Ethics Complaint Filed Against Rep. Nadler’s Top Staffer

Today, APT filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional ethics against Rep. Jerry Nadler’s District Director. Between 2019 and 2021, Robert Gottheim received hundreds of thousands in pay to qualify as a “senior staffer.” However, at the same time he’s been a senior staffer, he’s also been paid for legal services by Nadler’s campaign and PAC. That arrangement is prohibited by House rules.

The House of Representatives’ ethics rules prohibit senior staff, members, and chamber officers from “receiving compensation for practicing any profession that involves a fiduciary relationship, including, for example, law or accounting” as well as 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.”

While Nadler’s campaign said Gottheim is “a campaign adviser, which doesn’t have any fiduciary responsibility,” campaign finance forms the opposite is the case.

“It’s laughable for Nadler’s campaign to say his District Director is only a mere ‘campaign advisor,’ when government forms show he’s been paid dozens of times for providing legal consulting to the campaign. 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. We’re unsure why they think they’re above the law, but considering the Office of Congressional Ethics has previously taken action against a staffer for this exact violation, we look forward to them being held accountable,” said APT Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland.

To read the filed complaint, click here.