This startling revelation was set forth by Jerry Zeifman who supervised the Hillary Rodham on the Watergate committee. Hillary, then 27 years old, got the job because of the recommendation of Burke Marshall a former law professor and attorney for Teddy Kennedy during his Mary Jo Kopekne episode. Once the committee’s investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary.

Why? Becuase he said she was a liar and “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,�? who against the wishes of the Deomcratic leadership AND the Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, wanted to deprive Nixon of legal counsel.

Zeifman charged Hillary with writing a fraudulent legal brief, and confiscated public documents to hide her deception. To try to simplfy the issue, the brief she wrote involved any previous court rulings about whether someone had the right to legal counsel when facing impeachment. When Zeifman heard about Hillary’s plans to try to prevent Nixon from obtaining counsel, he told her about the precedent set by Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, who himself obtained legal counsel when facing an impeachment proceeding in 1970.

So in an effort which would eerily repeat itself in Travel-gate and FBI-gate years later at the White House, Hillary cleaned out the public files of the Judiciary Committee that contained the documents related to the Douglas proceedings and locked them in her office, which was unavailable to the public.

Hillary then wrote the brief stating that there was no precedent to having counsel in an impeachment proceeding, and did not cite anything from the Douglas case. Zeifman stated that he believes she would have been disbarred if a judge had seen the brief.

Additionally, Zeifman stated that had Hillary been successful in her efforts, the committee would not have been able to cross-examine witnesses and actually would NOT have been able to draft the Article of Impeachment against Nixon.

And who was one of her co-conspirators in this mess? Why future Clinton White House Counsel, Bernard Nussbaum of course, who later spoke of Hillary as being a “star attorney” during her Watergate Committee stint.

The story by Dan Calabrese about the entire muddled affair can be read at the North Star Writers Group.

In 1974, “High crimes and misdemeanors, high crimes and misdemeanors,” Clinton sang to several other attorneys working on the Watergate team. “Wouldn’t it make a great name for a rock band?” her friend Terry Kirkpatrick, recounted, who was in the car. Ironic, isn’t it?

Oh by the way, Zeifman is a life-long Democrat and kept a diary that he still has outlining the entire episode. It should be good reading!


Zeifman wrote an article in the New York Post in 1999 about this very issue. Amazing it is just now hitting the news again. He also wrote a book, now out of print entitled, “”Without Honor: The impeachment of President Nixon and the Crimes of Camelot,” which highlights much of this.

Here is an excerpt of the New York Post article:

The young Ms. Rodham had other bad advice about procedures, arguing that the Judiciary Committee should neither 1) hold any hearings with or take the depositions of any live witnesses, nor 2) conduct any original investigation of atergate, bribery, tax evasion, or any other possible impeachable offense of President Nixon – but to rely instead on prior investigations conducted by other committees and agencies.

The committee rejected Ms. Rodham’s recommendations: It 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 unfair recommendation was rejected by the full House. (The committee also vetoed her suggestion that it leave the drafting of the articles of impeachment to her and her fellow special staffers.)

The recommendations advocated by Hillary were apparently initiated or approved by Yale Law School professor Burke Marshall – in violation of committee and House rules on confidentiality. They were also advocated by her immediate supervisors, Special Counsel John Doar and Senior Associate Special Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, both of whom had worked under Marshall in the Kennedy Justice Department.

It was not until two months after Nixon’s resignation that I first learned of still another questionable role of Ms. Rodham. 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 not made available to members of Congress. But after the impeachment-inquiry staff was disbanded, it was published commercially and sold in book stores. Wiggins wrote that he was “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.”

On Oct. 3, Rodino wrote back: “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 Mr. Doar. The staff did not think the manuscript was useful in its present form.”

On the charge of willful suppression, he wrote: “That was not the case … 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 judgment.”

During my 14-year tenure with the House Judiciary Committee, I had supervisory authority over several hundred staff members. With the exception of Ms. Rodham, Doar and Nussbaum, I recommend all of them for future positions of public and private trust.


***Update 2***

I found this post on the Daily Kos:

I think there might be something here

Because Hillary never talks about this part of her 35 years of experience. She was a staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of Richard Nixon, one of the most important episodes in our history. She talks about everything else, but not this.

My mother knew Jerry Zeifman and he is the real deal. She was his research assistant and friend when he was teaching law at Santa Clara.

A few she has told me about Zeifman. One is that ethics are his thing. Nothing matters more to him than ethics. Second is that he hated the Kennedys. Third is that he is very pro Israel and hence his support for Lieberman and the Iraq War. He is a liberal Democrat on issues, but he hates hypocrisy and deal making. As he got older, this aspect of his personality has come to dominate. Because he would never play the games to get along that one had to play in Washington for so many years, he was sidelined. And bitter.

But he is the real deal and he doesn’t make stuff up. It isn’t in his nature.

Hype or Reality: the Senate records of Obama and Clinton

by Grassroots Mom on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 02:54:24 PM PDT

There is quite a discussion over at Kos – oh yes, and something else that Kos is discussing: that apparently one of the smartest women in America flunked the DC Bar exam just before she served on the Committee, revealed in her autobiography. She later passed the Arkansas bar exam years later. The Arkansas bar evidently had a much higher pass rate than the DC Bar.