Press Release (Nov. 1, 2022)
Former DC Council Candidate Eric Goulet Calls on the U.S. Attorney to Investigate Potential Crimes Committed by D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman
Says Silverman Must Immediately Recuse Herself from Official Council Business and
Must Resign if the Board of Elections Upholds that She Broke Campaign Finance Law
Washington, D.C. – In an interview with WJLA TV News 7, Eric Goulet, a former candidate for D.C. Council (Ward 3 - Democrat), called on federal law enforcement officials to investigate potential crimes committed by D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman, including illegal coordination with multiple candidates running in the 2022 Democratic Primary election for D.C. Council in Ward 3.
“An investigation by the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) determined that Elissa Silverman unlawfully spent campaign funds to influence the outcome of the Democratic Primary in Ward 3," said Eric Goulet. "That alone is appalling, but OCF could not determine if additional crimes were committed, in particular, illegal coordination by campaigns and candidates. However, OCF does not have the tools or authority to dig deep enough into this matter. Therefore, it is essential that the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia open an investigation. There is ample evidence in plain sight, including statements from Elissa Silverman herself, that raise legitimate suspicions of a criminal act. For example, Silverman has publicly admitted that she ‘did talk to a few folks’ and said, ‘Goulet would win unless things change’."
“Our nation has been having an in-depth and at times heated discussion about election integrity, because our democracy is jeopardized if we don't have fair elections," said Goulet. "Now, today, right here in the District of Columbia, authorities have already determined that Elissa Silverman unlawfully used public campaign funds to meddle in an election in which she was not on the ballot. What we need to know is if Silverman also illegally coordinated and colluded with multiple campaigns. Silverman has denied the allegations, but the timeline of two candidates dropping out the day after Silverman received the polling results, combined with her public statements, make it unreasonable to believe that Silverman did not unlawfully share information from her poll with other candidates to persuade them to drop out of the Ward 3 Council race. Indeed, after the illegal funds were spent, Silverman got exactly what she wanted: two candidates dropped out of the election and endorsed her preferred candidate.”
"Silverman and any candidates with whom she may have colluded must be questioned under oath. Further, their emails, texts and other documents of record must be examined. There is ample evidence to support cause for an investigation and, without one, we can expect future unscrupulous candidates to push the envelope even further," said Goulet. "Silverman has been defiant, derided OCF investigators, deflected blame, and complained about OCF having a transparent process that exposed her unlawful conduct prior to the General Election. She doesn't want anyone looking further into this matter. Fortunately, her actions did not intimidate local authorities and, ideally, should elicit the attention of Federal authorities, too."
“To be clear, Elissa Silverman has already been determined to have violated D.C. campaign finance law. Silverman misused public campaign money funded by taxpayers, and so she should immediately recuse herself from any official business before the DC Council. Elissa Silverman is entitled to due process, but if the Board of Elections denies Silverman’s appeal, then she should resign from office. Silverman’s illegal conduct is particularly egregious because it was done by an elected official who acted with deliberate intentionality to change the result of an election. The integrity of our elections is paramount to democracy. The U.S. Attorney must conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that our elections are fair and that criminal acts did not tarnish the process," said Goulet.