If NBC News legal analyst and former Robert Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann participates in an upcoming fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, it would mean the end of his contract with the news network, the former special counsel investigator told the Washington Free Beacon.
“If the fundraiser goes forward, I’m withdrawing from MSNBC so I can be in compliance with their policy,” Weissmann said in a Friday night phone interview, in reference to the network’s policy that employees avoid activities “that may create the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Weissmann, who joined MSNBC as a legal analyst last November, said he notified the network of his plans to headline a June 2 fundraiser for Biden with the understanding that it was prohibited by his contract. “I knew what I was getting into and what the consequences would be,” Weissmann said. “They wanted me to adhere to their policy.”
An MSNBC spokesman confirmed that Weissmann notified the network of his plans to headline the fundraiser and that there was a mutual agreement that he would need to terminate his contract to proceed.
The Free Beacon reported on Friday afternoon that Weissmann’s political activity would put him in violation of the network’s longstanding employee policy on political activity. The policy prohibits employees from making political contributions or participating in any campaign event without prior approval from the president of NBC News.
Reports of Weissmann’s involvement in the Biden campaign fundraiser gave fuel to supporters of President Donald Trump, who have long charged that Weissmann was biased against the president.
“It doesn’t get any swampier than this: trying to stage a partisan coup against the president and then raising money for his political opponent,” said Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh.
The decision to overtly campaign for Biden comes shortly after it was announced that Weissmann would be rejoining law firm Jenner & Block, where he was a partner before he was hired by the Department of Justice in 2011. He will take over the firm’s investigations division on July 1.
Weissmann was frequently deployed by MSNBC during the failed attempts to impeach Trump late last year, often offering advice to Democrats on how to more effectively execute their case. Trump was ultimately acquitted on both the articles of impeachment brought against him.
The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the planned fundraiser.
Brent Scher is executive editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied foreign affairs and politics. Brent is originally from New York City and now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.