Nadler staffer provided legal services in violation of House rules, watchdog claims | US & World

A senior staff for Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY)chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, provided legal services to the lawmaker in violation of House rules, a watchdog group has claimed, while Nadler’s campaign denied the charge.

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Nadler is in the middle of a member vs. member primary with fellow New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the state’s new consolidated 12th Congressional District, where he recently received the endorsement of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). An Emerson College-PIX11-Hill poll found Nadler leading Maloney 43% to 24% in that race.

Fox News Digital reported Thursday that the group Americans for Public Trust, a formally nonpartisan but right-of-center government watchdog, said Nadler’s district director, Robert Gottheim, “performed fiduciary services as an attorney for the lawmaker between 2019 and 2021 while meeting the senior staff threshold. “

The report cited Federal Election Commission data showing Gottheim was paid $81,345 between 2019 and 2021 by Nadler’s campaign for legal and strategy services, as well as a smaller sum, $940, from his leadership political action committee.

House ethics rules prohibit senior staff from “receiving compensation for practicing any profession that involves a fiduciary relationship, including, for example, law or accounting” or from receiving “any compensation for either providing legal services to a political organization, or for serving as an officer (such as a treasurer) of such an organization.”

But a spokesperson for Nadler’s campaign told Fox News Digital that Gottheim “doesn’t practice law in any capacity, including the campaign,” and is a “strategic advisor” for the campaign.

“He’s a campaign advisor, which doesn’t have any fiduciary responsibility,” the spokesperson said, according to the outlet. “When the campaign files the quarterly reports the treasurer must choose a category to list his expenditures, so they chose ‘legal & strategic advising.’ He’s a strategic advisor, not a lawyer.”

Nadler’s congressional office did not respond to an inquiry from the Washington Examiner.

Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, told Fox News Digital that Nadler “brags about being the ‘conscience of the House,’ yet he and his top staffer can’t even comply with simple House ethics rules.”

“It is absolutely against the law to structure payments this way and to be compensated for campaign work that involves fiduciary duties, and accordingly, we will look into filing a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics,” she said.

Americans for Public Trust did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

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Nadler’s primary is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Former President Donald Trump issued an apparently sarcastic endorsement of Maloney this week, which she promptly rejected.

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