Skip to comments.Jerry Zeifman - Hillary as I knew her in 1974 (He fired her from Nixon impeachment committee)
Posted on 04/01/2008 7:16:36 PM PDT by HAL9000
Hillarys Crocodile Tears in Connecticut
I have just seen Hillary Clinton and her former Yale law professor both in tears at a campaign rally here in my home state of Connecticut. Her tearful professor said how proud he was that his former student was likely to become our next President. Hillary responded in tears.
My own reaction was of regret that, when I terminated her employment on the Nixon impeachment staff, I had not reported her unethical practices to the appropriate bar associations.
Hillary as I knew her in 1974
At the time of Watergate I had overall supervisory authority over the House Judiciary Committees Impeachment Inquiry staff that included Hillary Rodham -- who was later to become First Lady in the Clinton White House.
During that period I kept a private diary of the behind the scenes congressional activities. My original tape recordings of the diary and other materials related to the Nixon impeachment provided the basis for my prior book Without Honor and are now available for inspection in the George Washington University Library.
After President Nixons resignation a young lawyer, who shared an office with Hillary, confided in me that he was dismayed by her erroneous legal opinions and efforts to deny Nixon representation by counsel -- as well as an unwillingness to investigate Nixon. In my diary of August 12, 1974 I noted the following:
"John Labovitz apologized to me for the fact that months ago he and Hillary had lied to me [to conceal rules changes and dilatory tactics.] Labovitz said. 'That came from Yale.' I said You mean Burke Marshall [Senator Ted Kennedys chief political strategist, with whom Hillary regularly consulted in violation of House rules.] ' Labovitz said, 'Yes.' His apology was significant to me, not because it was a revelation but because of his contrition."
At that time Hillary Rodham was 27 years old. She had obtained a position on our committee staff through the political patronage of her former Yale law school professor Burke Marshall and Senator Ted Kennedy. Eventually, because of a number of her unethical practices I decided that I could not recommend her for any subsequent position of public or private trust.
Her patron, Burke Marshal, had previously been Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Robert Kennedy. During the Kennedy administration Washington insiders jokingly characterized him as the Chief counsel to the Irish Mafia. After becoming a Yale professor he also became Senator Ted Kennedys lawyer at the time of Chappaquidick -- as well as Kennedys chief political strategist. As a result, some of his colleagues often described him as the Attorney General in waiting of the Camelot government in exile.
In addition to getting Hillary a job on the Nixon impeachment inquiry staff, Kennedy and Marshall had also persuaded Rodino to place two other close friends of Marshall in top positions on our staff. One was John Doar; who had been Marshalls deputy in the Justice Department whom Rodino appointed to head the impeachment inquiry staff. The other was Bernard Nussbaum, who had served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York who was placed in charge of conducting the actual investigation of Nixons malfeasance.
Marshall, Doar, Nussbaum, and Rodham had two hidden objectives regarding the conduct of the impeachment proceedings. First, in order to enhance the prospect of Senator Kennedy or another liberal Democrat being elected president in 1976 they hoped to keep Nixon in office twisting in the wind for as long as possible. This would prevent then-Vice President Jerry Ford from becoming President and restoring moral authority to the Republican Party.
As was later quoted in the biography of Tip ONeill (by John Farrell) a liberal Democrat would have become a shoe in for the presidency in 1976 if had Nixon been kept in office until the end of his term. However, both Tip ONeil and I -- as well as most Democrats -- regarded it to be in the national interest to replace Nixon with Ford as soon as possible. As a result. as described by ONeill we coordinated our efforts to keep Rodinos feet to the fire.
A second objective of the strategy of delay was to avoid a Senate impeachment trial, in which as a defense Nixon might assert that Kennedy had authorized far worse abuses of power than Nixons effort to cover up the Watergate burglary (which Nixon had not authorized or known about in advance). In short, the crimes of Kennedy included the use of the Mafia to attempt to assassinate Castro, as well as the successful assassinations of Diem in Vietnam and Lumumba in the Congo.
After hiring Hillary, Doar assigned her to confer with me regarding rules of procedure for the impeachment inquiry. At my first meeting with her I told her that Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino, House Speaker Carl Albert, Majority Leader Tip O'Neill, Parliamentarian Lou Deschler and I had previously all agreed that we should rely only on the then existing House Rules, and not advocate any changes. I also quoted Tip O'Neill's statement that: "To try to change the rules now would be politically divisive. It would be like trying to change the traditional rules of baseball before a World Series."
Hillary assured me that she had not drafted, and would not advocate, any such rules changes. However, as documented in my personal diary, I soon learned that she had lied. She had already drafted changes, and continued to advocate them. In one written legal memorandum, she advocated denying President Nixon representation by counsel. In so doing she simply ignored the fact that in the committees then most recent prior impeachment proceeding, the committee had afforded the right to counsel to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
I had also informed Hillary that the Douglas impeachment files were available for public inspection in the committee offices. She later removed the Douglas files without my permission and carried them to the offices of the impeachment inquiry staff -- where they were no longer accessible to the public.
Hillary had also made other ethical flawed procedural recommendations, arguing that the Judiciary Committee should: not hold any hearings with or take depositions of -- any live witnesses; not conduct any original investigation of Watergate, bribery, tax evasion, or any other possible impeachable offense of President Nixon; and should rely solely on documentary evidence compiled by other committees and by the Justice Departments special Watergate prosecutor .
Only a few far left Democrats supported Hillarys recommendations. A majority of the committee agreed to allow President Nixon to be represented by counsel and to hold hearings with live witnesses. Hillary then advocated that the official rules of the House be amended to deny members of the committee the right to question witnesses. This recommendation was voted down by the full House. The committee also rejected her proposal that we leave the drafting of the articles of impeachment to her and her fellow impeachment inquiry staffers.
It was not until two months after Nixon's resignation that I first learned of still another questionable role of Hillary. On Sept. 26, 1974, Rep. Charles Wiggins, a Republican member of the committee, wrote to ask Chairman Rodino to look into a troubling set of events. That spring, Wiggins and other committee members had asked "that research should be undertaken so as to furnish a standard against which to test the alleged abusive conduct of Richard Nixon." And, while "no such staff study was made available to the members at any time for their use," Wiggins had just learned that such a study had been conducted - at committee expense - by a team of professors who completed and filed their reports with the impeachment- inquiry staff well in advance of our public hearings.
The report was kept secret from members of Congress. But after the impeachment- inquiry staff was disbanded, it was published commercially and sold in book stores. Wiggins wrote: I am especially troubled by the possibility that information deemed essential by some of the members in their discharge of their responsibilities may have been intentionally suppressed by the staff during the course our investigation." He was also concerned that staff members may have unlawfully received royalties from the books publisher.
On Oct. 3, Rodino wrote back: "Hillary Rodham of the impeachment-inquiry staff coordinated the work. The staff did not think the manuscript was useful in its present form." No effort was ever made to ascertain whether or not Hillary or any other person on the committee staff received royalties.
Two decades later Bill Clinton became President. As was later to be described in the Wall Street Journal by Henry Ruth -- the lead Watergate courtroom prosecutor -- The Clintons corrupted the soul of the Democratic Party.
An excerpt of this article was also posted on FR at this link, but I'm reposting in full in in view of the recent interest in Hillary's firing for unethical behavior.
Please let the chickens be coming home to roost.
this is rich!
The one who is truly without ethics here is Ted Kennedy.
worth a bump
The Clintons corrupted the soul of the Democratic Party.
Sen. Clinton puts the LIAR in FamiLIAR.
This news has been out for awhile, but it in today’s context it holds a lot more meaning.
What does Chelsea Clinton think now...?
“That’s none of your business” ;-)
In that picture, she looks like the love child of Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore. Where’s Oliver Sipple when you need him?
I wonder what makes Hillary so rotten. She seems rotten in her own right—apart from Bill’s rotteness. I wonder if she was born that way or was it something that her parents did? I hate to blame the mother, but what do we know about her and how she raised Hillary? Did it happen after she became a lefty? For some reason it seems to be part of Hillary’s character that the rules don’t apply to her.
Mr. Zeifman’s FBI file is most likely in Hillary’s nightstand.
Lumumba died Jan. 17, 1961, three days before JFK became President. This is the first I heard anyone suggest the Kennedys were to blame for his death.
Mary Jane Kopeckne concurs.
Maybe so. But the Democrat Party was easily corrupted--welcomed the corruption--in fact corrupted itself far more than any two individuals could possibly corrupt it--to the eternal disgust and scorn of decent people everywhere and for all time!
For Democrats to object to the Clintons now--when it is to their advantage to do so--is even more disgusting. Democrat politicians, their supporters, and their operatives could not be lower or more disgusting in the opinions of honest, decent people.
No. The Clintons were attracted to the DemocRat party because they felt at home there. They didn't corrupt the party any more than a cow pie corrupts the fly that lays its eggs in it.
There is a lot that doesn’t pass a smell test. I find it hard to believe that much attention was paid to an inexperienced lawyer who may have just passed the bar exam after already flunking the bar exam. I do agree she is swine and was swine in the 70’s but I find it hared to believe she was/is somewhat competent.
It's NOT a game - no respectable American should vote for Hillary.
I always disliked her outfits she wore ! I nver seen her in simple blue jeans !
I worry that she is finally getting hers because the Dummicrats have finally found somebody even worse than the Clintons and even more danderous to the nation as we know it.
Boy, that face...what a little snot she must have been then!
How could a 27-year old woman, fresh out of Yale, command so much power on this committee? Amazing, especially in a much more male-dominated era.
She is rotten, isn’t she. I think she’s more dangerous than Bill, who’s basically an opportunist.
My theory is that she’s so rotten because, paradoxically, she’s a moral zealot. She’s so thoroughly convinced of her own righteousness and so throughly convinced of her opponents’ evilness that she can justify any kind of rotten behavior on her own part. As she sees it, her cause is so just that it would be evil to let traditional notions of morality stand in her way.
I think this is a common problem on the left — mischanneled and overflowing moral passion that becomes destructive.
By the way, isn’t it interesting how she conspired against Nixon, breaking the rules as she went? And isn’t it interesting how she accuses the right of conspiring against her? A clear case of projection.
I've always assumed she was mad at daddy for some reason. I don't have much to go on for this, other than I was a late-teen/early twenty-something at the time, and a lot of young women back then seemed to have very negative feelings toward their fathers.
Hillary seems to have a lot of hate roiling her insides. It came from somewhere.
If she could have killed Nixon with her own hands and gotten away with it, I believe she would have.
Zeifman had threatened to resign had this been executed; he said as much in a column he wrote some years ago.
Bruno Pantsuit's arrogance was greater than that of Ehrlichmann and Haldeman per Zeifman in Barbara Olson, Hell to Pay: The unfolding story of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Regnery, 1999, page 123.
Democrats look at impeachment as a resume enhancer: Alcee Hastings now a Florida Democrat congressman having been an impeached judge.
Bill Clinton being spared any downside, except of course that of having to appear to be married to Frau Mao.
In the perspective from this side of Filegate, Nixon's after-the-fact knowledge of the theft of a single file pales in comparison to his persecutor Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton Ceacescu-Peron's breathtaking illegal extraction of one thousand FBI files.
Coulter points out Nixon never audited anybody; that Clinton audited a considerable number of citizens who dared cross him (or her), a fact which I could not make the twenty-year morning host of WHO Des Moines accept, he the supercilious personal destroyer of Romney.[Ann Coulter, High Crimes & Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, Regnery, 1998.]
Arrogant, ruthless exercise of power with the ability to fake crying at a moment's notice is the Clinton trademark.
When I was little, we had simple toys; one was a “top” around which we wound a piece of string then pulled and the top would spin. Sort of like this article tries to do.
Hillary is evil and these attempts to humanize her are not going to cut it.
I never realized that HR had actually been fired from her job as a Whitewater committee staff investigator. I had only been aware that Zeifman was dissatisfied with her performance and refused to recommend her for other jobs.
Education without morality will produce an educated menace. Hiliary Clinton is an educated menace.
I like your analysis. Her inflated sense of moral certitude, and the concomitant ability to rationalize any means to achieve it, are scary. This is the mindset of a "true believer."
Addendum: The original sin was to think that you could make yourself to be like God. She seems to be so certain of herself that she has no conscience in terms of how she treats others. The rest of us are just “little people” in comparison to “her goddess.”
Another Hillary ping!
Her complete moral bankruptcy was evident even to other Democratic lawyers at a young age!
She seems to be the only female in the entire story. I suppose that she can make a claim of sexism as the reason for her firing back then, although it won’t fly here.
It has been obvious for many years that Shrillary is a depraved and despicable opportunist, but I really had no idea she had proved so contemptible from such an early age. I imagined that somehow Arkansas politics and Bill had corrupted her in the ‘80s, but this and similar pieces have made it obvious that she was scum from early on, all of her own doing.
Well, to be fair, there were still some within the Party back in the '70s with higher ethical standards than Her Royal Thighness. Probably a bit of a generation gap at the time.
Thanks for the ping!
Posted on 06/17/2002 7:45:40 AM PDT by doug from upland
The following is an e-mail message that a group of Democrats are sending to any Democrat or Republican who will listen to reason. Please read this message and pass it on to anyone you have an e-mail address for, regardless of party affiliation.
Having long championed traditional Democratic causes, I simply cannot accept Mr. Clinton's shameless election-year surge to the right as his chosen means of winning a second term. And like most if not all traditional Democrats, I have grave reservations about the Clintons' morality and ethics. In my view there is now probable cause to consider our president and first lady as felons, who are likely to be indicted after the Nov. 5 election.
The misdeeds of the Clinton administration have fallen into a pattern of deceit and corruption that now clearly justifies denying Mr. Clinton a second term in office. To date more than 30 high administration officials have been investigated, fired or forced to resign, and the White House has illegally obtained more than 900 confidential FBI files. Four independent counsels have been appointed, three to investigate cabinet members and one to investigate the president himself.
The White House suppressed documents under subpoena. The Department of Justice, the FBI and the Treasury Department have been politicized and misused to prosecute or investigate innocent staffers of the White House Travel Office. The president's Health Care Task Force operated secretly in gross violation of federal disclosure laws, misled the federal courts and ignored conflict-of-interest laws.
The most recent scandal, involving former Commerce Department official and Democratic Party fund-raiser John Huang (who still has failed to answer a summons issued by District Judge Royce C. Lamberth), is but another hauntingly familiar throwback to my days as an investigator of Watergate crimes and a wide variety of other forms of presidential misconduct. The 1972 Republican Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) was involved in many shady operations that mixed legitimate government funding operations with the illegitimate refunneling of money through backdoor corporate contributions into CREEP coffers.
Now it appears that Mr. Huang, and his former associates from the Indonesian Lippo financial conglomerate, were unlawfully funneling contributions from foreign sources (that had both corporate and political interests in U.S. policy) into Democratic Party coffers. This mixing of U.S. policy with partisan fund-raising -- not to mention the questionable background of some of the institutions and individuals given top clearance by the White House and the DNC -- has produced a cancer on the Clinton presidency painfully reminiscent of the cancer that brought down Nixon.
I am particularly saddened that the Clintons now believe that their unethical and unlawful acts in the pursuit of power will be condoned by all but a few Democrats in the name of party unity. During the Nixon impeachment inquiry it was my view that the core of Nixon's corruption was his belief that in politics his ends justified any means at all.
Ironically, it is now the Clinton administration that has given renewed intensity to the corrupt notion that immoral means can be legitimized in the pursuit of political ends. If Mr. Clinton is re-elected it will be testimony to his success in putting politics before principle. A second Clinton term would polarize the nation even more dangerously than did Richard Nixon's -- this time with Republicans as the new defenders of integrity in government and Democrats as the defenders of a corrupt administration. If Mr. Clinton is defeated, Democrats may find a new strength -- and long remember the folly of marching in lockstep in support of a corrupt president in the name of party unity.
By all accounts Robert Dole is a man of personal integrity. His principles are conservative, and I will continue to oppose them. Yet because I must remain true to my traditional Democratic moral values, I will vote for Mr. Dole.
Jerome M. Zeifman, The Wall Street Journal 10/25/96