Just about every time I look into an accusation or scandal about Hillary Clinton, something that is supposed to make me hate her or confirm my hate for her, I come out the other side with information that exonerates her, at least to some degree.
An old chestnut hanging around for a long time, one that i first heard on the Rush Limbaugh show years and years ago, was that Hillary Rodham was fired from the Watergate Committee because her boss, Jerry Zeifman, found her to be a “liar” and “unethical”.
I never questioned this to be true. And back then, pre-internet, it would have been hard to fact check even if I tried.
Hillary Rodham vs Jerry Zeifman… Meet the internets!
Snopes says NOPE.
“A pair of articles published during Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency in 2008, one by Northstar Writers Group founder Dan Calabrese and one by Jerry Zeifman himself, asserted that Zeifman was Hillary’s supervisor during the Watergate investigation and that he eventually fired her from the investigation for “unethical, dishonest” conduct. However, whatever Zeifman may have thought of Hillary and her work during the investigation, he was not her supervisor, neither he nor anyone else fired her from her position on the Impeachment Inquiry staff (Zeifman in fact didn’t have the power to fire her, even had he wanted to do so), his description of her conduct as “unethical” and “dishonest” is his personal, highly subjective characterization, and the “facts” on which he based that characterization were ones that he contradicted himself about on multiple occasions.”
Zeifman seems to have first made the claim that he fired Hillary when she was running for President in 2008. But Snopes points out that there is a newspaper article from 1998 quoting Mr. Zeilman saying specifically “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her”. According to Snopes, Zeifman wrote a book in 1995 (called “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Private Diary of Hidden Agendas, Secret Deals and the Impeachment Scandal of the Century”, which is no longer in print) in which he wrote “Hillary was twenty-seven when the impeachment inquiry staff was disbanded. The next morning she took a train down to Little Rock, Arkansas. She moved in with Bill Clinton and they eventually married.” I couldn’t find the book, but, for what it’s worth, I did find a review. It’s not flattering:
In 1973 Jerry Zeifman, chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, decided to keep a diary of the “extraordinary events” surrounding the impeachment of President Nixon. Now, Zeifman draws on that diary to give us Without Honor: Crimes of Camelot and the Impeachment of President Nixon, in which he accuses government officials of obstructing the impeachment inquiry. Their reason? Not any sympathy for the besieged Richard Nixon, but a desire to protect the reputation of John Kennedy. Zeifman’s book will surely excite conspiracy buffs on the lookout for sinister coverups in high places. But those wary of such unsubstantiated theories (myself included) will find Zeifman’s book an unconvincing, if imaginative, tale of intrigue.
Zeifman’s theory goes something like this: John Doar, Hillary Rodham, Bernard Nussbaum and other Kennedy loyalists investigating Nixon obstruct his impeachment “to cover up malfeasance in high office throughout the Cold War.” The scheming starlets are abetted by Peter Rodino, a weak, corrupt chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who is afraid that Nixon might expose his own Mafia ties. Rounding out the list of conspirators is Burke Marshall, Robert Kennedy’s assistant attorney general, who orchestrates the bogus investigation in the hopes of keeping Nixon in office, which will, he believes, help Ted Kennedy win the White House. Using a variety of dubious legal strategies — still with me? — Doar and his co-conspirators do everything they can to avoid putting the president on trial, a strategy, they hope, that will prevent Nixon’s lawyers from revealing the “crimes of Camelot.”
The lack of evidence makes this theory hard to swallow. Zeifman’s most reliable source — his diary — contains few revelations and seems little more than a chronicle of his suspicions and speculations. The book’s jacket cover, which promises readers “truths even more startling than those brought out in Oliver Stone’s movies ‘Nixon’ and ‘JFK’, ” does not help matters. Perhaps the book’s publicists forgot that “Nixon” and “JFK” were, after all, only Hollywood movies.
Here is portion from another review:
At first, he [Zeifman] was impressed [with Hillary Rodman], but in time Zeifman soured on her. He began, as he wrote in a 1996 book, to suspect her of collaborating with Democratic Senate aides loyal to Ted Kennedy. Their supposed aim was to keep the lid on the Watergate investigation out of fear Nixon would expose the “crimes of Camelot,” a phrase that appears in the book’s title. There are other subplots in his farfetched conspiracy theory, and other conspirators, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino—but little evidence for any of it.
The book reads like a Hollywood intrigue, which apparently occurred to Zeifman’s publisher, who promised on the book jacket to reveal “truths even more startling than those brought out in Oliver Stone’s movies Nixon and JFK.” Those films, remember, were works of fiction.
This titillating tale was reprised in 2008 when Clinton ran for president, thanks to conservative columnist Dan Calabrese, who embellished it a tad, introducing Jerry Zeifman as “the guy who fired Hillary Clinton.” A catchy line, but untrue: Zeifman lacked the authority to terminate her, and it’s a matter of historic record that she wasn’t fired.
I have looked for information about any kind of discord between Hillary and her real boss on the impeachment committee, Republican lawyer John Doar (seems to have been a stand-up guy) Here is an article from 1974 about the impeachment inquirery committee and its staff of lawyers. Hillary isn’t even mentioned. She’s not that important to the story, except for the fact of where she is now.
There may be more info about this that I haven’t found yet. But from what I can tell at this point, from the staff of 43 lawyers working on the impeachment inquiry staff, there is only one person saying that Hillary was a liar and was “unethical”, a person who is on record lying about firing her, and who has shown no evidence to back his claim.
What other “truth” about Hillary Rodham Clinton am I going to find is not what it seems?