Hillary fired for lies, unethical behavior from Congressional job: former boss

posted at 5:55 pm on April 1, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Dan Calabrese’s new column on Hillary Clinton’s past may bring the curtain down on her political future. Calabrese interviewed Jerry Zeifman, the man who served as chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings, has tried to tell the story of his former staffer’s behavior during those proceedings for years. Zeifman claims he fired Hillary for unethical behavior and that she conspired to deny Richard Nixon counsel during the hearings:

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.

Why?

“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 confidentiality.”

This isn’t exactly news. When her lachrymose performance arguably won her New Hampshire, Zeifman tried to tell people about Hillary’s duplicity. Patterico noticed the effort, but few others picked it up. Zeifman wrote at his website:

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 committee’s 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 .

The right to counsel is considered one of the inviolable tenets of our justice system. It doesn’t speak well of ambitious attorneys working on a highly-charged political investigation that she wanted to deny someone the right to an attorney. Small wonder Zeifman questioned her ethics.

If all she did was to propose that as a tactic, that would not make it terribly concerning — but she did much more than just spitball ideas. When informed that public evidence showed a precedent for the right to counsel, she absconded with the files to eliminate the evidence. Does that remind anyone of later incidents in the Clinton narrative, such as the billing records for the Rose Law offices and the 900+ raw FBI files on political opponents of the Clintons?

Hillary’s advocates could accuse Zeifman of conjuring up these stories in order to draw attention to himself in the middle of a presidential campaign. However, Calabrese reports that Zeifman kept diaries during this period, urged on by friends mindful of the historical nature of the Watergate investigation. No one would have known at the time that this 27-year-old barracuda would have any sort of national significance — which makes Zeifman’s testimony all the more compelling.

We know that the Tuzla Dash covered for something much more significant in Hillary’s character. Zeifman shows that all of this forms a pattern of lies, obfuscations, deceit, and treachery. Don’t miss a word on either site.

Update: Not Senate, but the House.  I changed the title to Congressional, but Zeifman worked for the House Judiciary Committee.


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