Daniel Goldman, the former federal prosecutor who served as counsel to House Democrats in the first impeachment investigation of former President Donald Trump, announced Tuesday he will run for New York attorney general.
His announcement came in a two-minute video in which he cast himself as a public servant with a deep commitment to civil rights and equal justice.
Goldman told ABC News he decided to run because "democracy is under attack" and hoped to use the "broad authority" of the New York Attorney General's Office to fight back.
"It started with Trump and now continues with Trumpism," Goldman said. "There is a swath of the country that no longer believes in free and fair elections."
Goldman joins what is expected to be a crowded and diverse field now that the current occupant, Letitia James, has announced a run for governor. Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout and state Sen. Shelley Mayer have announced their candidacies. State Sen. Mike Gianaris, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz are also said to be considering runs.
If elected, Goldman pledged to use the power of the office to uphold voting rights, reproductive rights and to fight the effects of climate change. While there is not always a legal avenue for the state attorney general in those pursuits, Goldman told ABC News "there is a pulpit and perch of a national relevance" and "vast authority within the attorney general's office in upholding one standard of law."
Recent occupants of the office, including the incumbent James and her predecessors Andrew Cuomo and Elliot Spitzer, used it as a springboard. Goldman spoke of no such ambitions.
"I'm doing this because I want to be the people's lawyer," he said. His decision to run became firm after Cuomo resigned as governor and James was rumored to be exploring a run for the office.
Goldman said he would work to make voters understand his "lifelong calling" as a champion of civil rights and criminal justice reform
Goldman, 45, is married with five children and lives in Manhattan. He was a history major at Yale and earned a law degree at Stanford before two judicial clerkships and a 10-year stint at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted organized crime and securities fraud. Then there was the 2019 role that made him a familiar face on television: lead prosecutor in Trump's first impeachment.
"Impeachment is the highest profile and most well-known moment of my career in public service but it demonstrates I'm unafraid, aggressive and will fight for what I believe is right," Goldman said.