by WorldTribune Staff, July 17, 2023
Soon after hearing the sworn testimony of FBI whistleblowers Garret O’Boyle, Steve Friend, and Marcus Allen during a May 18 House Subcommittee on Weaponization hearing, New York Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman used his official government Twitter account to claim the whistleblowers were “bought and paid for” by Trump White House intelligence adviser Kash Patel.
Goldman tweeted: “Kash Patel is a political hack for Donald Trump, under investigation by the DOJ for leaking classified information. Today’s
@Weaponization’s witnesses were bought and paid for by Patel. This committee is simply an arm of Trump’s criminal defense team.”
Patel is fighting back. His attorney on Wednesday filed an ethics complaint against Goldman and simultaneously sent a referral to the Department of Justice.
“The clear implication” of Goldman’s tweet, the Patel complaint argued, was “that the witnesses lied under oath in exchange for payment by Mr. Patel.” In the same tweet, which was viewed by more than 4 million users, Goldman asserted Patel was “under investigation by the DOJ for leaking classified information.”
The complaint states that, by publishing lies about a private citizen on his official Twitter account, Goldman violated Rule XXIII of the House of Representatives rules, which provides that a member “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”
The ethics complaint further suggested Goldman’s tweet may have constituted crimes, pointing to Section 1519 of the federal criminal code and suggesting that “by making false statements on his official U.S. Government Twitter account, Rep. Goldman has arguably made a false entry on the record with the intent to impede or influence the investigation of the Select Subcommittee.”
Related: Who is Kash Patel? Key Trump intel advisor slams ‘unconditional surrender’ of Bagram Air Base, August 26, 2021
The complaint also suggests, “Rep. Goldman’s dishonest tweet is a corrupt attempt to obstruct, influence, or impede the investigation of the Select Subcommittee,” which Patel notes is an arguable violation of Section 1512(C)(2) of the criminal code.
Patel’s ethics complaint notes that he “is not under investigation by the DOJ for anything — much less leaking classified information.” Patel adds that if there were such an investigation underway, someone would have illegally leaked that fact to Goldman.
Friend, who was one of the three whistleblowers Goldman accused of being “bought and paid for” by Patel, told The Federalist the Democrat’s accusations were absurd. Friend explained that Patel’s charitable organization contacted him in November of 2022 after he had been indefinitely suspended without pay for two months. “The organization generously furnished me a $5,000 donation so I could provide for my family during the Christmas holiday,” Friend said, stressing they told him “they did not want any public recognition.”
“Any insinuation that I sacrificed my career for a $5,000 payoff is patently ridiculous and defamatory,” Friend said, adding that his family is grateful “to live in a country where men like Kash Patel can establish charitable organizations to assist those in need.”
Goldman’s office told The Federalist the New York congressman’s “bought and paid for” tweet was referring to the whistleblowers’ testimony from the linked video.
Patel said those attacking the whistleblowers who are exposing FBI corruption are “masquerading behind a baseless personal attack, knowing the media will carry their disinformation campaign.”
Kash Patel is a political hack for Donald Trump, under investigation by the DOJ for leaking classified information.
Today’s @Weaponization‘s witnesses were bought and paid for by Patel.
This committee is simply an arm of Trump’s criminal defense team. pic.twitter.com/nwnhVvtIJl
— Rep. Dan Goldman (@RepDanGoldman) May 18, 2023