While rank-and-file members of the House Intelligence Committee will get their opportunity to question witnesses at the House impeachment inquiry, relatively anonymous staff attorneys are also playing a part in the questioning.
In an unusual but not unprecedented format for congressional hearings, Chairman Adam Schiff and ranking member Devin Nunes will each get 45 minutes to question the witnesses — and can cede any of that extended time to their respective staff counsels. Other lawmakers on the committee will get five-minute rounds.
In the first opening hearing of the inquiry on Wednesday, the counsels assisting in questioning will be Daniel Goldman on the Democratic side and Steve Castor on the Republican side.
Before joining committee Chairman Adam Schiff's staff, Goldman was an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York for 10 years. There, he helped in the prosecution of mobsters in the Genovese crime family and the high-profile case of professional gambler Billy Walters. Goldman, 43, has had some previous experience before the TV cameras, as a legal analyst for MSNBC.
Goldman also conducted much of the questioning during the previous closed-door interviews of the witnesses.
Castor has been working for Republicans on the Oversight Committee since 2005 and joins Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio in shifting to the intelligence panel for the impeachment hearings.
Castor was a behind-the-scenes player in the Obama-era investigations of the ill-fated Fast and Furious gun trafficking operation, the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and the allegations that the IRS unfairly scrutinized conservative groups.