Secretary Hillary Clinton Discusses the House Committee on the Judiciary Impeachment Inquiry


Hi, I’m Tim Naftali. I’m a clinical
associate professor at NYU and I have the honor
and privilege today, July 9, 2018 to be interviewing
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Richard Nixon
Presidential Library and Museum. Secretary Clinton,
thank you for doing this. Thank you for having me.
I’m very happy to participate. I always think it’s important
for people to get to know those that we’re interviewing. And I’d like to start
with a story that precedes
Yale Law School, but I think it says
a lot about you. Tell us a little bit
about the salmon incident in Valdez, please. Well, I graduated
from Wellesley in 1969. And a group of my friends and I decided we wanted to go
spend our summer in Alaska. And there were two
other young women and a guy who one
of the young women knew. And we got together and we drove
up the Alcan Highway, which at that point
was not paved. It was quite an adventure.
We camped out every night, fished for food, bought food,
whatever we could and we ended up in Haines Point
Junction around the 4th of July. And then we worked our way
from Haines Point Junction up to Fairbanks
and then down to Valdez. And when we were traveling, we were picking up odd jobs
to maintain our — have some money in our pocket.
And when we got to Valdez, I took a job at a salmon cannery which was on the end
of one of the piers. And this was shortly
after the terrible earthquake had hit Alaska and much
of Valdez had been damaged. And so I went to work. My first day, they gave me
a pair of hip boots and a spoon. And they had two Japanese
gentlemen who were responsible for cutting the salmon open,
taking out the caviar, and then throwing the salmon
into a big pile. And my job was to take this
spoon and clean out the carcass and then throw it
in another pile. So I was diligently trying
to clean out the carcasses and the Japanese gentlemen
started screaming at me in Japanese. I had no idea
what they were saying. So the plant manager
came over and said, they’re saying,
hurry up, hurry up, you’re getting too far behind. I said, well, I’m trying.
I mean, you gave me a spoon. I’m doing the best I can;
blood and fish guts and everything
all over the place. So I lasted two days
doing that job and then he basically kicked me
upstairs to work on the packing. So there was a conveyor belt
and the boxes would be put on the conveyor belt
down from where I was, and then we’d pick up
the salmon. And it would be a head-tail,
head-to tail, head-tail. You’d get five or six salmon
and depending upon their sizes. So after doing that
for a few hours I said to this manager with whom
I’d already had this one issue because I wasn’t going fast
enough with my teaspoon, I said, “Some of these fish
don’t look very healthy. They look kind of green
and black.” And he said, “Shut up,
just do your job.” So I did my job,
came back the next day, which would’ve been the fourth
day, would’ve been Thursday, and started back on the conveyor
belt, packing the fish. And I went to him again.
I said, “Really, I’m sorry, I don’t know anything
about salmon, but these don’t look healthy.” And he goes, “Look, we have
inspections. They get tested. And besides, what do you care?
They’re all going to Japan.” I said, “Well, we don’t want
to send bad salmon, whatever, to Japan.” And he just shook his head.
So he fired me and I said, “Well, I want to get paid
for the four days that I worked because that’s how
we’re supporting ourselves.” He said,
“Okay, come back tomorrow.” So I went back down the dock and
the whole operation was gone. They had picked up in the night
and moved somewhere else. So I don’t know
what lessons to learn. I often say that sliming,
that’s what they called it, cleaning out the salmon. Sliming salmon was one of
the best preparations I had for politics. Well you were a whistleblower. Well, I didn’t even consider
myself a whistleblower. I was just asking questions,
which this gentleman clearly either couldn’t
or wouldn’t answer. How many women were
working with you there? None. I mean, this was set up
for the salmon season and it would have been gone
in a few weeks anyway after the salmon run
had finished. So I went to work there. One of my other friends
went to work washing dishes. We just worked our way
across Alaska. We ended up in what’s now
Denali National Park, one of the most beautiful
places on the continent. And I washed dishes
and another one of my friends — two of my other friends
waited tables. So it was just one of those
great summer adventures. Let’s move to Yale,
there’s not a real segue here but I want to ask you
about a Yale incident that — you were at Yale during the
turmoil of the spring of 1970. In order to help
future students and the interested
public understand what Vietnam and the tensions
Vietnam created, could you just put us
in the time and place in New Haven,
spring of 1970? Well, there were a number
of events and forces that were all convening
on one another in New Haven that spring.
The continuing uproar over the Vietnam War
did not abate. We were still living
with the aftermath of the assassinations
of Dr. King and Senator Bobby Kennedy. There was a Black Panther
which was a group that was considered
very radical at that time, a trial going on
in New Haven. It was a tense, fraught place
during that spring of 1970. ’68 was fraught,
’69 was fraught, but in 1970,
a lot of it came to a head. So we had so many
difficult experiences, the Kent State killings,
the threats to the law school and other parts of the campus.
It just was a really difficult, dangerous feeling
that we confronted. Did you put out the fire
in the law school? I was part of the group.
We basically had a fire brigade because it was
the international law library that somebody
had set on fire. Obviously the fire department
got there. But until
the fire department did, we were passing water down
a line to try to save the books. Why did you decide
to go to law school? I decided to go to law school because I wanted to help make
positive change in our country. I cared deeply about that. I cared about using the law
and where it was not useful, changing the law
because we needed to figure out how we’re going to deal
with poverty and race and war and all the things
that were part of my time in college and law school. And I thought going to
law school would give me tools and an opportunity to try to
help fix what I saw as broken. I don’t need to know. I mean, I’d be surprised
if you knew exactly the number, but what percentage of the
law school class were women? My memory is that it was about
27 women out of, I don’t know, 235,
something like that. So no more than 10%,
probably slightly less. Did people try to discourage
you from becoming a lawyer? Yes. I faced discouragement both
when I went to Harvard to take the law school
admissions test. I went with one of my friends
from Wellesley who was also taking it. And this would have been
probably in the late part of the first semester
of my senior year or the second. And we were taking the test
to apply to law school. And we were among
the very few women in this large room
at Harvard, and the boys
and the men around us were taunting us the whole time.
Like, “what are you doing here? If you get in, I’ll get sent
to Vietnam and I’ll die.” I mean, it was really a breathtaking
amount of harassment to try to knock us
off our stride, to try to just rattle us. And we just sat there
very quietly. We put our heads down,
we didn’t say anything. And then the test started.
We took the test. Then when I got admitted, trying to make up my mind
between Yale and Harvard, I went to a cocktail reception
at the law school for potentially
incoming students. And I had a friend
who was at the law school and he took me around
to introduce me and he got me in front of
one of the professors there, a very imposing guy, looked like
the character in Paper Chase, that big burly look
with a three piece suit and a watch chain
across his stomach. So my friend says, “Professor so
and so, this is Hillary Rodham. She’s trying to make up
her mind between us and our nearest competitor,”
meaning Yale. So he looks down at me
and he goes, “Well, first of all, we don’t
have a nearest competitor. And secondly, we don’t need
any more women.” And that was what decided me
to go to Yale. I had no other option
at that point. I wasn’t really
going to pick a place that didn’t want more women. Who were your favorite
professors at Yale? I had a group of professors, but probably someone
who I really liked a lot was Charles Black, the great
constitutional scholar. He was so down to earth
and he would seek students out. He would be incredibly
warm and gracious. I worked closely
with Abe Goldstein, and Joe Goldstein
who were involved in areas of my interest,
particularly Joe Goldstein in terms of child development
and children under the law. So it was a good experience. I really had a lot
of great teachers. But it was, I think, fair to say more the
interactions with our students, our fellow students that made
the biggest difference to me. Before we move on to that, did you ever cross paths
with Alexander Bickel? I did. I crossed hands with,
with Professor Bickel, with Professor Bork,
with Professor Calabresi, people who are
pretty well known. Well, let’s talk about
your fellow students. Tell me how you met
Mike Conway. I met Mike at law school.
And we became friends. I mean, most of the friendships
happened in the hallways, in the student lounge,
in the dining hall and Mike was just somebody
with a very wry sense of humor that I enjoyed
spending time with. What was your favorite
pizza place then? That’s a question that can
get you exiled, but probably Pepe’s. Not Sally’s. Not Sally’s, Pepe’s. Yeah. Please tell everyone what the
barristers’ union prize trial was. Well, the barristers’ union
was a student run organization that put on trials
during the year and it was to give
students trial experience. There was also a moot
court program that was to give students the appellate
argument experience. But I joined
the barristers’ union. I think I was the only woman
on the board. We had a really great group that included Mike
and my husband. And we had a lot of fun
because as members of the board, we had to make up the cases and then students would be
selected to try those cases. And we always worked to have
a distinguished former lawyer, a distinguished lawyer
or distinguished judge, even former serving
actually hear the case. How is it that Abe Fortas
was invited? I don’t remember. This was
for our prize trial where I was teamed with
Bill Clinton and Mike Conway was on the other side. And Abe Fortas
must’ve been asked by one of
the faculty members because I don’t think
any of us knew him. He had just stepped down
from the bench. Asked him if he would
come to New Haven and preside over
the barristers’ prize trial, which he said he would. And how did it happen
that Mr. Doar was invited? John Doar had come earlier
in the years, my memory,
to preside over another trial. He didn’t preside
over our prize trial, but there was another event,
either a moot court argument or another trial
that he presided over. And Bill and I were asked
if we would meet him and kind of be
his support system while he was in New Haven,
which of course we love doing because he was just a
delightful person to be around. Could you share with people
who wouldn’t know this, and I’ll learn more
about Mr. Doar shortly, but when you are in law school,
who was John Doar? John Doar was a highly regarded
civil rights lawyer from the Bobby Kennedy
Justice Department who had been responsible
for going to the South at difficult times
and building cases, collecting evidence,
interviewing witnesses. But he also found himself
on at least one occasion that I recall,
in the middle of a mob which he then had
to try to disband. And all he had was his voice,
his authority, but he was able to protect
the black plaintiff’s witnesses that he was spending time
with from a white mob that was in the early ’60s
a very common occurrence because of the work to try to
expand and protect civil rights. So you got to know him
when he came for the aim for the moot court? I think it might’ve been
a moot court. I don’t remember for sure.
I mean, we knew of him. It was just one of the reasons
we asked him. He was also very close
with Burke Marshall who probably
asked him to come. We probably asked Burke
for that help. So he spent probably
the whole day at Yale, he spent time with Burke,
maybe with Owen Fiss. I don’t remember.
He was another friend of his. And Bill and I kind of
squired them around. Is this in ’73 or ’72? I don’t remember. Was it your last year or the–? The prize trial
was our last year, the one that Fortas
presided over. I think that John came in
probably the semester before. But that’s all
I can remember. Before we move to
the impeachment committee, did you get to know
Burke Marshall? I did. Please tell us. Well, Burke Marshall
was another really admired
inspirational professor from the civil rights years
at the Justice Department. He was close
to the Kennedys. He was obviously close
to John Doar. He was a very quiet man.
He didn’t assert himself, but he had the kind of
authority and quiet force. They don’t look anything alike, but I think of Gary Cooper
in High Noon. I mean, somebody who could
walk into a room and just sit there and listen and then give people
his assessment of whatever the decision
they were making would be. And he always just carried
so much weight. Tell us how you met Rufus Cormier. Rufus and his wife Yvonne became
good friends of Bill’s and mine. So I had known Rufus
and when Bill came a year after me to the law school,
he got to know him well. And so we would have dinner
with Rufus and Yvonne. Yvonne was getting a PhD
in biochemistry, Rufus was at the law school.
They were fun. They were just a terrific couple
to spend time with, and they’ve remained friends
all these years later. When you graduate in 1973, what do you expect
to be doing in 1974? Well, I expected to be doing what I started out doing
when I graduated, which was to go to work
for the Children’s Defense Fund for Marian Edelman.
I had interned for her, I think after
my first year maybe. And again, I think that’s right.
I wanted to go to work with her so I moved to Cambridge
and began working, doing investigations
and litigation around issues like the incarceration
of juveniles with adults in adult prisons or the efforts
to give tax exempt status to private
segregated academies so that they didn’t
have to pay taxes. I mean, issues like that,
expanding childcare, getting better conditions
for migrant workers. I mean, that’s the kind
of work we were doing. And that’s what I started doing
when I graduated and went right to,
to Cambridge to work for her. Please tell us about the call
from John Doar. Well, this is a very funny
series of actions. I was down visiting Bill
in Arkansas, I think it was right
after Christmas, if I remember,
either right before or after. And Bill’s phone rang and he got
a call from John Doar. And John Doar said,
“I’ve been asked to put together a team of lawyers for the House
Judiciary Committee to investigate
whether there are grounds for impeachment
of President Nixon. And I have a list of people that I’m going over
with Burke Marshall. And you’re at the top
of the list if you would like
to come to work.” And Bill said, “Well, actually
I’m going to run for Congress so I can’t.” And then Bill said, “Well,
who else is on your list?” And John said,
“Well, Mike Conway, Rufus Cormier
and Hillary Rodham.” So Bill says, “Well, Hillary
Rodham is standing right here. And so he passed me the phone
and John Doar asked me if I wanted to go
to work in Washington for the impeachment
inquiry staff. I said, “Yes, I’m very honored
to be asked.” And so shortly, sometime
after the first of the year, I left my job at
the children’s Defense Fund and moved to Washington
and went to work for John Doar. How long did you think
this was going to last? When you said yes,
because you had to say to Marian Edelman
how long you were going to be. Yes. I don’t know that
I thought like that, Tim. I think when you’re really young
and you’re just starting out, how long does a job take? I didn’t even know
what the job was at that point. I had no time
timetable at all. Was there any concern
on the future President Clinton’s part
that your doing this might somehow affect
his ability to run? No, no. I mean, first of all,
he was running for Congress, a race which he lost
by the way. So if he had not been
running for Congress, I believe it’s very likely
he would’ve said yes. Because a chance to work
with John Doar on such a historic assignment
like this and you’re just a really young
out of law school lawyer, hard to say no to that. And Bill never gave it a second
thought about my doing it. Did he talk
to Ray Thornton about this? He’s as important as— I have no idea. I don’t know. Okay. So in January you arrived. Joe Woods thinks
that it was January 19. It doesn’t matter
which day it was. When you arrived,
you were among the first, right? I think that’s right.
Yes. Yes. I think those of us from Yale who were going to be the
youngest lawyers on the team, my memory is we all got there
about the same time. But that’s just
what I remember. And it was a startup law firm.
It had to be put together. There were a group
of senior lawyers that John either knew or knew of
that he had recruited. And then there were us, I mean,
there weren’t very many lawyers in the middle of between people
like John Doar and Joe Woods and Bernie Nussbaum
and Richard Gill, people like that, who had a lot of experience
already in the law, some of them in government, and then us
newly minted lawyers. This may surprise people
who watch this, but there was an effort
to make this a single committee. Although there were people
chosen by the minority staff, and one of those that met you
right off the bat was Bill Weld. Yes, that’s right. Could you tell us
what you remember of him? Well, I think there was a
very serious effort which I think mostly succeeded because Peter Rodino
in the majority hired John Doar and the minority
hired Burt Jenner who had started this massive
law firm, Jenner & Block. And both Jenner and Doar
were experienced lawyers, had really done
complicated cases, either civil rights
or business or any other of
the challenges lawyers face. So Bill Weld was there
very early. He was one of the first people
that I met and I got to know
and I worked with. And it was a great team. And I think we all felt like
we were on the same team. I never had the feeling
that there was the majority and the minority staff. Obviously they were hired
by different members, but we worked very hard to overcome
any sense of separation. People looking back on that era
will think there was a certain inevitability
about what happened. Historians don’t treat it that way.
But when you started out, you were supposed to look
for grounds for impeachment, but John Doar wasn’t asking you
for a prosecutorial case. That’s right. I think there are
several aspects of this that I hope historians
and citizens, particularly young
people understand. There were three big challenges
that Doar wanted us to meet. One was, well, what are
the grounds for impeachment? There had been Andrew Johnson, there had been a number of
judges who had been impeached. But the team looking at that, and I was a very small part
of that doing the research, that team was looking
all the way back to early English precedents since the founders took the idea
obviously from the common law. There was the issue
of how do you proceed? How do you actually set up
an appropriate process to consider
all of these issues? And then the third was,
what are the facts and how do we understand
the facts? So there was a team working
on grounds for impeachment, how you described what high
crimes and misdemeanors were, how it needed to relate
to abuse of office and power, if it were, in keeping with the
precedents such as they were. And then there was
the process standards that I worked
on a lot about, okay, what do we do
and how do we do it and what is our role compared
to the role of the committee? And then finally, the facts. And this was a method
that Doar had used in the Justice Department and probably in his law practice
in Wisconsin. And they were statements
of information. They were not characterized
as evidence because we concluded that it wasn’t our job
to make a prosecutorial case and present the evidence
that supported that case but rather to present
the facts to the committee and then the committee would
form their own conclusions. So I often laugh
thinking about it, but we had these
little note cards and we were supposed to put
one fact on a note card. So for example, I remember
we were working on this and Doar said,
“Go right back to the beginning. Who is Richard Nixon?
How did he get where he is?” So a fact would be Richard
Milhous Nixon was born on, you’d have his date of birth and then you might say
in Whittier, California. And Doar would say, “Nope, those
are two pieces of information.” So you have one card
for the year he was born and one card
for where he was born because apparently
in John’s practice he would use these cards
to find patterns. And if he didn’t have
enough of the facts, he couldn’t deduce the patterns. So we learned, I mean that’s why
we had these little cards and they attempted,
as I recall, some method in the library
to organize and sort them. But really computers
were not in common use. And I think John
preferred his system anyway. So we spent a lot of time
doing these cards and looking for anything that
could be a piece of information that might go into
the presentation we would make
to the committee. Is it true that they used
knitting needles as a way of sorting
these cards? Well, I think that was a short
lived experiment. I don’t remember because
I wasn’t really doing it. But yeah, you took the fact, which was predominantly
handwritten, at least the ones
I did were hand written. Then it was like transferred
onto a punch card and then the punch cards
had certain holes in them. And the idea was,
it was so primitive that if you took
a knitting needle and there you
at a stack of these cards and you were looking for
his childhood experiences or the committee
to reelect the president, whatever it might be,
you would take a knitting needle and you’d go through
and you’d pick up the cards that would have the whole
in a certain place. I think it was a lot easier
if you just kept the cards in front of you
and you shuffled them around. And I would see John and some of the senior lawyers
talking about that and what’s the significance
of this piece of information and how does it fit
and what does it tell us. Governor Weld told a story
about when you arrived, when both of you arrived, John Doar said to you
on a Friday, “Would you please produce
a memo like grounds for impeachment by Tuesday?
I won’t ask for Monday because I want you
to have a good weekend.” Now, it would actually
take the lawyers a long time
to figure this out. But how did you approach
this problem? I’m sure you didn’t
study this in law school. No. But Bill Weld
is absolutely right. I mean, we never had a weekend.
We worked 16, 18 hour days. We sometimes would leave
the building to go to dinner but then go right back. So this first assignment
was just the beginning of what would be
the most intense effort that one could imagine. And the grounds for impeachment was part of the research
that I contributed to. The procedures, okay,
what does this mean? How are we going to do this?
Is this a trial? Well, the trial is really
in the Senate. So what is it
that the House does and how do we set ourselves up
to serve the House? And so I worked closely
with Joe Woods on what the procedures are. In fact, there is
a picture of me sitting at the table
with Doar and Woods appearing before,
if I remember rightly, one of the subcommittees
of the Judiciary Committee to present ideas
about process. Maybe
Congressman Kastenmeier? That sounds about right.
Yes. And Hungate.
Mm-hmm. That sounds about right. Yeah. Help people understand
what the difference between the committee
and a grand jury was. Oh, yeah. Well, the grand jury
is first and foremost part of the executive branch
of our government. A grand jury in a federal matter
is convened by a U.S. attorney or by the Justice Department for the purpose
of presenting evidence to determine
whether the grand jury will bring an information
or indictment against whoever the target of the potential prosecution
might be. Its proceedings are supposed
to be absolutely secret. The person being questioned
does not go in with a lawyer. You go in all by yourself and you’re there with whoever
the prosecutor has, investigators, FBI,
whoever it might be. And then there’s a grand jury made up of citizens
from the area. The Judiciary Committee
is part of the Congress, and the Congress
has the sole authority for determining impeachment. The House brings
the articles of impeachment. If they so decide,
the Senate conducts the trial. And for us,
we were asked by Doar, and I think this probably
came from Rodino and others on the committee, to recognize
that they were the authority. It wasn’t our job to present
an article of impeachment. It was our job
to present information, to present the legal standards in whatever process
we agreed upon. And then it was up
to the committee to determine
whether it would move forward. To what extent were you involved
in the debate over whether James St. Clair,
the president’s lawyer, should be in the proceedings? I was not involved in that.
I knew about it. That was really among
the senior lawyers led by Doar
and the House members. And my memory is that
they were very expansive in permitting St. Clair to be privy to information
to be part of the process. But I don’t know
any more details. Did you have to do
any research on subpoenas? I don’t recall doing that because we were in a position
to negotiate. Remember, the Watergate
Committee had already subpoenaed and obtained a wealth
of information. And part of the process
that Doar had to go through is to work out an agreement
with the Watergate committee, Senator Ervin to share
what they’d already gotten either voluntarily
or through subpoena. That included the tapes
to a great extent. So, I don’t recall us, but I don’t have perfect
knowledge of this either. I don’t recall us
having to subpoena, we had to work out agreements
and maybe as part of that, there was a subpoena that had
to be either issued or quashed. I don’t recall. I know this is a long time ago. But you, you’re in your 20s,
and you’re part of a group that’s trying to figure out
an issue that this country hadn’t
looked at for a century. Some people like Bill Weld
for example started out thinking that an
impeachable offense is a crime and then he changed his mind. I know it’s a long time ago,
but can you remember how the research affected
the way you thought about this? Well, I think similar
to Bill Weld once I had done the research
it seemed clear to me that the president
was not above the law. The president did have certain
authorities, certain standing. So it didn’t require
that there be a crime charged in order for there
to be an impeachable offense. But what that impeachable
offense was often keyed to what we think of
as criminal behavior. So obstruction of justice
is a crime. And whether a president
is ever charged with obstruction of justice or not, the obstruction
of an investigation can represent abuse of power that rises to the level
of high crimes and misdemeanors and therefore be the basis
of an article of impeachment. Do you remember thinking
about standards of evidence, probable cause, appearing convincing
beyond reasonable doubt? The constitution didn’t say
anything about that. Right. But that’s why I think
Doar was very careful in what he eventually
presented to the committee. I think he believed
that the whole enterprise really turned on there
being sufficient evidence, not necessarily to the level
of beyond a reasonable doubt for a criminal matter, but certainly enough
to be persuasive, clear and convincing, because this was in effect
the charging mechanism. If there had been a trial
then I think Doar would have had to pivot toward
a more explicit reliance on beyond a reasonable doubt because that would be how
the public would perceive it. But there was no real guidelines
for that because what did it mean
and who got to determine it? Well, in the end of the day,
the articles were passed. If some came out by the House,
the trial was held by the Senate and they had the right
under the constitution to impose
their own understanding of what an impeachable
offense was. So one of the debates that some
of the fence sitters had was, should you vote
for an article of impeachment if you don’t think that
the Senate will vote to remove. So they were actually already
thinking about the trial. Right. Well, I think that
that’s one way of looking at it and it certainly is defensible. But I think another way
of looking at it is that if you are persuaded that
the president has abused power, committed a high crime
or misdemeanor then it’s up to the proof that
has to be presented in a trial to determine whether two thirds
of the Senate agrees with that. And remember the senators
could bring whatever assessment they wanted to
this determination. And you couldn’t second guess
that, you couldn’t preempt that. It had to be left to them. As you were doing this research,
what were the surprises for you? Well, I mean, it hadn’t happened
in a presidential setting for over a hundred years. And there was a lot wrong with
what was done to Andrew Johnson. He was hardly a paragon
of political rectitude, but it was more than it should
have been in our assessment, a proceeding based on politics, not on evidence of high crimes
or misdemeanors, however one to find that. So a hundred years
later you have a crime, the break in of Watergate, you have a very
vigorous investigation going on through
the Congress already, through the Watergate Committee. And so we were trying to impose
an understanding of the law and the history
combined with a process that would be viewed as fair, providing due process
to the president if articles of impeachment
were decided. So we trying to rely on
precedents as much as we could, but we were kind of
making it up based on our best
understanding of the law as we researched it. Secrecy was important. Totally. And how did Mr. Doar
enforce secrecy? I think that, first of all,
there are no cell phones, that makes a big difference. But I think he,
by just force of character, made it clear to all of us. We did not know where
this was going to end up. I certainly didn’t. I didn’t come into it
with any preconceived notion that, okay,
this is going to be easy. We’re going to lay out
all this stuff then the House will impeach and then he’ll be
convicted in the Senate. I certainly didn’t do that.
I don’t know anybody who did. And because it was such
a historic experience, we all felt the weight
of that responsibility. And John made very clear that
we would be betraying our duty as lawyers and our historic
obligation if we talked. And when we would occasionally
go out for lunch, the building where we were
working would be staked out by reporters
who’d be yelling at us. I particularly remember
Sam Donaldson who had a really loud yell and he got to know
the names of the lawyers, so he would yell, “Hillary, Hillary, come over here
and talk to me.” We would just walk by. I remember when I appeared
at the hearing, at one of the hearings
with a Doar and Joe Woods before I went over there
because Doar wanted to take me because I had done so much of
the work and I appreciated it. But he said,
“Don’t talk to anybody. Don’t make facial expressions.
Don’t portray any opinion. We’re there just to make
a presentation to the members
of the committee.” So it was a matter of honor that we would maintain
the secrecy that was so critical for this
for this whole investigation. There were a lot of leaks,
but they weren’t from the staff. No, they weren’t. They weren’t,
not from the staff. How many women were with you
on the team? Boy, I don’t know.
I want to say maybe I mean I can call the names,
see the faces, five. There might’ve been more,
but those are the ones that I interacted with the most. I think on Joe Woods’ team, on his task force
you had John Lintwoods, David Haines, John Davidson, as well as
Bill Weld and yourself. After Mr. Woods
leaves in May, is that when you move
to Bernie’s team or does Bernie take over? Can you remember what happened
when Mr. Woods left? No, I really can’t remember. I remember working closely
with Joe, particularly on the standards
to be applied, working with John Lebovitz
on the grounds of for impeachment
along with Bill Weld. I shared an office
with a young lawyer who was in John Doar’s
law firm in Wisconsin by the name of Tom Bell. And he was very focused
on aggregating and recording the facts,
the statements of information. So, I don’t remember. I do remember that
starting in early summer, maybe this was through Bernie,
I began listening to tapes. And I began to listen
to the tapes of President Nixon talking to his staff members, talking to Henry Kissinger,
talking to his Filipino valet. And I particularly remember what
we called the tape of tapes, which was Richard Nixon taping
himself listening to tapes. And I was one of several people
whose job it was, was to try to insofar
as possible perfect the transcription. So we would sit there
with the headphones on, just exhaustingly listening,
trying to make out words. Some of the transcription
already occurred, but some of it was garbled,
it was not at all clear. But the tape of tapes
was a big revelation to me. I had no idea that
he would be taping himself listening to tapes and then
coming up with rationalizations. So he would call somebody
into the room and he would say, “I want to play this for you. Now when I said that,
here’s what I meant.” So it was really
a shocking experience. What do you think you concluded
that the president, then president was involved
in the cover up? I think for me it was
listening to the tapes, and particularly the so
called tape of tapes because it was almost
a textbook example of someone trying
to get stories straight and getting other people
to get their stories straight. I tried really hard
not to have an opinion during the winter and spring. But then we would hear
from John and Bernie and others how they were
piecing together the facts that they had
had us accumulate. And there were a couple of facts
that they found particularly telling like this has been
written about numerous times. But when Nixon
threw the ash tray, and I think that that fact
had a big impact on some of the members
of the House committee because when you’re given
information that you expect, but it doesn’t come out
the way you wanted it to, so you pick up an ashtray
and out of frustration, anger, disappointment,
you throw it. I had the feeling that
that was a turning point when that fact was placed in
with everything else for a number of the lawyers. So you actually can remember
that moment? Yeah, because I mean that was
just a turning point because either he didn’t know and he’d been manipulated
by his staff, or he did know
and he was trying to cover up, and that’s how it came across. I think that information
came from Colson. Could be. The day before Article I was
passed by a bipartisan majority, Congressman Sandman
and Wiggins went on an attack against
Congressman Sarbanes, I’m sure you will
remember this. But it had an effect
on the staff because that night
the attack was, you don’t have enough specifics.
We need specifics. And you cannot impeach
a president without specifics. And that night staff
worked tirelessly to put together specifics to go
with every charge in Article I. Did you participate
in that? Yeah. I recall that. See, that was the necessary
transitioning away from just presenting
the statements of information. I think Doar and the other
senior lawyers were very aware that they didn’t want to get
ahead of the committee, which I think was the right
position for them to be in. But then when
the committee was saying, “Wait a minute, I can’t
wait through all of this. You’ve got to tell me
what it means. You have to construct
an argument and if you’re
looking at Article I, you have to tell me what are
the pieces of information that either support it
or disprove it.” And that’s when we had
to pivot into producing a much more detailed case,
if you will. Do you remember the work
done by C. Vann Woodward? I do. I do, yes. I don’t know whether John knew
him or Burke Marshall knew him. I don’t remember that.
But he was brought on board to provide some historical
perspective and analysis. Were you sort of the liaison? I worked, I can’t say
I worked with him. He produced his own material, but I was available to him
to do whatever he needed done. I know we don’t have
a lot of time. I just want to ask you
a few more questions if I may. Do you remember
working with Fred Altshuler ? Oh, very closely, yes. Tell us about him please. So Fred is a meticulous lawyer. I mean, he had a very clear view
about how to gather facts, how to evaluate them
and how to present them. He worked incredibly hard.
He was somebody that I admired and really valued
as a colleague. Did you do any research on
the abuse of powers, IRS issue? I don’t remember. I don’t know. I probably pitched in
on everything, but I can’t remember. Where were you when the articles
were being passed? I think I was in the office.
I think that’s where I was. Was it a surprise? Was it a surprise? By the time they actually
were voted on, it wasn’t a surprise
because I think Rodino and his committee staff
had a pretty fair idea of who was going to vote
for it by then. What was your reaction to the
Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Nixon? About the tapes and the–? Yes. I thought the outcome
was really required because the tapes were done in the course of his official
role as president. And so I think that having
to turn them over and having to get them cataloged
and be available for the public was the right decision. Okay. Just three more questions
then we’ll be done. What do you remember of
President Nixon’s resignation? I was not at all happy
or jubilant about him resigning. I thought it was a very sad
chapter in our history. I thought the actual departure
was a really poignant, painful moment for him
and his family as well as for the country. So I watched it on TV,
like I guess everybody else did. And it was a really
very unfortunate, sad outcome. What was it like to meet
President Nixon? I met him when Bill was
in the White House. I don’t recall
ever meeting him before, but I haven’t thought
hard about that. He had been to Russia,
he called the White House and asked if he could
come by and brief Bill about his trip to Russia.
Bill was fascinated by the idea because despite his resignation
and his abuse of power, he was an incredibly
experienced, intelligent person who knew
a lot about the world. And so Chelsea and I and Bill, he was brought
into the White House and brought up the elevator
to the second floor because Bill was going to meet
him in his private study. He came at night as I recall, but maybe just right after
he got back from Russia. So Chelsea and I
and Bill greeted him, welcomed him back
to the White House. He had obviously thought
about what he wanted to say. So when he saw me, he said, “Well, I know you’re working
hard on healthcare. That’s really a big task.” And when he saw Chelsea,
he said, “My daughters went to Sidwell
like you are.” So he had something that
he’d prepared to say to us. And he had a folder
so I think he’d written a memo. But then he and Bill went
off out to talk about Russia. And you went to his funeral? I did. I went to his funeral. And one of the really
few regrets I have about our eight years
in the White House is that I didn’t go
to Pat Nixon’s funeral. I think we were
just not well informed or understanding
of the protocol. We had other things
and I think the schedulers or whoever was looking at this
basically didn’t appreciate the significance
that it should’ve had. So I deeply regret not going
to Mrs. Nixon’s funeral, but we did go to
President Nixon’s funeral. And President Clinton
gives a eulogy did, were you involved at all
in how he described Nixon? I don’t recall. He probably
talked to me about it. We kind of bounce ideas
off of each other. I may have seen a draft, but I don’t recall any specific
advice that I gave him. What was it like
to be in that — you were among people
that you had studied. How did it make you feel? Well, by that time I was
much more familiar with the role
of being First Lady. And it was the right and proper
thing to be at his funeral to represent the country
as we were all doing. So, I talked to a number
of the former presidents whom I knew, the former
first ladies whom I knew. And it was a beautiful day
in Yorba Linda and it was a very touching
funeral memorial service. What should the country
have learned from the House’s role
in impeachment in 1974? I think that it’s such
a serious undertaking. Do not pursue it for trivial
partisan political purposes. If it does fall to you
while you’re in the House to examine abuses of power
by the president, be as circumspect and careful
as John Doar was. Restrain yourself
from grand standing and holding news conferences
and playing to your base. This goes way beyond whose side
is on you’re on or who’s on your side. And try to be faithful purveyors
of the history and the solemnity
of the process. And I guess that lesson
wasn’t learned. That lesson was not learned. And that’s why I think
it’s important to keep talking about
how serious this is. It should not be done
for political partisan purposes. So those who did it
in the late 90s, those who talk about it now
should go back and study
the painstaking approach that the impeachment
inquiry staff took. And it was bipartisan.
You had a bipartisan staff and you had both Democratic
and Republican members of the committee reaching
the same conclusions that there were grounds
for impeachment. Secretary Clinton, thank you
for your time today. Thank you. Good to talk to you. Thank you.

31 comments

  1. LOOK..ITS THE GOLDEN MOO MOO, MADAME CYBERHACK!!! JUST ANNOUNCE THAT YOUR RUNNING FOR 2020 AND GET THE JOKE OUT OF THE WATER….#Trump2020 #AmericaFirst #KAG #YouWillLoseAGAIN

  2. Still at it, trying to create some sense of relevance. Hillary has truly earned her place in history and even though she didn't win, she at least showed that she could make a uranium deal with Russia and then frame Trump as Putin's puppet.

  3. The face of the worst enemy of America, indict her , charge her , conflict her , send her to Gitmo for military court and executed for treason against America !

  4. The fat has been chopped from her fat neck. This is why you see the scars. The problem is that she can't stop stuffing her fat face.. then she went ahead and injected her cheek bones with botox..

  5. Love her! She is a true leader! Thank you #HillaryClinton for everything you have done for this country!

  6. I think some of brand New Democrat Party Congress members are overly left for ideologies of unknowns which seem very conflicted with our country America’s own established principles of Foundation and Constitution. However, the former 1st Lady Clinton compared with them, she is not an overly leftist and more reasonable than those ones. I also believe that she shouldn’t destroy emails from hard disk. She has done good things, might also make mistake, when she was getting older. We are all Americans and humans and no one can be perfect and no one can’t be learned from mistakes and do better things quickly together again. Somehow I believe the former President Clinton and his wife the former 1st Lady Hilary Clinton also love our country America. Often when people are getting older, easily be confused and can never compete with young or younger people as the reflections, memories or quick judgment, but more experiences to help out judgements. Let’s forgive each other this time and reunite together again by our own generosity forgiveness and kindness nature toward each other’s service and mistakes. Let’s reunite together again and focusing on getting things done quickly together again by learning experiences from mistakes and principles together and govern by our country America’s own principles afterward quickly together. America’s long time Governing leaderships certainly also like to see America’s greatness by learning experiences from mistakes and do better things quickly together again. This is why I always pray for our country America’s greatness of safety, prosperity and unity by our efforts toward each other’s service and and forgiveness and kindness as grace and decency this time as one nation indivisible. This is why I believe moving forward quickly together and focusing on getting important things done quickly together by learning experiences from mistakes and principles together. So we will be able to to reunite together again by precious time, energy and financial resources and one time generosity forgiveness and kindness nature, learning experiences from mistakes to build America a strong economy and defense capabilities as well as continue America’s principles of the Capitalism systems of freedoms, entrepreneurship spirit and equality of opportunities as America’s greatness always. I also believe that America’s Presidents are also the symptoms of America’s greatness and the one page of America’s history always too. Let’s reunite together again and get things done quickly together again as well as Governing by America’s recognitions, principles, greatness and patriotism quickly afterward together again. God bless America always. I believe that the former President Clinton also made mistakes before, but overall, I believe that he still was an ok or good President before. Let all elected Presidents and their families to have a peaceful retired life maybe a wiser things to do for America’s images. The most important thing is the learning experiences from mistakes by our own grace and decency of generosity forgiveness and kindness nature and do better things afterward together quickly again. I guess the former President Reagan and President Bush would move forward quickly by their visions of the importance of the unity, stop ideologies from unknown systems and govern by our country America’s own established principles afterward together quickly. God bless America always.

  7. Ha ha " what horse shit..CHECK out gemma o Dohertys streams on YouTube in Ireland " about Hillary Clinton..YOU WILL BE SHOCKED..☘☘

  8. Interesting that both of the Obamas have unfollowed her and Bill and Michelle Obama has deleted all posts relating to the Clintons going back to the year 2013 Elizabeth Warren has also unfollowed them something big regarding the Clinton’s is about to come down

  9. Who ever still believes this evil person is an angel , lives in the basement , high on marijuana and hasn't watched the news in 30 years ! Total ass wipe , idiot if you believe in Hillary!

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