The New York Times has a profile today on Andrew Goldstein, Robert Mueller’s right-hand-man in the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Goldstein is a Jersey guy who grew up in Short Hills. His father, Jonathan Goldstein, served as U.S. Attorney from New Jersey from 1974 to 1977 and was mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for statewide office.
Jonathan Goldstein was part of a trio of federal prosecutors – with Frederick Lacey and Herbert Stern – who won national attention for their war on political corruption and their aggressive prosecution of prominent organized crime figures.
They were all Republicans – nominated by President Richard Nixon at the recommendation of U.S. Senator Clifford Case – but were almost universally viewed as apolitical. Among their take-downs were key political allies of Gov. William Cahill, events that contributed to Cahill’s defeat in the 1973 GOP gubernatorial primary.
In 1970, Goldstein prosecuted Newark mayor Hugh Addonizio, who went to prison after his conviction for accepting bribes and kickbacks.
Goldstein was already serving as a Justice Department lawyer when Lacey tapped him to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1969. When Lacey became a federal judge in 1971, Stern became federal prosecutor and Goldstein moved up to first assistant. Nixon nominated Stern to the bench in 1974 and picked Goldstein as the new U.S. Attorney.
After Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford, Goldstein was replaced by Robert Del Tufo. Goldstein alleged that New Jersey’s Democratic senator, Harrison Williams, “strong-armed” him out of his post and that the merit system was being trumped by a preference for political patronage.
Williams denied that, defending the tradition of a new president choosing a U.S. Attorney on the recommendation of a U.S. Senator from the same party.
Goldstein left office in early December 1977, weeks after announcing the indictment of Union City mayor/State Sen. William Vincent Musto. He joined the law firm that had defended Addonizio.
Two months later, Goldstein was named counsel to Case’s re-election campaign committee.
In 1982, the New Jersey congressional delegation hired Goldstein, along with John Sheridan and Bernard Hellring, to represent them what turned out to be a successful federal court challenge of a Democratic redistricting map.