Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Liar, liar, pants on fire" -- The prequel

HT to Captain Ed

Unlike the Star Wars prequels, which sucked until Revenge of the Sith (and even that one didn't have much to brag about), this prequel is much better. It paints a picture of a young, up-and-coming congressional aide that showed a penchant for hard work, studious devotion, and, of course, lies, deceit, and unethical behavior:

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 confidentiality.”

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.

We all know that the Clintons are serial liars. Actually they're more like pathological liars. They lie to anyone and everyone as long as it suits their needs. And it doesn't matter if they're friend or foe. If lying nets them a gain, no matter how insignificant, they'll do it. From Mr. Zeifman's site, about halfway down the page, under the heading "Hillary's Watergate Scandal":

In December 1974, as general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, I made a personal evaluation of Hillary Rodham (now Senator Clinton), a member of the staff we had gathered for our impeachment inquiry on President Richard Nixon. I decided that I could not recommend her for any future position of public or private trust.

Why? Hillary's main duty on our staff has been described by as "establishing the legal procedures to be followed in the course of the inquiry and impeachment." A number of the procedures she recommended were ethically flawed. And I also concluded that she had violated House and committee rules by disclosing confidential information to unauthorized persons.

Hillary had conferred personally with me regarding procedural rules. I advised her that Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino, House Speaker Carl Albert, Majority Leader Tip O'Neill and I had previously agreed not to advocate anything contrary to the rules already adopted and published for that Congress. I quoted Mr. 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. 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.

She had done this despite the fact that --in our then-most-recent prior impeachment proceeding -- the committee had afforded the right to counsel to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

I also informed Hillary that the Douglas impeachment files were available for public inspection in our offices. I later learned that the Douglas files were then removed from our general files without my permission, transferred to the offices of the impeachment inquiry staff, and were no longer accessible to the public.

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 Watergate, 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.

The right to legal counsel is specifically enumerated within the Constitution. The Sixth Amendment is explicitly clear on this: (Emphasis mine)

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

This speaks volumes of her integrity. Granted, Nixon did break the law. He ordered the law to be broken. BUT, he deserved his trial in the House, also a tenet of the Constitution:

The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

When confronted by the rules, she set out to break the,m. When she was told the records were to be kept open to the public, she stole them. As Captain Ed notes, that raises eyebrows when one is confronted with the fact that she hid the Rose Law Firm records for eight years after their presence was demanded by investigators.

She purposefully set out to destroy a president who had already destroyed himself. It wasn't good enough that he resigned in disgrace. She wanted him obliterated in history. Now Hillary's supporters will no doubt accuse Mr. Zeifman of lying (a trait she is more than familiar with), but as he notes to the public, he kept a diary of the Watergate proceedings. He tried to warn people after New Hampshire of the unethical practices she performed in the Watergate investigation, but the media just yawned about it.

Now the truth is coming out, and it paints a not-so-rosy picture of a lying, unethical lawyer that schemed to deny a president, who was about to go through an impeachment trial, his use of counsel and of witnesses on his behalf. She conspired to cover up the evidence from the public (given the conspiratorial nature of the nation at that time, so soon after the Kennedy assassination, it would have added fuel to the fire that the government was still involved in cover-ups).

This goes beyond bad judgment. This goes to a premeditated attempt to subvert the very nature of our freedoms, and the protections that were put in place by the Framers. Honestly, you trust Hillary as far as you can throw her.

Publius II


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