HILARY CLINTON FIRED FOR LIES, UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR
"Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
It may help you to remember this bit of
history regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton....
Watergate-era Judiciary chief of staff: Hillary Clinton fired for lies, unethical
Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday January 23rd, 2013
By DAN CALABRESE - Bet you didn't know this.
I've decided to reprint a piece of work I did nearly five years
ago, because it seems very relevant today given Hillary Clinton's
performance in the Benghazi hearings. Back in 2008 when she was
running for president, I interviewed two erstwhile staff members
of the House Judiciary Committee who were involved with the
Watergate investigation when Hillary was a low-level staffer
there. I interviewed one Democrat staffer and one Republican
staffer, and wrote two pieces based on what they told me about
Hillary's conduct at the time.
I published these pieces back in 2008 for North Star Writers
Group, the syndicate I ran at the time. This was the most widely
read piece we ever had at NSWG, but because NSWG never gained the
high-profile status of the major syndicates, this piece still
didn't reach as many people as I thought it deserved to. Today,
given the much broader reach of CainTV and yet another incidence
of Hillary's arrogance in dealing with a congressional committee,
I think it deserves another airing. For the purposes of
simplicity, I've combined the two pieces into one very long one.
If you're interested in understanding the true character of
Hillary Clinton, it's worth your time to read it.
As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her story
about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was
whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying.
The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House
Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on
the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies
and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much
deeper – than anyone realizes.
Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of
27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job
working on the investigation at the behest of her former law
professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s
chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the
investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee
staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation –
one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in
Zeifman’s 17-year career.
“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview
last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She
conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House,
the rules of the committee and the rules of
How could a 27-year-old House staff member do all that? She
couldn’t do it by herself, but Zeifman said she was one of
several individuals – including Marshall, special counsel
John Doar and senior associate special counsel (and future
Clinton White House Counsel) Bernard Nussbaum – who engaged
in a seemingly implausible scheme to deny Richard Nixon the right
to counsel during the investigation.
Why would they want to do that? Because, according to Zeifman,
they feared putting Watergate break-in mastermind E. Howard Hunt
on the stand to be cross-examined by counsel to the president.
Hunt, Zeifman said, had the goods on nefarious activities in the
Kennedy Administration that would have made Watergate look like a
day at the beach – including Kennedy’s purported
complicity in the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro.
The actions of Hillary and her cohorts went directly against the
judgment of top Democrats, up to and including then-House
Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, that Nixon clearly had the
right to counsel. Zeifman says that Hillary, along with Marshall,
Nussbaum and Doar, was determined to gain enough votes on the
Judiciary Committee to change House rules and deny counsel to
Nixon. And in order to pull this off, Zeifman says Hillary wrote
a fraudulent legal brief, and confiscated public documents to
hide her deception.
The brief involved precedent for representation by counsel during
an impeachment proceeding. When Hillary endeavored to write a
legal brief arguing there is no right to representation by
counsel during an impeachment proceeding, Zeifman says, he told
Hillary about the case of Supreme Court Justice William O.
Douglas, who faced an impeachment attempt in 1970.
“As soon as the impeachment resolutions were introduced by
(then-House Minority Leader Gerald) Ford, and they were referred
to the House Judiciary Committee, the first thing Douglas did was
hire himself a lawyer,” Zeifman said.
The Judiciary Committee allowed Douglas to keep counsel, thus
establishing the precedent. Zeifman says he told Hillary that all
the documents establishing this fact were in the Judiciary
Committee’s public files. So what did Hillary do?
“Hillary then removed all the Douglas files to the offices
where she was located, which at that time was secured and
inaccessible to the public,” Zeifman said. Hillary then
proceeded to write a legal brief arguing there was no precedent
for the right to representation by counsel during an impeachment
proceeding – as if the Douglas case had never occurred.
The brief was so fraudulent and ridiculous, Zeifman believes
Hillary would have been disbarred if she had submitted it to a
Zeifman says that if Hillary, Marshall, Nussbaum and Doar had
succeeded, members of the House Judiciary Committee would have
also been denied the right to cross-examine witnesses, and denied
the opportunity to even participate in the drafting of articles
of impeachment against Nixon.
Of course, Nixon’s resignation rendered the entire issue
moot, ending Hillary’s career on the Judiciary Committee
staff in a most undistinguished manner. Zeifman says he was urged
by top committee members to keep a diary of everything that was
happening. He did so, and still has the diary if anyone wants to
check the veracity of his story. Certainly, he could not have
known in 1974 that diary entries about a young lawyer named
Hillary Rodham would be of interest to anyone 34 years later.
But they show that the pattern of lies, deceit, fabrications and
unethical behavior was established long ago – long before
the Bosnia lie, and indeed, even before cattle futures,
Travelgate and Whitewater – for the woman who is still
asking us to make her president of the United States.
Franklin Polk, who served at the time as chief Republican counsel
on the committee, confirmed many of these details in two
interviews he granted me this past Friday, although his analysis
of events is not always identical to Zeifman’s. Polk
specifically confirmed that Hillary wrote the memo in question,
and confirmed that Hillary ignored the Douglas case. (He said he
couldn’t confirm or dispel the part about Hillary taking the
To Polk, Hillary’s memo was dishonest in the sense that she
tried to pretend the Douglas precedent didn’t exist. But
unlike Zeifman, Polk considered the memo dishonest in a way that
was more stupid than sinister.
“Hillary should have mentioned that (the Douglas case), and
then tried to argue whether that was a change of policy or not
instead of just ignoring it and taking the precedent out of the
opinion,” Polk said.
Polk recalled that the attempt to deny counsel to Nixon upset a
great many members of the committee, including just about all the
Republicans, but many Democrats as well.
“The argument sort of broke like a firestorm on the
committee, and I remember Congressman Don Edwards was very
upset,” Polk said. “He was the chairman of the
subcommittee on constitutional rights. But in truth, the
impeachment precedents are not clear. Let’s put it this way.
In the old days, from the beginning of the country through the
1800s and early 1900s, there were precedents that the target or
accused did not have the right to counsel.”
That’s why Polk believes Hillary’s approach in writing
the memorandum was foolish. He says she could have argued that
the Douglas case was an isolated example, and that other
historical precedents could apply.
But Zeifman says the memo and removal of the Douglas files was
only part the effort by Hillary, Doar, Nussbaum and Marshall to
pursue their own agenda during the investigation.
After my first column, some readers wrote in claiming Zeifman was
motivated by jealousy because he was not appointed as the chief
counsel in the investigation, with that title going to Doar
Zeifman’s account is that he supported the appointment of
Doar because he, Zeifman, a) did not want the public notoriety
that would come with such a high-profile role; and b) didn’t
have much prosecutorial experience. When he started to have a
problem with Doar and his allies was when Zeifman and others,
including House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill and Democratic
committee member Jack Brooks of Texas, began to perceive
Doar’s group as acting outside the directives and knowledge
of the committee and its chairman, Peter Rodino.
(O’Neill died in 1994. Brooks is still living and I tried
unsuccessfully to reach him. I’d still like to.)
This culminated in a project to research past presidential abuses
of power, which committee members felt was crucial in aiding the
decisions they would make in deciding how to handle Nixon’s
According to Zeifman and other documents, Doar directed Hillary
to work with a group of Yale law professors on this project. But
the report they generated was never given to the committee.
Zeifman believes the reason was that the report was little more
than a whitewash of the Kennedy years – a part of the Burke
Marshall-led agenda of avoiding revelations during the Watergate
investigation that would have embarrassed the Kennedys.
The fact that the report was kept under wraps upset Republican
committee member Charles Wiggins of California, who wrote a memo
to his colleagues on the committee that read in part:
Within the past few days, some disturbing information has come to
my attention. It is requested that the facts concerning the
matter be investigated and a report be made to the full committee
as it concerns us all.
Early last spring when it became obvious that the committee was
considering presidential "abuse of power" as a possible
ground of impeachment, I raised the question before the full
committee that research should be undertaken so as to furnish a
standard against which to test the alleged abusive conduct of
As I recall, several other members joined with me in this
request. I recall as well repeating this request from time to
time during the course of our investigation. The staff, as I
recall, was noncommittal, but it is certain that no such staff
study was made available to the members at any time for their
Wiggins believed the report was purposely hidden from committee
members. Chairman Rodino denied this, and said the reason
Hillary’s report was not given to committee members was that
it contained no value. It’s worth noting, of course, that
the staff member who made this judgment was John Doar.
In a four-page reply to Wiggins, Rodino wrote in part:
Hillary Rodham of the impeachment inquiry staff coordinated the
work. . . . After the staff received the report it was reviewed
by Ms. Rodham, briefly by Mr. Labovitz and Mr. Sack, and by Doar.
The staff did not think the manuscript was useful in its present
form. . . .
In your letter you suggest that members of the staff may have
intentionally suppressed the report during the course of its
investigation. That was not the case.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Doar was more concerned that any
highlight of the project might prejudice the case against
President Nixon. The fact is that the staff did not think the
material was usable by the committee in its existing form and had
not had time to modify it so it would have practical utility for
the members of the committee. I was informed and agreed with the
Mr. Labovitz, by the way, was John Labovitz, another member of
the Democratic staff. I spoke with Labovitz this past Friday as
well, and he is no fan of Jerry Zeifman.
“If it’s according to Zeifman, it’s inaccurate
from my perspective,” Labovitz said. He bases that statement
on a recollection that Zeifman did not actually work on the
impeachment inquiry staff, although that is contradicted not only
by Zeifman but Polk as well.
Labovitz said he has no knowledge of Hillary having taken any
files, and defended her no-right-to-counsel memo on the grounds
that, if she was assigned to write a memo arguing a point of
view, she was merely following orders.
But as both Zeifman and Polk point out, that doesn’t mean
ignoring background of which you are aware, or worse, as Zeifman
alleges, confiscating documents that disprove your argument.
All told, Polk recalls the actions of Hillary, Doar and Nussbaum
as more amateurish than anything else.
“Of course the Republicans went nuts,” Polk said.
“But so did some of the Democrats – some of the most
liberal Democrats. It was more like these guys – Doar and
company – were trying to manage the members of Congress, and
it was like, ‘Who’s in charge here?’ If you want
to convict a president, you want to give him all the rights
possible. If you’re going to give him a trial, for him to
say, ‘My rights were denied,’ – it was a stupid
effort by people who were just politically tone deaf. So this was
a big deal to people in the proceedings on the committee, no
question about it. And Jerry Zeifman went nuts, and rightfully
so. But my reaction wasn’t so much that it was underhanded
as it was just stupid.”
Polk recalls Zeifman sharing with him at the time that he
believed Hillary’s primary role was to report back to Burke
Marshall any time the investigation was taking a turn that was
not to the liking of the Kennedys.
“Jerry used to give the chapter and verse as to how Hillary
was the mole into the committee works as to how things were
going,” Polk said. “And she’d be feeding
information back to Burke Marshall, who, at least according to
Jerry, was talking to the Kennedys. And when something was off
track in the view of the Kennedys, Burke Marshall would call John
Doar or something, and there would be a reconsideration of what
they were talking about. Jerry used to tell me that this was
Hillary’s primary function.”
Zeifman says he had another staff member get him Hillary’s
phone records, which showed that she was calling Burke Marshall
at least once a day, and often several times a day.
A final note about all this: I wrote my first column on this
subject because, in the aftermath of Hillary being caught in her
Bosnia fib, I came in contact with Jerry Zeifman and found his
story compelling. Zeifman has been trying to tell his story for
many years, and the mainstream media have ignored him. I thought
it deserved an airing as a demonstration of how early in her
career Hillary began engaging in self-serving, disingenuous
Disingenuously arguing a position? Vanishing documents? Selling
out members of her own party to advance a personal agenda?
Classic Hillary. Neither my first column on the subject nor this
one were designed to show that Hillary is dishonest. I don’t
really think that’s in dispute. Rather, they were designed
to show that she has been this way for a very long time – a
fact worth considering for anyone contemplating voting for her
for president of the United States.
By the way, there’s something else that started a long time
“She would go around saying, ‘I’m dating a person
who will some day be president,’” Polk said. “It
was like a Babe Ruth call. And because of that comment she made,
I watched Bill Clinton’s political efforts as governor of
Arkansas, and I never counted him out because she had made that
Bill knew what he wanted a long time ago. Clearly, so did
Hillary, and her tactics for trying to achieve it were
established even in those early days.
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