue agent says, “I’m not allowing that”. Yes, it happens. That’s even assuming that the agent auditing you really understands the law they’re trying to enforce.

      Why should people be afraid of the IRS? Perhaps one reason might be the press releases at the beginning of tax filing season announcing that the IRS is criminally prosecuting someone for tax fraud, or that someone else has been sentenced to prison.

      Not exactly subtle, eh?

  3. A lawyer cannot reference the fact that a witness or defendant invoked the 5th Amendment in a criminal trial to impute guilt; to do so is misconduct and will probably trigger a mistrial as well as sanctions for the attorney.

    Binger did that in the trial against Kyle Rittenhouse. All that happened is Binger got yelled at. No mistrial and no sanctions.

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