Former Obama White House Official to Lead Impeachment Questioning

Norm Eisen and Barack Obama (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Norm Eisen, a former White House official under President Barack Obama, has been chosen to lead the questioning of expert witnesses on the first day of the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.

Eisen founded a left-wing organization called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) before going on to join the Obama administration. As Andrew Breitbart pointed out in 2011, Eisen served as the “ethics czar” in the Obama White House. In that capacity, he opened White House visitor logs to the public — but the White House would not confirm the identities of people on the logs, leading Breitbart to mock the logs as the “guess” list.

Obama later appointed Eisen as Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Upon his return, Eisen joined the Brookings Institution and also served as a CNN political commentator, according to his Brookings biographical page.

Eisen has been a habitual Trump critic since the start of the administration. He “appears on CNN almost every time Trump is embroiled in a legal scandal, which is to say, all the time,” Washington Monthly reported a year ago.

He was also a supporter of the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory, co-authoring a New York Times op-ed in December 2018 talking about “new evidence of collusion with Russia.” No such evidence was ultimately found.

The Democrats’ lead counsel in the House Intelligence Committee, Daniel Goldman, was also a former television pundit, having served as a legal analyst for MSNBC. He, like Eisen, also endorsed the Russia collusion hoax.

The House Judiciary Committee will open its inquiry Wednesday with testimony by four legal scholars who are considered experts on impeachment. Democrats chose three; Republicans were only allowed to choose one.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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