Former Chief Counsel
House Judiciary Committee
Copyright © 2007 by Jerry Zeifman
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be sold, reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission in writing from the author, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast.
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Acclaim for Prior Book
Without Honor: The Crimes of Camelot
and Impeachment of President Nixon
An autographed and inscribed new first edition of this
book may be obtained for $6.00 on www.Jzeifman.com
The House Judiciary Committee's recommendation in 1974 that Nixon be impeached was nearly thwarted by a sham congressional inquiry, according to this blistering expose. Zeifman was chief counsel to the committee during the impeachment inquiry…He charges that John Doar, special counsel to the inquiry, intentionally orchestrated a charade because he feared that a thorough investigation of the Nixon administration's government-sponsored crimes would let out of the bag Kennedy-era wiretaps, burglaries and sanctioned murders carried out in the name of national security…Finally, Zeifman maintains that Doar aide Hillary Rodham (now the First Lady) helped Doar gain control over the investigation through unethical tricks and faulty legal opinions.
Enjoyable and insightful reading, this book by the chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee is based is based mainly on an 800-page diary Zeifman kept at the time…Especially interesting today is his references to such staffers as Hillary Rodham Clinton and his argument that Democrats on the committee did not dig as deeply into the CIA role in Watergate as they might have for fear of dredging up damaging information about the Kennedy administration's ties to CIA assassination plots involving Castro, South Vietnam's President Diem, and other heads of state.
Saul Bellow – Nobel Laureate
I got a kick out of Jerry Zeifman’s book Without Honor. I sometimes try to imagine myself in the political circles of Washington. They would have had to send me home in a wheel chair.
Henry Hyde, Judiciary Committee Chairman 1966
After I started reading this extraordinarily insightful book I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in one sitting.
John W. Dean III
Jerry Zeifman provides unique and often startling insights into the incomplete
impeachment of Richard Nixon. I found this book to be a real page turner. [It] provides missing information that cannot be ignored by students of that period, the Nixon presidency, Watergate, and the Congress
“Tip O’Neill – Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
Jerry Zeifman is a great American, who played the key role in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
1 Hillary as I knew her in 1974 6
2 Ascent to Power 10
3 Hillary and Health Care 13
4 Scandals of Friends in Office 15
5 Whitewater 19
6 Hush Money to Webster Hubbell 20
7 Granting Monopoly on “Clean Coal’ 22
8 China Connection 24
9 Other Foreign Policies 28
10 “Citizenship USA” 31
11 White House for Sale 34
12 Leaving the White House 36
Curriculum vitae and papers of J. Zeifman 40
Hillary as I new her in 1974
At the time of Watergate I had overall supervisory authority over the House Judiciary Committee’s 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 Nixon’s 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 Kennedy’s 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 Kennedy’s lawyer at the time of Chappaquidick -- as well as Kennedy’s chief political strategist. As a result, some 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 Marshall’s 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 Nixon’s 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 O’Neill (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 O’Neil 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 O’Neill we coordinated our efforts to “keep Rodino’s 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 disclose and assert that Kennedy had authorized far worse abuses of power than Nixon’s effort to “cover up” the Watergate burglary (which Nixon had not authorized 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. H 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 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 Hillary’s 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 we 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 frommembers 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 book’s 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 described in the Wall Street Journal by Henry Ruth, the lead Watergate courtroom prosecutor, “The Clintons corrupted the soul of the Democratic Party.”
Although I remained a Democrat, I was in complete agreement with Henry Ruth. I served as pro bono counsel and investigator for Congressman Bob Barr (R GA), who was one of the managers of the House Judiciary Committee in the Senate trial of Clinton’s impeachment proceedings in the Senate trial.
The following chapters document the details of various scandals in which Hillary Clinton played a personal and unethical role during the eight years in which she had a an office in the West wing of the Clinton White House
Ascent to Power
The morning in 1974 after the impeachment staff was disbanded Hillary took a train to Little Rock, Arkansas. She moved in with Bill Clinton and they eventually married.
When Bill ran for Attorney General in 1977 his campaign was financed partly by the Riady family of Indonesia, which owned banks and had other investments in Arkansas. When he won the election Hillary became associated with the Rose law and brought the Riady enterprises with her as clients. The Riadys were to remain friends and financial backers of the Clinton for many years to come
In 1979 Bill became the nation's youngest governor and Hillary became a Rose partner. Thirteen years later in 1992, still financed in part by the Riady family, Bill campaigned for the Presidency. With Hillary alongside him in the hustings they promised “two for one” in high office.
Once in the White House Hillary became the first wife of a president to occupy a prominent office in the West Wing, with shared authority over the President’s staff. A few days later Bernie Nussbaum, who had been her mentor on the Nixon impeachment staff, was appointed chief White House counsel and moved into the office next to hers.
In the early day of his presidency Bill Clinton had pledged “the most ethical administration in history.” When he also announced the nomination of Patricia Wald, a highly respected federal judge to be Attorney General, I considered her an ideal choice. I had worked closely with her in her earlier years in the Department of Justice and was very aware of her subsequent career. But sadly, Clinton’s announcement was news to Pat, who first learned about it from a news reporter – and soon declined the nomination.
The traditional way to nominate a cabinet member is to check first with the nominee before announcing the nomination and to give the nominee a say in the choice of top subordinates. With no advance notice to Wald, Hillary and Nussbaum had already selected her former law partner, Web Hubbell to be Associate Attorney General, and Philip Heymann to be Deputy Attorney General.
Wald had known little about Hubbell other than the facts that he had been Hillary’s law partner and Bill Clinton’s close friend. But Wald knew a lot about Heymann. She had been an Assistant Attorney General in the Carter Justice Department, when Heymann was a criminal prosecutor – and had launched a "sting" operation that became known as "Abscam."
Heymann had used FBI agents disguised as Arab sheiks to ensnare and indict six Congressmen and one Senator for accepting bribes. All but one of the defendants were pro-labor liberal Democrats who were pledged to support Senator Kennedy’s efforts to defeat Carter for re-election in the then upcoming Democratic primaries.
Pat Wald saw Abscam as an unethical political prosecution of Carter‘s critics. She had let it be known to President Carter that she would resign in protest if Heymann were to proceed to obtain indictments. To silence her Carter promptly “kicked her upstairs” – by nominating her for the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Having had no having no say hHin the appointments of either Heymann or Hubbell, Wald declined the nomination.
After Pat Wald turned down the offer the Clintons second choice for Attorney General was Shirley Hufstedler, a former Secretary of Education under President Carter. Like Pat Wald, she had also first learned of the offer and the prior appointments of Hubbell and Heymann from the media. Hufstedler also refused the offer.
Hillary’s third and fourth choices respectively were her personal friends Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood. Both seemed to be figurehead but each of them were eventually disqualified for not paying social security taxes for their house maids -- scandals known in the media as "Nannygate."
Hillary’s fifth choice was Janet Reno, a Florida prosecutor who had been recommended by Hillary’s brother Hugh -- who lived in Florida and knew Reno well.
In Reno’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee it came out that while prosecutor in Dade County Florida, crime increased 50%. In addition, Republican Senators Hatch and Cohen said that the Judiciary Committee had received "rumors" of character flaws in the form of excessive drinking and a gender preference for young women. However, Reno was confirmed.
Later an op-ed article about Reno appeared in the Wall Street Journal by Jack Thompson, a Florida lawyer with the highest ratings in ethics by the bar association. Thompson had been opposed to the confirmation – and also appeared on such shows as Nightline, Crossfire and Good Morning America. He described Reno as a “closet” homosexual, who was “subject to bribes and unfit to be Attorney General.”
Within Reno’s first month the FBI had intentionally fire bombed the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas and killed several innocent people. Although it later came out that the plans to fire-bomb Waco had been laid before she took office, Reno took the blame. Quoting the famous sign in President Truman’s office she stated: “The Buck Stops here.”
For the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency Janet Reno was to remain as Attorney General – and incur frequent criticism for her willingness to act as a protective shield for the White House. For example, on October 7, 1997 the New York Times (which had supported Clinton’s election and re-election) was to publish an editorial critical of Reno’s failure to investigate the Democratic fund raising scandals of 1996, stating:
It has been a full year since Ms. Reno was confronted with initial evidence of the biggest political money scandal in a generation, and her response shows little concern with her place in history as a custodian of the Justice Department…Senator Fred Thompson, chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, rightly describes Justice as being in “departmental meltdown.’… It would be nice if Senator Thompson's remark could be written off as partisan hyperbole, but the record supports him.
Hillary Clinton and Health Care Reform
While campaigning for the presidency Bill Clinton had repeatedly pledged to reform our health care system. Early in his first term Hillary became head of an official program called the President’s Task Force on Health Care Reform – comprised of 600 paid participants from the private sector
Eventually the preparation of her plan was determined by the General Accounting office to cost $13.4 million dollars. In addition it cost the government $434,000.00 for legal fees in defending challenges to the secrecy of its proceedings. Since the task force operated in violation of federal “Sunshine Laws” Hillary and others were fined $285, 864.00. The final plan was 1,324 pages long and was summarily rejected without debate by the Democratic controlled Congress.
Because of Hillary’s reputation as a “liberal” a majority of Congressional Democrats had assumed that her final work product would call for a “single payer” system similar to Medicare – and would likewise permit patients to go to doctors of their own choosing. Such a system had also been endorsed by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine and a large number of professional health care organizations.
When the plan was finally unveiled the media had difficulty in explaining its complex details to the public. As Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal later wrote: “Americans would have to choose among unfamiliar new ‘purchasing cooperatives’ and ‘health alliances,’ and accept new limits on their choices of doctors and hospitals; ‘gatekeepers’ would determine who gets to see a specialist, and who the specialist would be. Employers who employed at least a dozen people – would have to pay 80 percent of the premiums for workers and their families.”
When the plan was unveiled it was referred to Pat Moynihan the Democratic Senator from New York, who was the Chairman of the Senate Committee that had jurisdiction over health care legislation. The author of eighteen books and recipient of sixty two honorary degrees, Moynihan was highly respected for his intellectual honesty. After he advised Mrs. Clinton that he could not support her plan one of her White House aides told Time magazine that if Moynihan got in the way “We’ll role right over him if we have to.”
On the House side liberal Democratic Congressman Pete Stark of San Francisco was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health of the Ways and Means Committee. He also tried to warn Hillary that her bill was unacceptable. The response to Stark was, “Take it or leave it.”
In the end neither the Senate Finance Committee nor the House Ways and Means Committee bothered to hold hearings on the bill.
Of all the criticism of Hillary Clinton’s White House role one of the most incisive was by New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal -- who over his entire career had been a bulwark of support for liberal Democratic causes. He wrote:
In concept, the First Ladyship is an affront to American democracy. In practice it skews the administration of government, evades anti-nepotism statutes and avoids the responsibility that should go with authority. It is the only political post that demands the essential qualification of being married to a particular man at a particular time in his life . . . Seen and used as a job the First Ladyship has become a government center. In lieu of salary it provides the jobholder with staff, luxury, and that most important of all perks -- power.
Scandals of Hillary’s Friends in Office
By the end of the Clinton presidency many of the friends of Hillary whom Bill Clinton had appointed as top officials in the government were forced to resign for ethical violations or to face criminal charges. The first two Clinton appointees forced out of office were their closest advisors on legal matters. One was chief White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum, who had been Hillary’s supervisor on the Nixon impeachment staff. The other was Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell.
Hubbell, whom Clinton often described as his best and closest friend, had been Hillary Clinton's partner in the Rose law firm in Arkansas. He stepped down from his position as Associate Attorney General on April 8, 1994 to face criminal charges for defrauding the Rose firm and its clients of some $400,000 by submitting false bills. Eventually he pleaded guilty to two felony counts, and was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison.
In July 1993, early in Hubbell’s tenure in the Clinton administration he and Nussbaum had forced the FBI's then-Director William Sessions, a former federal judge, to resign. At what the press was to report as a "shoot out" they accused him of having taken his wife on his government airplane and for claiming a tax deduction for using the trunk of his private car for carrying firearms for law enforcement purposes. They insisted that he resign prior to the expiration of his ten year term – a term established by an act of Congress to insure the political independence of the FBI Director. They told him, “Resign or get fired today.”
On the way out of the meeting Sessions stumbled on the curb and broke his elbow. He resigned shortly thereafter. The directorship of the FBI was then entrusted to Judge Louis Freeh of New York, a close friend of Nussbaum.
Under Freeh, on the request of Nussbaum, the FBI was soon unlawfully to provide the White House with more than 900 raw FBI files mostly of Republican leaders and political opponents of President Clinton -- creating a scandal described by the media as "Filegate."
Nussbaum also recruited the FBI to participate in a politically inspired plan to purge employees of its travel office and replace them with employees of an Arkansas based travel agency that had helped finance President Clinton's election campaign. The result was a scandal that the media described as "Travelgate."
As questionable as was Nussbaum's role in these matters the scandal that lead to his removal related to the death of Deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster -- a former law partner of Hillary Clinton and Webster Hubbell. Following the discovery of Foster's body in a park Nussbaum aggressively impeded the investigation of Foster's death.
On March 4, 1994 an editorial appeared in the New York Times entitled “White House Ethics Meltdown,” stating:
It is, of course, long past time for Mr. Nussbaum to be dismissed. He seems to conceive of his being ‘the President's lawyer’ as a license to meddle with the integrity of any federal agency. First, he and his staff tried to involve the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a politically inspired White House purge of employees of its travel office. When Vincent Foster, the deputy counsel, committed suicide, Mr. Nussbaum interfered with the investigation by the National Park Service and transferred secret files to Mr. Clinton's private lawyer. All this paints a picture of a White House dedicated to short-cutting justice if that is what it takes to shield the financial affairs of Mr. Clinton and his wife from scrutiny. This president desperately needs first rate legal advice and a staff that is under someone's management control.
Following the publication of the editorial President Clinton requested Nussbaum's resignation.
Another close friend of both of the Clintons, and among the first to be appointed to a White House position, was Patsy Thomasson. A long time member of the Clinton’s innermost circle of Arkansas friends, Thomasson was appointed as a special assistant to the President and eventually became the White House Director of Administration and Personnel. Following the death of Vincent Foster, when the police requested that his office be sealed, Thomasson was the first person to ignore the request and begin searching the office.
Of all of President Clinton's appointees Thomasson came to Washington with perhaps the most questionable background. Prior to her White House assignment Thomasson had been the chief business assistant of Dan Lasater, an Arkansas bond dealer and multi – millionaire who had previously been one of Clinton's earliest financial backers – and was later convicted for dealing in drugs. He had been a member of Clinton's "kitchen circle" and enjoyed an access to the back door of the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock that was as unlimited as the access of members of Clinton's own family.
In 1986 Lasater had been indicted for "knowingly and intentionally conspiring to possess and to distribute cocaine." In connection with his prosecution it was established that Lasater had loaned Roger Clinton, the governor’s then-cocaine addicted half-brother, $8,000.00 to pay a drug related debt. Roger Clinton, who himself was likewise convicted of dealing in cocaine under Lasater's supervision, had been employed by Lasater to work both as a driver and to work on a horse farm connected with cocaine trafficking.
In his trial Lasater admitted to giving free cocaine to his friends, including providing ashtrays full of it on his corporate jet. He had also given Bill and Hillary Clinton free use of the same corporate jet.
After being sentenced to 2 ½ years in an Arkansas prison Lasater had given Patsy Thomasson -- who still enjoyed close ties to the Clintons -- a power of attorney with authority over all of his financial affairs. After serving only six months in prison Lasater was pardoned by Governor Clinton – who also restored Lasater’s revoked license to broker bonds for the state.
One of Patsy Thomasson’s principle duties in the Clinton White House was to make sure that the staff had appropriate security clearances and that they abstained from drug use. According to Gary Aldrich, an FBI agent who eventually resigned from the White House staff in protest, Thomasson breached her responsibilities.
The roles of Nussbaum, Hubbell, and Thomasson are but a few examples of the questionable conduct of the many "Friends of Bill and Hill.’ At the highest levels of the government four members of the Clinton cabinet were also implicated in major criminal and ethical violations.
President Clinton's first Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Espy – a black former Congressman from Mississipi -- was indicted in the District of Columbia on 39 felony charges that include mail and wire fraud, violations of the Meat Inspection Act of 1907, taking illegal gratuities of more than $35,000, making false statements and tampering with a witness. He was acquitted by an all black jury.
Another cabinet member, Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, who was killed in a plane crash in Bosnia in April 1996, died within two weeks of being indicted for bribery. Prior to his death Brown had been under investigation by two grand juries, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Commerce Department's Inspector General, the Justice Department, the FDIC, and the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
Another cabinet member to be involved in scandal was former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros. His ethical troubles began in July 1994, when a former campaign aide and girlfriend, Linda Medlar, sued Cisneros claiming that he reneged on a promise to pay her $4,000‑a‑month after they ended a much‑publicized affair. In his background interview Cisneros originally told the FBI that he had paid Medlar no more than $10,000 to $15,000. However, Medlar's financial records later revealed that the total payments were $213,000.
Still another Clinton Cabinet member to resign under a criminal cloud was Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary, who was charged by Congressional investigators with excessive foreign travel. In June 1996 the Energy Department's Inspector General issued a 183-page report confirming that sixteen of her foreign trips cost taxpayers more than $4.5 million and in spending money that was not legally authorized.
In addition to cabinet members, other high level Clinton appointees were also the subject of criminal proceedings. More than 30 officials of the Clinton administration were investigated, indicted, convicted or forced to resign.
Three associates of Hillary and Bill Clinton pleaded the 5th amendment privilege against self incrimination -- and at least three others fled the country. In addition, more than 100 persons involved in raising money for the Clintons’ 1996 campaign also took the 5th amendment.
The questionable real estate transactions that came to be known as “Whitewater” began one night in August of 1978 at a dinner meeting that Hillary and Bill Clinton had with James and Susan McDougal. At that time James McDougal, then thirty-eight, was a well known figure in Arkansas politics. In 1961, at age 19 he had run John Kennedy's successful campaign in the state. McDougal then went to Washington to work for Arkansas Senator John McClellan, and later for Senator William Fulbright.
McDougal and the Bill Clinton had first met in 1968, when McDougal had managed Senator Fulbright's re-election campaign. McDougal was later helpful in getting Clinton, then a college student, a part-time job in Senator Fulbright's office. From the beginning of Clinton's political career in Arkansas McDougal had been a personal mentor and financial supporter. By the time of their dinner meeting in 1978 Clinton was considered an odds-on favorite to be elected Governor of Arkansas. While dining at the Black-Eyed Pea Restaurant in Little Rock, James and Susan McDougal offered the Clintons a partnership interest in a land development project -- an offer that they apparently could not refuse.
For a price of more than $200,000 the corporation would purchase 230 riverfront acres where Arkansas' popular White River crossed Crooked Creek. In effect, the purchase was with no down payment. Some $183,000 was loaned by a bank run by one of the sellers. The balance of $20,000 was loaned without security by Union National, a Little Rock bank whose board included one of Clinton's main political fund raisers.
James and Susan McDougal guaranteed repayment to the banks of almost $200,000 of the total loans. The McDougals also managed the business and assumed the risks. The Clintons were given a 50% ownership at no cost – even though they provided no capital or collateral and thus had no financial risk. They also claimed immediate tax benefits. For interest paid on the loan by the partnership they deducted $10,000 in 1978 and $12,000 in 1979. ./
After Bill Clinton's election as governor Hillary McDougal’s bank became her client at a retainer of $2,000 per month. Clinton appointed McDougal to his official staff giving him oversight over the Department of Economic Development, the Securities and Bank Commission, and the Department of Highway and Transportation.
Hush Money to Webster Hubbell
In 1994, then-Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Fiske discovered that Hubbell, had over-billed his clients at the Rose law firm $482,410 and that he owed $143,437 in unpaid income taxes. He was then indicted and resigned his high position in the Clinton Justice Department. He pleaded guilty and eventually went to prison.
Ironically Hubbell was to receive much more money by far from being prosecuted than he would have earned had he stayed in the Justice Department. As was first reported on NBC’s Nightly News the Clintons arranged for the payment to Hubbell of “hush money” to obtain his silence on their roles in the Whitewater scandal.
Initially it was reported that in the months between his resignation and his incarceration Hubbell received payments of $400,000. Later, House investigators found that Hubbell received $1 million or more, of which $300,000 came from the Riady family of Indonesia, who had been close friends and financial backers of the Clinton since early in their Arkansas days.
In response to questions by the media and congressional investigators the Clinton’s initially denied any knowledge of payments to Hubbell. They later changed their explanation, stating that at the time the payments were made to Hubbell the White House did not know that Hubbell was facing a jail sentence.
By May 5, 1997, the evidence of the Clintons’ guilt in arranging for the bribery of Hubbell was so compelling that New York Times editor A.M. Rosenthal wrote: “It is impossible for me to believe it happened the way President Clinton and his wife said it had. I [have] rejected, for myself, the story that neither they nor anybody else at the White House knew that when their good friend Webster L. Hubbell resigned as Associate Attorney General in 1994 he was facing the likelihood of criminal accusations that could land him in jail. They did…It would not take a particularly suspicious mind -- let alone a prosecutor's -- to see high-paying jobs as hush money to keep a defendant silent.
For those of us who had known and worked with Hillary on the Nixon impeachment her role in the obstruction of the investigations of Whitewater had a sad irony. She and Nussbaum obviously knew that the role of Nixon's White House counsel, John Dean, in the cover-up of Watergate was a basis for charging Nixon with an impeachable offense.
In 1972 following the arrest of Watergate burglar Howard Hunt and others. John Dean alone had personally examined the contents of Hunt's White House safe and ordered that they be burned. On behalf of Nixon he had also participated in the payment of hush money to Watergate burglar Howard Hunt For his acts Dean had been charged with obstructing justice and served a prison term. In the case of Nixon an article of impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee had charged him with:
“Approving, condoning, and acquiescing in the surreptitious payment of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses.”
In the case of President Clinton the amounts paid to Hubbell were greatly in excess of the hush money paid during the Nixon administration to silence Howard Hunt. However, Clinton and his aides escaped prosecution.
Granting Indonesia a Monopoly on Clean Coal
The payments to Webster Hubbell, and other financial support for the Clinton’s by the Riady’s over many years culminated in granting the Riady enterprises in Indonesia a monopoly on what environmentalists call “clean burning coal.”
Such coal has sufficiently low sulfur content to meet strict environmental standards. The Indonesian deposits of environmentally safe coal are the second largest in the world. The world's largest deposits of such coal include 62 billion tons – and are in the United States in southern Utah . However, our deposits can no longer be mined.
On September 18, 1996 Bill Clinton signed an executive order converting 1.7 million acres that contain the coal into a park area the size of Connecticut. By presidential order it became ''The Grand
Staircase Escalante National Monument'' and coal mining was prohibited.
A few weeks after the signing of the executive order, a person inexplicably identified as an unemployed gardener gave the Clinton campaign $400,000. It was eventually revealed that it had come from Arief Wiriadinata and his wife Soraya, whose father was an executive of a Riady owned conglomerate.
At a televised press conference in Utah six weeks before his re-election Bill Clinton proclaimed the need to preserve the natural beauty of the remote area, describing it as a ''beautiful, exotic place.'' At that time the only published report suggesting other concerns appeared in an obscure mining newsletter, in which an unknown reporter, Susan Foster, wrote: “With a stroke of his pen President Clinton wiped out the only significant competition to Indonesian coal interests in the world market.”
The President's decision to issue the order was made without prior consultation with Utah Governor Michael Leavitt or any members of Utah's congressional delegation. It stunned Utah's lone congressional Democrat, Bill Orton, in whose district the clean-burning coal is found. It also came as a shock to Louise Liston, the commissioner from Escalante County, who said: “President Clinton has locked up a treasure house that could be used for our children and to boost our economy. We don’t know why he would want to do that. Why would he put our nation at risk?”
Subsequently the answer was found in the records of the Federal Elections Commission. Before signing the executive order the Clinton campaign had illegally received a total of more than $1.5 million from the Riady enterprises..
These were not the only illegal campaign contributions to the Clintons from foreign sources.
The China Connection
In the 1992 campaign against President George H. W. Bush the Clintons had charged the Bush administration with granting China “favored nation” trading status and fostering a $19 billion annual trade deficit at the expense of American workers. Criticizing President Bush for being insensitive to the Tiananmen Square killings of students in 1989, the Clinton campaign charged the Bush administration with sacrificing the human rights of Chinese workers and students in favor of trade with an oppressive communist regime.
Clinton pledged that if elected he would end China’s “favored-nation” status and reduce the unfavorable balance of trade in which annual Chinese imports into the United States exceeded our exports to China by $19 billion.
In March 1993, less than two months after President Clinton's inauguration Mochtar Riady, patriarch of the Lippo conglomerate; wrote a personal letter to Clinton -- urging him, in effect, to ignore his campaign promises. Riady urged the new administration to pursue a vigorous policy of economic engagement with China. Early in his first term President Clinton reversed his policy and implemented Riady's recommendation.
Beginning in 1993 President Clinton pursued policies that were described as a "Vision for Asia" that were implemented by Secretary of
Commerce Ron Brown, and former Lippo executive John Huang as Deputy Assistant Secretary. The policies granted most-favored-nation status to China and intensified economic engagement. By the time President Clinton was to run for re-election in 1996 the annual trade deficit with China was to more than double, to $40 billion.
In an article in the New York Times by Robert E. Lighthizer, a deputy U.S. Trade Representative in the Reagan administration, addressed the question of campaign contributions relating to China, stating: “Certainly the money was not directed at insuring that most‑favored‑nation trade status continues to be extended to China. Mr. Clinton tossed in the towel on that issue a long time ago. Much more likely, the money was meant to influence the decision on whether China should be permitted to join the World Trade Organization and, if so, on what terms. This is far and away the most important trade issue between the two countries.”
On July 8, 1997 Senator Fred Thompson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, opened hearings on the financing of the 1996 election campaigns with the following statement: “I would like to turn our attention to one of the most troublesome areas of this investigation. I speak of allegations concerning a plan hatched during the last election cycle by the Chinese government and designed to pour illegal money into American political campaigns. The plan had a goal: to buy access and influence and furtherance of Chinese government interests...The committee believes that high‑level Chinese government officials crafted the plan to increase China's influence over the U.S. political process.”
According to a profile compiled from Washington Post and washingtonpost.com staff reports: “At the heart of the Senate investigation into fund-raising improprieties sits John Huang While a mid-level Commerce Department official, Huang enjoyed extraordinary access to President Clinton. He also attended dozens of briefings involving classified information, even as he maintained ties to the Lippo Group the Indonesian conglomerate for which he had been head of U.S. operations.”
The Clintons had first befriended Huang in Arkansas in 1980 when he and the Riadys first began to help finance their political campaigns. In 1993 five months before he began serving under Ron Brown in the Commerce Department -- and while still an employee of Lippo Enterprises -- Huang received a top‑secret security clearance, with access to classified CIA and FBI information.
In granting the clearance the normal background investigation of candidates for such a clearance was waived by the Commerce Department's Chief of Personnel Security, Paul Buskirk, who wrote in a memorandum: "Huang is granted this waiver due to the critical need for his expertise in the new administration for Secretary Brown." It was also learned that during his entire tenure as a government official Huang never underwent an overseas background check despite his employment in Hong Kong by Lippo in 1984 and 1985.
When Huang resigned from the Commerce Department to become finance vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee he in effect took his official security clearance with him. Even though he was a political fund-raiser Huang was issued a "consultant top‑secret" clearance on December 12, 1995. Although he was in fact never employed as a government consultant the clearance remained in effect until after the 1996 presidential campaign.
In the summer of 1996 Huang's success at raising campaign money was cited by the President, who at a Democratic fundraiser said: "And I'd like to thank my long‑time friend, John Huang, for being so effective." Later a Commerce Department official was quoted by the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times: “Mr. John Huang was in a perfect position to influence U.S foreign policy. He had all the information, he had access to CIA information. He was in a position to influence the State Department.”
During the 1996 campaign Huang was a frequent visitor at the White House and pressed the Clintons on matters related to Indonesia, China, and Asia in general. Among other questionable activities some of Huang's records show that he attended policy meetings with Chinese government officials at China's Washington embassy.
Most of the records of Huang's activities at the Democratic National Committee were not made available to Congress despite requests for them. Reported as missing were details of his visits to the White House, telephone logs, outgoing correspondence and travel records -- as well as records of business that he conducted from places other than his office at the Democratic National Committee.
In January 1997 Assistant Secretary of Commerce Kramer disclosed that Huang had been given at least 37 intelligence briefings. In addition, Huang had access to 15 classified field reports and at least 12 intelligence documents, and received classified materials on nine other occasions.
Records obtained by Congress later showed that after receiving classified documents on at least two occasions Huang promptly made three telephone calls to the Lippo Bank in Los Angeles. On one of those occasions, he also scheduled a meeting with Chinese officials. Huang's phone logs show a total of 70 calls to the Lippo Bank, as well as other calls to Arkansas businessmen and lawyers with financial ties to Asia. Huang also visited the Chinese embassy at least six times while he was at the Commerce department.
In addition, Huang also had an office arrangement with Stephens Inc., an Arkansas investment banking company with close ties to Lippo as well as to President and Mrs. Clinton that date back to the 1980s. Huang frequently used the Stephen company's Washington office as often as two or three times per week to make telephone calls and to send faxes while at the Commerce Department.
On June 30, 1997, it was announced that Congress was able to acquire even more evidence about Huang. As was reported in the Washington Times:
“The chairman of a House committee said yesterday that secret intelligence briefings John Huang received while serving as a top Commerce Department official included information that could have resulted in the death of a CIA informant.
“Rep. Gerald B.H. Solomon, New York Republican and chairman of the House Rules Committee, described the briefings as ‘extremely serious and dangerous’ and asked President Clinton to make White House officials who knew about them available to congressional investigators...
“Mr. Solomon has said electronic intercepts show that Mr. Huang ‘committed economic espionage and breached our national security by passing classified data to Lippo.”
Despite the large quantity of documented evidence of Huang’s violation of criminal laws designed to protect national security on August 12, 1999 Attorney General Janet Reno approved a plea bargain with Huang charging him only with violating campaign finance laws and sentencing him to one year of probation, a fine, and community service. (Ironically, Huang’s community service was to “educate Asian Americans about how to get into U.S. politics.”
Other Foreign Policies
During his 1992 campaign against President G.H.W. Bush Bill Clinton had pledged to retain a then 30-year old trade embargo on Vietnam unless we obtained a "full accounting" of Americans missing in action during the Vietnam War. However, according to charges later made to the Justice Department Commerce Secretary-designate Ron Brown accepted $700,000 from a Vietnamese businessman to help lift the Trade Embargo. .
Several months after President Clinton's inauguration in 1993 Mochtar Riady led a trade mission of Asian bankers to Vietnam to appraise business opportunities there. During the same period Riady's Lippo Group was seeking White House and Commerce Department help in expanding its $6.9 billion real estate and investment holdings into Vietnam. Later, despite a determination by the State Department that Vietnam was still holding missing Americans. President Clinton decided to lift the embargo on Vietnam.
Another questionable foreign policy decision related to immigration laws. On February 11, 1996 President Clinton reiterated his support for lowering the level of legal immigration as recommended by the Commission on Immigration Reform. Consistent with the Commission's recommendation the President opposed granting a so called "sibling preference" -- which would allow foreign born brothers and sisters of naturalized Americans to immigrate to the United States.
John Huang, who by then had resigned from the Commerce Department and become a fund-raiser, was a strong supporter of sibling preference. In preparation for a February 17, 1996 fund raiser for Asian Americans, Huang wrote a memo to the President describing sibling preference as a top priority among Asian American voters. At a dinner with the President at the Hay-Adams Hotel, $1 million dollars was raised -- with 40 Asian American couples each contributing $25,000. On March 20, a month after raising $1 million dollars from advocates of sibling preference President Clinton reversed himself and informed Congress that he favored granting citizenship to brothers and sisters of naturalized Americans. In September 1996 he signed a bill granting the preference..
Still another foreign policy decision subject to campaign contributions was influenced by Mark Jimenez, a Miami computer executive whose company, Future Tech Internatonal, sold computer parts in Latin America, including Paraguay.
In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde and 19 other members of the committee wrote:
“Since 1993 Mr. Jimenez and his employees have given over $800,000 to the Democratic Party, the Clinton- Gore campaign, and other initiatives linked to President Clinton. Jimenez has visited the White House at least 12 times since April 1994, and on at least seven of these occasions, he met personally with President Clinton.
“The timing of some of these donations strongly suggests that there was a quid pro quo. From February through April 1996, Mr. Jimenez and various officials of the government of Paraguay met in the White House with presidential adviser and former chief of staff, Mack McClarty, regarding threats to the government of Paraguay. On March 1, the State Department recommended that Paraguay no longer receive American foreign aid because it had not done anything to stop drug smugglings. President Clinton then issued a waiver allowing the continued aid despite the State Department's finding.
“On April 22, the military of Paraguay attempted a coup against the President of Paraguay, Carlos Wasmosy. The White House allowed President Wasmosy to take refuge in the American embassy in Asuncion and took other steps to support him. The same day, Mr. Jimenez gave $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee.
“In addition, during February 1996, Mr. Jimenez attended one of the now famous White House coffees. Ten days later he gave another $50,000 to the Democratic National Committee. On September 30, 1996, Mr. Jimenez arranged for a White House tour for a number of business friends who were attending a meeting of the International Monetary Fund. The same day, he sent $75,000 to the Democratic National Committee. The close coincidence of Mr. Jimenez's contributions with the favors he received is highly suspicious.
“The President's direct involvement includes his calling President Wasmoy and his direct participation in the coffee meeting in question. If there was a quid pro quo involved, these incidents may violate 18 U.S.C 201 and other bribery statutes.”
Finally, there is also evidence that the President's policies relating to one of our possessions in the Pacific have likewise been improperly influence by campaign contributions. Relying on news sources considered credible the same letter from Judiciary Committee Chairman Hyde also cited still another example of possible bribery charges relating to campaign contributions from Guam. As described in the Hyde letter the evidence is as follows:
“In February, the Washington Post reported that on September 4, 1995, First Lady Hillary Clinton stopped over in Guam on the way to the International Women's Conference in Beijing, China. She ended her visit with a shrimp cocktail buffet hosted by Guam's governor, Carl T. Gutierrez, a Democrat. Three weeks later, a Guam Democratic Party official arrived in Washington with more than $250,000 in campaign contributions. Within six additional months, Governor Gutierrez and a small group of Guam businessmen had produced an additional $132,000 for the Clinton‑Gore reelection campaign and $510,000 in soft money for the Democratic National Committee.
“In December 1996, the Administration circulated a memo that would have granted a long sought reversal of the Administration's position on labor and immigration issues in a way that was very favorable to businesses in Guam.
“Some officials attribute the administration's support for the reversal to the money raised for the president's reelection campaign. One senior U.S. official said 'the political side' of her agency had informed her that the administration's shift was linked to campaign contributions. 'We had always opposed giving Guam authority over its own immigration,' the official said. 'But when that $600,000 was paid, the political side switched.' U.S. officials from three other agencies added that they too had been told that the policy shift was linked to money.”
Once again Attorney General Reno took no steps to have an independent prosecutor investigate these matters.
In 1995 first lady Hillary Clinton saw an opportunity to win votes in the upcoming presidential elections by accelerating the naturalization of immigrants ready to vote Democratic. As a result she initiated a program known as “Citizens USA” to be headed by Vice President Al Gore. Its goal was to providecitizenship to one million aliens by election day 1996. .
In March 1996 Elaine Kamarck, a senior White House adviser appointed by Hillary sent an e-mail message to Gore aide, Doug Farbrother, stating complaining that the program was not being implelemented fast enough and that "only if the INS processed citizenship applicants seven days a week for up to 12 hours a day can we hope to make a significant enough dent in the backlog that it will show up when it matters." The final result was large numbers of immigrants were naturalized with no effort to ascertain if they had criminal records.
In 1997 Doris M. Meissner, whom President Clinton had appointed to be commissioner of immigration and naturalization, was questioned by Congressman Lamar Smith (R‑Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration. She admitted that in most cases citizenship had been granted without the receipt of a fingerprint report from the FBI. She also acknowledged that she never told the FBI -- from which INS was required to request fingerprint checks of aliens applying for citizenship bureau -- to anticipate the unprecedented increase to 1.1 million in the number of aliens made citizens in 1996.
Mrs. Meissner further acknowledged that she and INS had ignored a warning given by congressional auditors who had recommended two years earlier that laws be enforced that were intended to prevent criminals from becoming American citizens.
At the time of the first congressional hearings, Attorney General Janet Reno -- who had overall supervisory authority over Mrs. Meissner and INS -- admitted that the Clinton administration “may have” awarded citizenship to at least 168 aliens convicted of felonies that should have disqualified them. In response to congressional concerns that the number was understated she also directed that INS conduct an internal audit.
On May 23, in response to criticisms of Reno’s figure of 168 the INS provided Congress with the results of a still uncompleted audit that found that of the nearly 1.1 million people who were granted citizenship between September 1995 and September 1996. Of these ew citizens 16,400 had a record of at least one felony arrest. It also found 4,946 cases in which a criminal arrest should have disqualified an applicant or in which an applicant lied about this or her criminal history.
Mrs. Meissner also promised to commence denaturalization proceedings against the applicants found to have been disqualified. However only a token number of disqualification cases, if any, were processed.
White House for Sale
In 1992 the Clinton campaign had promised to "break the stranglehold the special interests have on our elections and the lobbyists have on our government." Once in the White House they began early in their first term to implement a re-election plan that would raise more money from special interest groups and $100,000 donors than any Democrat in history.
Four years later the Washington Post's famed Watergate reporter Robert Woodward was to note: “The normal shields that even the Nixon White House had in place to check on foreign donors were gone... President Clinton figuratively put up a sign on the White House reading, “Bring the money!" Also, as noted in a New York Times editorial in 1997: "What this White House seems to have invented was top‑to‑bottom integration of government and campaign functions under tight White House control."
In preparation for the campaign, and with Hillary’s written endorsement. Bill Clinton had ordered the White House staff to prepare a computerized data base -- ostensibly for the purpose of storing the names and information concerning persons to be invited to such official functions as State dinners or be sent mail such as White House Christmas cards. In reality it was used illegally to raise campaign contributions.
As Woodward noted, unlike Nixon the Clintons’ solicitations not only included American donors but foreigners as well – even though donations from foreigners were expressly outlawed. The data base as well as the facilities of the Democratic National Committee were illegally used to offer prospective donors meals and overnight stays in the Lincoln bedroom and other residential rooms in the “family” section of White House that was traditionally controlled by the First Lady. Other donors were also invited to coffee and teas, a wide variety of ceremonial occasion, and such events as the President’s weekly radio address. Still others were invited to take trips on Air Force I and II as well international missions.
The largest of the Lincoln bedroom donors to the President's campaign included Dirk Ziff, a financier who gave $411,000; movie producer Steven Spielberg, $336,000; retired businessman William Rollnick, $235,000; and Hollywood magnate Lew Wasserman, $225,000. A number of others gave more than $100,000 each before or after sleeping in the Lincoln bed.
White House staff members were so pleased by the fundraising success that they humorously referred to the White House as "Motel 1600In addition to the Lincoln bedroom the President also held 103 coffee meetings with some 1300 other large donors in the White House Map Room -- with the DNC raising almost $27 million in connection with such events.
Along with laws prohibiting campaign contributions from foreign sources a variety of other laws violated by the President, the First Lady, and their aides fell into several categories. One set of laws prohibits the use of government facilities and of the working time of federal employees to raise campaign contributions. Other laws were enacted in 1974 as an outgrowth of Watergate and make limits on campaign it illegal for an individual to contribute more than $1,000 to a Federal candidate per election or more than $20,000 per year to a political party for candidate election expenses. These strictly limited contributions are known as "hard money" and are used for direct candidate support.
The election laws also draw a distinction between "hard money" contributions to the campaigns of political candidates and "soft" money" which cannot be used to promote individual candidates -- and can be used only in issue-oriented activities that are not tied to an election campaign The raising of "soft" money is not subject to dollar limitations on individual or corporate contributions.
In the Clinton presidency the distinctions between "soft" money and "hard" money became blurred. As a candidate the President personally not only solicited "soft" money but also directed its use during his campaign. As President Clinton's campaign strategist Dick Morris has noted in his book, Behind the Oval Office: “The President became the day-to-day operational director of our TV-ad campaign. He worked every script, watched each ad, ordered changes in every visual presentation, and decided which ads would run and where...Every line of every ad came under his critical, and often meddlesome gaze.”
In violation of the election laws the Democratic National Committee transferred at least $2 million in "soft” money contributions into "hard” accounts and spent it directly on the re‑election campaign of President Clinton and other candidates. Federal Election Commission records and interviews with Democratic contributors show that the money transfers often were made without the permission or knowledge of the contributors, causing at least 62 donors to give more than the lawful annual maximum of $25,000 in contributions to all federal campaigns.
In addition, the Democratic National Committee also transferred some $32 million in “soft” money accounts to various state Democratic parties. This was done as part of an elaborate scheme to by-pass the limits imposed by the election laws on the amounts that the campaign could legally spend on advertising -- limits that the Clinton-Gore campaign had agreed to accept in return for receiving public funds.
Hillary Clinton, her White House staff and office in particular were used to solicit and receive campaign money illegally. Her office was frequently visited by Johnny Chung , a Chinese-American entrepreneur who had known the Clintons in Arkansas. Chung made a total of $366,000 in contributions to the 1996 campaign -- which when exposed after the election as illegal were eventually refunded.
Of 50 visits to the White House Chung was cleared to enter 21 times by Hillary Clinton's office. Subsequently, Chung took the 5th Amendment to avoid testifying before congressional committees In an interview by the Los Angeles times reported on July 27, 1997 Chung stated, "I see the White House is like a subway ‑ - you have to put in coins to open the gates."
Congressional investigators also learned that through Hillary’s office Chung brought six businessmen donors from China into the White House where they had their picture taken with Mrs. Clinton, had lunch in the White House, and watched the President deliver his weekly radio address.
During many of his more than 50 visits to the White House Chung brought other business leaders from China and other Asian countries -- from whom it was illegal to receive contributions either directly or indirectly. On at least one occasion DNC finance director Richard Sullivan objected to such visits, but was over-ruled by the White House.
On August 22, 1997 in an editorial entitled The White House Turn Stile the New York Times commented on still other activities that Chung had disclosed to Tom Brokaw of NBC News:
“Mr. Chung said he gave $50,000 to a White House aide to help pay for a Christmas reception in the executive mansion, and then landed a meeting with the First Lady. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had no recollection of such a meeting, and the White House denies that it solicited the money from Mr. Chung. But the NBC News report was filled with pictures of Mr. Chung lounging around the executive mansion like a guest at a resort hotel. There he was in the White House mess hall, or at the President's movie theater, or at the White House bowling alley.
“There can be no cleaning up of the record of the Clinton campaign's reckless fund‑raising for the 1996 campaign.”
Leaving the White House
Throughout most of the Clinton presidency Democratic leaders and journalists had generally remained silent regarding the misdeeds of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But in their last week in the White House the Clinton offended the sensibilities of some fellow Democrats who finally speak out.
Before departing the Clintons took moving vans filled with government property from the White House, including china, antiques, and other furnishings. They solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lavish gifts to furnish their new homes and offices. More than 140 last minute pardons were granted that were highly questionable.
Al Hunt of the Wall Street Journal and previously Bill Clinton’s staunchest defender on NBC’s Capital Gang said on February 24, 2001: “They leave a stain that is bigger than anything in impeachment…I think the damage is severe. I think it is lasting. It’s on Bill Clinton’s legacy. It’s on Hillary Clinton, and it may well be on the Democratic Party.”
Jimmy Breslin, New York’s colorful liberal Democratic columnist, had first met Hillary when she worked on the Nixon impeachment. He had never before criticized her publicly. On January 31, 2001 he wrote (in normally pro-Clinton Newsday) : “Bill Clinton was taking arm chairs and coffee tables as he left the White House…Every time Hillary Clinton passes a bank the alarm goes off. Her name now and forever more is Senator Shoplift.”
. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times wrote that the Clintons “tore up the joint in the wee hours and then left the scene.” Paul Goldman of the Democratic National Committee published an article in the Wall Street Journal of February 15, 2001 titled Democrats Must Censure Clinton, stating “Clinton didn’t just take the White House China, he took its soul and flushed it down the toilet.”
The eleventh hour pardons generated even more criticism from Democrats who had previously remained silent through out the Clinton presidency. They were granted contrary to strict guidelines that had been in place in the office of the Justice Departments pardon attorneys and followed by past administrations.
One of the last minute pardons particularly involved Hillary. A group of Hasidic Jews had set up a community known as New Square in Rockland County, New York. In 1999 six of their leaders had been convicted in Brooklyn for a scam involving the swindling of $40 million in federal funds in the form of fictitious Pell Grants.
Hillary had visited New Square in her campaign for the Senate and promised to help, New Square residents voted for her 1,400 to 12. They were pardoned by Bill Clinton on his last day in office in disregard of Justice Department guidelines.
Two other pardons were granted to Edward and Jo Gregory over the strenuous objections of the Justice Department. They had been convicted of bank fraud in 1982. The pardons came in March 2000 during Hillary’s hotly contested Senate Campaign – to which the Gregory’s made contributions.
The guidelines were also ignored to grant pardons to several felons who had paid Hillary’s brother Hugh Rodham fees of $4,000 for representing them.
The most notorious pardon of all was of Marc Rich, a multi-national financier who was on the FBI’s most wanted list. Rich had ties to Castro in Cuba and Gaddafi in Libya, had abandoned his American citizen, and fled to Switzerland to escape arrest here.
Rich and his wife then had an extraordinarily amicable divorce and she began to represent him in the United States. In her late fifties she was ebullient, flamboyant, and full figured. She frequently a welcomed visitor at the White House. Prior to the pardon she had helped to arrange large numbers of fund raisers for the Clintons with her wealthy friends. She gave two chairs and two coffee tables to the Clintons worth $7,375 and an expensive saxophone to Bill. She had also been one of the first big donors to the Clinton library.
The Rich pardon was too much for some of the Clinton’s most ardent prior Democratic supporters to attempt to condone. Democratic Senator Joe Biden of Delaware said “I think the President had an incredible lapse of memory or was brain dead.” Liberal Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank said: “It was a terrible thing he did…It was just abusive. These are people who forgot where the line was between public service and what was personally convenient for them.”
One of the most comprehensive criticisms of the Clintons was by President Carter’s former Chief of Staff, Hamilton Jordan. Crippled since 1985 by three bouts of cancer since1985 he no longer had any professional ties to the Democratic party which might have restrained him from speaking his mind about the Clintons. On February 21, 2001 Jordon published an article in the Wall Street Journal titled The First Grifters, stating:
“When one considers pardons for political friends and donors, gifts to the White House taken by the Clintons for their personal use, and the attempt to lease extravagant penthouse offices for the former president with taxpayer money, a word comes to mind: grifters -- a term used in the Great Depression to describe fast-talking con artists who roamed the countryside, profiting at the expense of the poor and the uneducated, always one step ahead of the law, moving on before they were held accountable for their schemes and half-truths.
“No longer able to dominate the national news with moving speeches or policy initiatives, the First Grifters have been unable to move beyond the Marc Rich pardon, White House gifts and other events related to their noisy and ungraceful departure from office. Robbed of the frills of high office, we can now examine these last-minute pardons--and the Clintons--for what they are.
“It is difficult for the average citizen to comprehend how outrageous Bill Clinton's pardons are to those of us who have worked in the White House. While the president's right to grant a pardon is unequivocal, certain procedures have evolved over time that are honored and passed along from president to president. These include: a formal, written analysis of the case by the Justice Department; a description of the crime and a history of the trial; recommendations of the prosecuting team that won the conviction; a listing of the substantive argument for and against the pardon and a statement of any extenuating circumstances that justify the review of the case.
“Yet there was no effort to formally collect opinions from the key parties in the Marc Rich case. Indeed, the 11th-hour presentation of the request to Mr. Clinton was made by Mr. Rich's attorney, Jack Quinn, who happens to be a former Clinton White House counsel… We do know that Mr. Clinton found time to confer with his political advisers, party fundraisers, Denise Rich, and her friends.”
Jordan’s article also raised the psychological question of how such astute politicians as the Clintons could have believed they could have gotten away with the transgressions of their last days in the White House. His theory is:
“If a president can get caught having sex in the Oval Office with an intern, and committing perjury about it to a federal grand jury, and still get away with it, what could possibly stop him? Bill Clinton--whose every decision was guided by public opinion polls--interpreted his high job-approval ratings following his impeachment at least as a vote of confidence and more likely as some form of national forgiveness.”
Ironically, now that Hillary Clinton I running for President, few of her prominent Democratic critics remind the public of her past misdeeds. The liberal media in general is also ignoring philosopher George Santayana’admonition: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to live it again.”
Curriculum Vitae and Collected papers
Jerome Zeifman was born in 1925 in Mineola, New York. He is a graduate of Harvard College and received a law degree from New York University. He served as a naval communications officer on USS Missouri during World War II.
He opened a private law practice in Nyack, New York prior to working for the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States House of Representatives. He served as Counsel (1961-72) -- and was Chief Counsel (1973-74) during the Watergate scandal, the threatened impeachment of Richard Nixon, and the confirmations of Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller. Zeifman retired from the committee staff in 1974 to teach law at the University of Santa Clara.
He is currently an author and resides in Connecticut.
His personal papers are currently available at The George Washington University, The Gelman Library, Special Collections and University Archives; 2130 H. St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20052 Phone: 202-994-7549 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The material dates from 1960-77 The collection contains his personal diary and correspondence, as well as his work-related papers. The collection deals primarily with issues related to the Watergate scandal, the resignation of Spiro Agnew, the impeachment of President Nixon, the confirmation of Gerald Ford to be President, the confirmation of Nelson Rockefeller to be Vice President, the efforts of Gerald Ford (as majority leader) to impeach Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglass, and prior efforts to impeach seven other federal judges. The materials also contain information about the employment on the Judiciary Committee of a number of people who later rose to national prominence, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernard Nussbaum, John Doar, and William Weld.
Present Career As Author – See www.Jzeifman.com
Books: Without Honor: The Crimes of Camelot and the Impeachment of President Nixon (Thunders Mouth Press 1995); Hillary’s Pursuit of Power (Xlibris 2006)
Articles in such publications as Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, New York Post, Insight Magazine, News Max, World Net Daily, National Ledger, Accuracy in Media, etc. (See Google.com)
Numerous TV and Radio intereviews
Official Publications (Government Printing Office)
Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders. Interim Report of the Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities ("Church Committee") U.S. Senate, 1975.
Confirmation of Gerald R. Ford as Vice President of the United States. Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, House Report 93‑095. 93rd Congress, 1st Session, 1973.
Congressional Directory, 93rd Congress, 2nd Session, 1974.
Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States. Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. House Report 93‑1305. 93rd Congress, 2nd Session, 1974.
Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities , ("Rockefeller Commission") June 1975.
Selected Materials on Impeachment. Committee Print, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, 93rd Congress, 1st Session, 1973.
Selected Materials on Impeachment Procedures. Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, 93rd Congress, 2nd Session, 1974.
Books and Periodicals
Adler, Renata. "Searching for the Real Nixon." Atlantic Monthly, December 1976.
Breslin, Jimmy. How the Good Guys Finally Won. New York Viking, 1975.
Clancy, Paul and Shirley Elder. Tip: A Biography of Thomas O'Neill. New York: Macmillan, . 1980.
Dean, John. Blind Ambition. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976.
Drew, Elizabeth. Washington Journal New York, : Random House, 1974.
Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose. The Secret Life of Bill Clinton 1997
Freemantle, Brian. CIA: The Honourable Company. London, Futura, 1983.
Jaworksi, Leon. The Right and the Power. New York: Readers Digest, 1976.
Klein, Howard. The Truth About Hillary. Sentinel 2005
Lasky, Victor. It Didn't Start with Watergate. New York: Dial, 1977.
Noonan, Peggy. The Case Against Hillary, Hopper Collins 2000
Olson, Barbara. Final Day. Regnery Publishing 2001
O’Neill, Thomas with William Novak. Man of the House. Random House,
Powers, Thomas. The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA., New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979.
Schippers, David: Sell Out. Regnery, 2000
Sirica, John. To Set the Record Straight.New York: Norton, 1979.
Vann Woodward, C. Responses of the Presidents to the Charges of Misconduct. New York: Delacorte, 1974.
Warner, Judith. Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story.New York: Penguin, 1993.
Woodward, Robert and Carl Bernstein. All the President's Me, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974.
Janet Reno: Washington Weekly 2/14/00
Zeifman, Without Honor pp. 222 - 224
Hillarycare: Noonan, The Case Against Hillary
Lasater-Thomasson: Telegraph; World News. May 8. 1994; NewsMax.com 3/16/01;
Other crimes: Evans-Pritchard
Final Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters, Senate Report 104 280, 104th Congress, 2d Session
Jeff Gerth & Stephen Labaton, Hubbell Receives White House Help, N.Y. Times 4/10/97
Creation of Indonesian coal monopoly: Chicago Tribune, Clinton Critics See Other Motives Behind Monument Atop Utah Coal, 12/26/96, P.26; Minneapolis Star Tribune, This Designation Erupt Plans to Mine World's Largest Deposits of Clean Burning Coal, 4/30/97 p. 4; Washington Times, Paul Craig Roberts, Utah Coal Deal 1/12/97.
Hearings of Senate Committee on Government Affairs; New York Times, John Broder, Files of Democratic Fund-Raiser, 4/25/97; Washington Times, Jerry Seper, Huang Got 109 Classified Briefings, 4/30/97
Lifting Trade Embargo on Vietnam::Washintgton Times, Jerry Seper, Trade With Vietnam, 12/1/96; U.S. Dept. of State Dispatch 7/10/95
Sibling preference; CNN All Politics, Lawsuit Fuels Dem Fund-Raising Flap. 1/16/97
Schippers, David. Sell Out. Regnery, 2000, pp. 38 – 40, 43 - 49
Clinton quotations: CNN All Politics, 2/24/97
New York Times Editorial: July 17, 1997
Woodward Quotation: NBC Meet the Press 7/13/97
Morris quote: Human Events 4/25/97 p27
Soft money transfers to hard money accounts: NY Times, Don Van Natta, DNC Used Donations for Party in Clinton Re‑election Campaign, 9/10/97; Soft money transfers to states: NY Times, Jill Abramson and Leslie Wayne Democrats Used the State Parties to Bypass Limits, 10/2/ White House Database: House Subcommittee on Gov. Reform, investigative files; Washington Times, Paul Bedard, 5/16/97; Lincoln Bedroom donors: CNN Allpolitics 2/26/97.
Owens, Barbara, The Final Days, Regnery 2001