GOP lawmaker criticizes Democratic counsel over facial expression: 'Be very careful'

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee criticized the Democratic staff counsel of the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, arguing he made a face and was signaling with his words and expressions that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Biden to mark Tuesday anniversary of George Floyd's death Trump impeachment witness suing Pompeo, State over legal fees America's practice of 'pay-to-play' ambassadors is no joke MORE won that position because he was a donor.

Committee ranking member Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Poll shows tight GOP primary for Georgia governor MORE (R-Ga.) noted that Intelligence staff counsel Daniel Goldman had made a negative facial expression when discussing the $1 million that Sondland had given to the Trump Inaugural Committee, with Collins telling Goldman to be “very careful” about this.

“Be very careful about how you throw around dollars and giving,” said Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.), the panel's top Republican. He then noted that both Goldman and House Judiciary Committee Democratic counsel Barry Berke, who also testified Monday, were donors to the Democratic Party.

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Collins also criticized Goldman for appearing, as Collins viewed it, in place of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Lobbying world MORE (D-Calif.).

“We already are not answering questions, and you are here without a pin because your chairman will not testify; that says all we need to hear. He doesn’t even stand behind his own report, he sends you,” Collins said.

Goldman pushed back strongly against Collins’s comments, asking him what his “implication” was.

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzLawmakers introduce bipartisan Free Britney Act Performance or performance art? A question for voters in 2022 (and 2024) Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections MORE (R-Fla.) then jumped in, telling Goldman that Republicans wanted Schiff to testify. 

“The implication is we want Schiff in that chair and not you. The implication is the person that wrote the report is the person who should come and present it, and you weren’t elected by anybody, and you’re the one giving this testimony in place of the chairman,” Gaetz said. “I hope that clears up the implication.”

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Gaetz's comments prompted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHere's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer Activists see momentum as three new states legalize marijuana Supreme Court expansion push starts to fizzle MORE (D-N.Y.) to intervene. He told Gaetz to not “disrupt the committee,” while Goldman accused Collins of “casting aspersions."

Collins countered by saying Goldman had done the same to Sondland, before questioning moved on to a different member. 

Republicans have repeatedly asked for Schiff to testify before the Judiciary Committee, and have also asked for a “minority day of hearings.”