Bernard Nussbaum Discusses the House Committee on the Judiciary Impeachent Inquiry, Part 1
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Bernard Nussbaum Discusses the House Committee on the Judiciary Impeachent Inquiry, Part 1

November 22, 2019

bjbj Naftali: Hi, I m Tim Naftali; I m Director
of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library Museum in Yorba Linda, California. It s October
1, 2011; we re in New York City, and I have the honor and privilege to be interviewing
Bernie Nussbaum for the Richard Nixon Oral History Program. Bernie, thank you for doing
this. Nussbaum: Glad to be here. Naftali: So, to help the viewer understand 1974, and
you, let s go back and tell us please a little bit about how you became a lawyer. Nussbaum:
I was born in 1937, so I was 37 years old in 1974. I was born in Manhattan on the Lower
East Side of Manhattan. My parents were immigrants. They were the first in their family to come
to the United States. They met and married here, but they were born in Poland and I was
the first child born in the United States. I grew up on the Lower East Side, which is
a was primarily a poor neighborhood populated by Jews and others at the time. And it was
a very modest, but very warm and loving upbringing. I went to New York City public schools. I
was educated in the public schools; I entered public school in 1942. I graduated from Stuyvesant
High School in 1954, and then I went from there, with honors actually and then I went
from there to Columbia College. I got a scholarship, but I went to Columbia College. I was the
first in my family to attend college. I went to Columbia College where I did well. I became
editor-in-chief of the Columbia Daily Spectator, which was the college daily newspaper and
I was Phi Beta Kappa. And then I went to Harvard Law School. I got into Harvard Law School
and I did pretty well in Harvard Law School. Also I made the Law Review and I was Note
Editor of the Law Review. A year after law at the end of the law school at the end of
my third year in law school my contemporaries in law school were Anthony Kennedy, who is
now in the Supreme Court, who was in my class and Antonin Scalia, with whom I served with
on the Law Review. So I knew these people a long time ago at that time. After law school
I received I didn t clerk, but I received an award called the Harvard University Sheldon
Traveling Fellowship, and I traveled around the world for a year. I traveled to 30 countries;
I was 24 years old at the time. I came back to the United States at the age of 25. I decided
I wanted to be a trial lawyer, so I applied to the U.S. Attorney s Office actually I applied
before I left. And there was a new U.S. Attorney; John Kennedy had just been elected President
a short time before. The new U.S. Attorney was Robert Morgenthau, and he interviewed
me as well as other people on the staff, and he offered me a job as an assistant U.S. Attorney.
It was unusual to be able to get a job right out of law school, but the office was sort
of turning over at that time and I managed to do it. So I was 25 years old when I obtained
that job when I got that job. And I started it when I returned from this trip around the
world; I went to 30 different countries. And I started that in 1962, and I worked in the
U.S. Attorney s Office from 1962 to 1966, prosecuting criminal cases. I took six months
out to serve in the United States Army Reserves, which I did during that period. And I got
to know Morgenthau fairly well obviously; he was my boss at the time. And it was a great
office. It was an office of prosecutors and you really learned to try cases in that office,
and to deal with judges and to deal with juries and to deal with factual presentations and
confictual gathering and investigations. I left the U.S. Attorney s Office in 1966, and
joined a firm, which a friend of mine was involved in starting. It was a firm called
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, Katz and Kern at the time. It was seven lawyers, eight lawyers
at the time. I joined that in 1966. That firm has now grown and it s a very successful firm.
And I ve been with actually that firm for 45 years from 1966 until today, other than
leaving on a couple of occasions, one of which was Watergate and the other one was to go
to the White House in 1992, 1993. So I joined that firm and became a lawyer at Wachtell
Lipton and I became a private practitioner and we I spent time with my other partners
I came as an associate; I became a partner two years later building the practice that
we now enjoy. I was actively politically to some extent. I ran for office actually in
1968; I ran for the State Assembly in 1968 in a primary in Brooklyn, where I lived at
the time. Fortunately I lost so that I could move to the suburbs with my wife and my children.
I ended up having with my wife three children and I moved to Scarsdale, New York at that
time. And so I was involved in the Morgenthau campaign, actually Morgenthau ran for Governor
in 1970, and I was his campaign manager in 1970. And I met Elizabeth Elizabeth Holtzman
had worked a woman named Elizabeth worked in Wachtell Lipton for a short time. When
I came to Wachtell Lipton, she was there for a short time, so that s how I met her. She
had left Wachtell Lipton and went into government to work for John Lindsay, and then she went
into politics. She left government to go into politics and she ran, I think it was in 1970,
yes, it was 1970 it was yeah for state committeewoman, which is sort of a party position in Brooklyn.
And she was attached legally claiming she didn t really live in Brooklyn. Her parents
lived in Brooklyn; she didn t live in Brooklyn. And she asked me to represent her in that
case. And I did represent her in that case and we prevailed. We showed that she spent
a great deal of time in Brooklyn. Her parents testified and all sorts of issues, but we
won that case in 1970. So she was sort of solidified in politics. And I tried it in
the Brooklyn courts; I was the trial lawyer in that case. And then two years later this
is all related actually to Watergate and the impeachment obviously in some respect two
years later she decided to run for Congress. She ran for Congress against a long-term Congressman
named Emanuel Celler, who d been in Congress for many years 30 years, 35 years. Very powerful
figure in Brooklyn and in Congress. He was the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Everybody nobody thought she had a chance at that time. Even I didn t think she had
a chance. She told me she was running. But she ran and she won by 600 votes against Celler
in a primary, it was a big surprise. The Brooklyn organization and Celler then brought a lawsuit
against her to set aside the election and asking for a new election claiming there was
she stole the election. There was fraud; people voted who shouldn t have voted all ridiculous
charges. I mean the Brooklyn organization controlled the electoral process and she was
an outsider who just happened to pull it off by campaigning very hard and being very attractive.
So she asked me to represent her again. I was sort of reluctant to do it, I had a summer
vacation planned and this is taking place during the summer. My wife wasn t too happy
about this. We took a cabin in Maine, which I never got to. But I did represent her and
in a very tough fight we won. We won in the Brooklyn courts, which was people didn t think
we would do, but we did win. And then we won in the Appellate Division and then went to
the Court of Appeals and we won in the Court of Appeals. So we sustained her victory at
that time, which was which I m very proud of and she was very happy about. That had
an interesting impact that we didn t know in 1972, but we know now looking back. Because
she won and went to Congress, Celler of course wasn t in Congress, which meant he had to
step down as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He was no longer in Congress and
a new chairman was appointed, and that was Peter Rodino. And Peter Rodino of course ultimately
became chairman during the impeachment proceedings involving Richard Nixon and he performed enormously
well. I mean I m sure in these interviews you ll hear about Rodino, it he just died
a few years ago. He lived well into his 90s, but he had a very he had the right temperament.
Even though he had been attacked as a party hack and things like that, he really performed
at a very high level. I wonder we wonder, no one can tell for sure how Celler would
have performed, but Celler was a very partisan person, you know when you come from the Brooklyn
organization. He was an able guy in many ways and I don t want to deprecate Celler, but
I think it would have been a different impeachment proceeding looking back, and most people who
were there who know more than me also think. So that in a funny way, although I ultimately
was involved in the impeachment proceedings, what I did two years before what Elizabeth
Holtzman did two years before, probably has a greater impact on the impeachment proceeding
as anything we did in 1974. Holtzman turned out as a Congresswoman to be on the House
Judiciary Committee, and she was there she was a part of the impeachment proceedings
and an important part of the impeachment proceedings. But I think her victory two years before and
my sustaining of that victory as a lawyer, had probably a greater impact on whatever
she did or I did two years later when we were part of it. Naftali: re being a bit modest.
There s a little courtroom drama in your victory two years before. Nussbaum: Naftali: s a great
story though. Nussbaum: Well, there was a lot of courtroom drama in that one. No, it
was it was the Brooklyn organization really wanted to win that case and one of the judges
the judge was a judge named Dominic Rinaldi, who was an old time judge who came up through
the organization, which most of the judges did at that time. And what I did in that case
was I knew it would be tough to win below, in the trial court, I was hopeful I would
win in the Appellate Courts if I lost in trial court. So what I ended up doing with people
from my firm who assisted me on the case, was to submit a brief to him at the beginning
of the trial, a very lengthy brief, sort of summarizing all the law and which made it
which really showed how really judges shouldn t upset elections except in the most unusual
circumstances. And I really told the judge at the beginning of the trial, this is the
brief I m gonna submit to the Court of Appeals. So, you know I said it in a nice way and I
got on with the judge because it s my job as a trial lawyer to try to get on with the
judge. And so I really showed him that, you know that I was gonna take this all the way.
That was a surprise, but exactly what I was gonna say to the Court of Appeals. And then
we started trying the case and of course the the organization had very good lawyers actually,
they really fought very hard in this case. The lawyer who opposed me in this case ultimately
became a judge, which is not surprising. But he was a very good lawyer, so it was a hard
fight. But I was fighting back very hard. They were accusing us of fraud and things
like that, which was ridiculous. We were the outsiders; we were the reformers. And at one
point I said to demonstrate that we had no control over any processes at all I m gonna
call Meade Esposito, the chairman of the Brooklyn organization. The whole courtroom started
shaking. Everybody in that courtroom one way or another had gotten his job through Esposito.
They all started like screaming basically. So I withdrew my I was getting along with
some of them at this point, so I withdrew my request to subpoena Meade Esposito. And
then surprisingly, the judge the judge below Justice Rinaldi, ruled in our favor and then
when I argued the Appellate Division, his law secretary came to watch me argue and told
me the judge had just been the subject of an article in the Village Voice. I guess it
was by Jack Newfield, listing the ten worst judges in New York. And they listed Rinaldi
first. And he asked me if I saw that article and I said I did and I thought it was a terrible
thing, I thought the judge was fine. Obviously I d won this case now. And actually I thought
he was fine. He really tried a good case. And he said well the judge he says well, I
m glad you think that, the judge thinks that too. He thinks this is a very bad article
and he would like to sue the Village Voice for liable and he would like you to represent
him. That s one of the biggest compliments I ve gotten as a lawyer, the judge asking
me to represent him. I backed out. I said I can t do that, I I still feel guilty about
that to this day. The judge did get a lawyer and they did sue for liable and the case went
to the Court of Appeals, and the Court of Appeals ultimately determined not that there
was immunity, that the Village Voice, you know the judge lost in effect in the Court
of Appeals, his liable suit. But it was a very interesting byplay, that case. But the
point is, in terms of Watergate, in terms of the impeachment, that the House Judiciary
Committee had a different leader than it otherwise would have had. Naftali: I just also like
the story of how you changed your whole strategy when you heard Nussbaum: Oh, that isn the
judicial complexity here. At the same time we were fighting to preserve Holtzman s victory
against Celler she won by 600 votes against Celler there was another case going on at
the same time. Allard Lowenstein, who was a prominent liberal Democrat political reformer
on the same political side as Holtzman. He had run against a Congressman named Rooney,
John Rooney, and he lost by 900 votes. In other words Rooney won by 900 votes; Holtzman
won by 600 votes. Rooney rather Lowenstein brought a suit to try to upset the Rooney
victory. So what we have here is Lowenstein trying to upset a 900-vote victory and Celler
trying to upset a 600-vote victory. So even though we were on the same side politically,
we were on the opposite sides legally. I m making the claim in the Holtzman case basically
that you can t upset elections unless there s overwhelming proof. You just can t, you
know this is all nonsense about irregularities and things like that. And that was the thrust
of my brief in effect, and the thrust of my witnesses. I called a statistician from Columbia
Law School to point out that the odds that the election would have changed because of
certain alleged irregularities were greater than all the grains of sand on all the beaches
of the earth. I mean I had all sorts of testimony like that. So I m saying you can never overturn
elections, although under certain circumstances you can, and Lowenstein s arguing you can
overturn elections because he s arguing against Rooney. So we had different sides legally
although we re on the same side politically. So I win in the lower court and but for Holtzman
Holtzman wins in the lower court and Rooney wins in the lower court. The election s not
set side. Then we go to the Appellate Division and the Appellate Division sustains the decision
below. The Holtzman election is not set aside, the Holtzman victory s not set aside and the
Rooney victory s not set aside. So that s the Appellate. That s the second level of
it. Then we go to the Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in the state. And I think
I m sort of home now, you know I won in the court which is most political below, I won
in the Appellate Division, which is not that political, but you know. Now I m in the Court
of Appeals, which should be the least political court of the circumstances here. And at the
same time I m winning, Rooney s winning and Lowenstein s losing too, which I sort of expected,
you know if I can win. So I m now in the Court of Appeals and we re sitting there arguing
in the Court of Appeals this major case although I m fairly confident and I have an argument
planned out obviously along the lines I argued earlier before. The first case they hear is
the Lowenstein-Rooney case and Lowenstein s lawyer gets up to argue that the election
should be set aside, which is contrary to the position I m gonna take in the next case.
And he s treated sort of very nicely by the Court of Appeals. And then Rooney s lawyer
gets up, says you can t set aside elections, making similar kind of arguments to the kind
I made s a different case. And the Court of Appeals is all over him. Really questioning
him very hard and saying why can t they do this and wasn t there this error and that
error. Now, it s true that Rooney was the organization candidate and Lowenstein was.
But nonetheless, they really said oh, no, we can set aside the election, you know. That
s sort of the thrust of some of the questions, and I s getting a really hard time, you know.
I realize I realize if they re gonna if they might go in that direction in that case in
which there s a 900-vote victory, what will they do in my case where there s only a 600-vote
victory. So sitting there, and this is what you re alluding to, I realize I have to throw
out my whole argument and I start writing notes to myself. And I get up and the first
thing I say is you just heard that case in which you discussed whether you should set
aside that 900-vote victory. Now you re hearing my case, which is a 600-vote victory. My case
is not that case. There are 12 differences between my case and that case. And I start
listing one after another. And one of the main differences was we were of course, the
insurgents, the reform, you know and Rooney was the machine was behind Rooney. But I listed,
you know that happened in this case, didn t happen in my case. So I started listing
the so I started distinguishing ourselves from the other case fearing that we would
be dragged down because of their attitude in the other case. And the Court of Appeals
also gave me a tough time. I didn t get a tough time in the Appellate Division, but
I got a tough time in the Court of Appeals. And then I sat down, and I didn t know what
the result was going to be. I mean I was questioned and I fought back and I the way Rooney s lawyer
was questioned. And then we went back to the hotel to await the decision. In those cases
decisions come down right away because the elections take place shortly thereafter, or
if you had another election it would have to take place shortly thereafter. And about
five hours later we were sitting in the hotel, the decision came down. The Rooney victory
was upset, the 900-vote victory was upset by a vote of four to three. And the Holtzman
victory, the Holtzman 600 victory was sustained. We won by a vote of five to two. There were
two dissents; the first judges that dissented. And that was in the circumstances was an amazing
thing, that we could sustain a 900-vote victory a 600-vote victory and Rooney could not sustain
a 900-vote victory. Now there were differences in the cases as I argued to the Court of Appeals
and that had this great result, that Holtzman went up to Congress and Celler had was no
longer Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the rest is history. Naftali: How did
you get hired by John Doar? Nussbaum: How did I get hired by John Doar? I gotta go back
even before being hired by John Doar. As I said I was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and
I also said I took I went to Harvard Law School and I met a lot of people obviously at Harvard
who I knew very well. And one of them was Archie Cox, who was my professor in agency,
and Phil Heymann who was a contemporary of mine in law school he was a year ahead of
me. He was in Scalia s class. And I get a call from the special counsel, the independent
counsel, the special prosecutor, which had been appointed as a result of Watergate. This
is prior to the impeachment proceedings prior to any impeachment proceedings. This, of course,
this special counsel, Archie Cox is ultimately fired and that results in the firestorm that
causes the House Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry. So I get a call six, seven, eight,
nine months before from Phil Heymann, I think I got the call, some senior member of the
staff, who I knew because I knew them from law school. And they called to ask me to come
down to consider joining their staff, to leaving my law firm and joining the staff as a prosecutor
on the independent counsel staff the special prosecutor staff. And I turned it down on
the phone. I m now a partner in law firm, I have a wife and children, I m doing fairly
well, I live in the suburbs, I m working very hard and I don t wanna be a prosecutor again
at this point in my life. I d been there, done that kind of thing. And I tell them that
on the phone. And I just turned it down, turned down an opportunity to join that staff. And
you know, you know it was interesting, obviously it s a significant thing, this special prosecutor
was appointed. But it s an institution I m not a fan of, as later on I although I thought
it did a great job in that thing and it was proper to have it in that situation. So I
turn it down. Then of course life time some time goes by and Cox is fired in the Saturday
Night Massacre, the famous Saturday Night Massacre. And then the House Judiciary Committee
starts indicating that it s gonna conduct an impeachment inquiry regarding President
Nixon. And they appoint John Doar as Chief Counsel. They re gonna set up a special staff,
they re not gonna use their regular staff and they re gonna appoint him as Chief Counsel.
So John Doar calls me. I get a call from John Doar asking me this is how I remember it asking
me if I would come down and meet with him because he wants he would like me to join
probably to join his staff. He wants to meet me first. And I say no on the telephone. I
say well, I got this a similar call months ago. I didn t say that I don t know if I said
that to him, but this was what was in my mind. I said no, I m not, you know I m here, I m
really not prepared to leave. I understood this was no longer a prosecutor thing, this
was the House Judiciary Committee, but I so I sort of turn it down. The next day I get
a call from Robert Morgenthau. Now, my old boss who now happens to be in my firm. He
just in 92 he retired as district attorney and is now is sort of a counsel to our law
firm in New York. This is 50 years after he hired me, he s now at our firm. But this is
1974 I m talking about 1973 actually late 1973 I m talking about. The Saturday Night
Massacre was October 73, so this was after that the month after that, November 1973 early
December 1973. So Morgenthau calls me now, I don t know Morgenthau I know him fairly
well from my Morgenthau is a guy who was a wonderful U.S. Attorney, a wonder district
attorney, a great man, but thinks the only job in the world worth having is working for
him. This is well, a lot of people are like that you know. So and I know that, so it because
he tries to get people to work for him and he got very good people to work for him. He
had great staffs; that s what made him that s why he s had such a great career. So he
calls me up the next day and he says I was just talking to John Doar, you know and I
recommended you for this thing as did some other people, to Doar. He said and Doar told
me you weren t interested. I think you should think about this. This sort of shocked me
because I never I thought Morgenthau would ever recommend anybody working for anybody
else other than Morgenthau and it wasn t working for Morgenthau. I really think you should
think about this. And then he said something that I never forgot. He says you gotta think
about this in two different ways and I think it may make it more attractive to you. Number
one, this is an impeachment, this is history and how often do you get a chance to participate
in an event an historical event. And number two, just as important, it s short. How long
can you keep a President hanging? So you re not gonna be gone for so long, you re not
gonna be you know this is not a career thing, you re not gonna be gone for years, you know.
I can understand not going to a prosecutor s office. It s history and it s short. Now
Doar s gonna call you again, or somebody s gonna call you again and I really think you
should consider that. I hung up the phone and I really thought about that and it really
struck me that he was right. It was history and it was short. Now, my partners weren t
very happy; this firm was not all that big at the time. We were pretty successful. But
I did get a call and I agreed immediately to go down and see Doar. And I went down in
Washington and I met with Doar and he was very attractive and, you know we talked about
how this thing would proceed and it sounded very important and very exciting. A real challenge
to a lawyer. And then I went back and I was enthusiastic about it. Once I met him it a
full gone conclusion, I wanna do it. So I went back and I talked to my wife, who was
wonderful. I mean we had three little children, one was eight, one was five, one was two and
I was gonna go off now on this thing, which was gonna be hard for us. And it turned out
to be hard. That was a tough year for the in a family sense; I was away a lot that year.
It was a very hard year, but it worked out. And then I had to talk to my partners, who
most of them were understanding. There was only a few partners, you know they thought
I was sort of crazy to go off and I resigned from my firm because this was a very sensitive
thing. My firm was not as well known as it is today; it was not as strong as it is today.
It was successful was not. So I resigned. Some people after the impeachment didn t have
to resign, but I resigned because I felt if things went badly on this impeachment, and
they could go badly and who knows what kind of attacks we would be under, and I knew there
would be attacks. And there were attacks to some extent. I just didn t want it to hurt
the firm. And I was even guaranteed I could come back to the firm under that circumstance.
But I said I just wanted to do this, this was a great challenge. My wife was supportive
although it turned out to be a hard year she said. And I went and I did it, and my partners
were understanding too, even though they were reluctant to see me do this. But I did it.
So I went down and I did it and that s how I got hired. Naftali: Did you recruit any
of the staff? Nussbaum: I was involved I was involved in sort of vetting and discussing
with Doar certain people such as Evan Davis for example. I was supportive of him hiring
certain people who sort of came along. I tried to induce him to hire certain additional people,
which he decided he didn t really want to do. Actually people who turned out to be very
prominent later on. One is Pierre Leval, who s now in the Second Circuit and the other
is Tony Sifton, who became Chief Judge of the Eastern District of New York; they re
both federal judges. Sifton unfortunately died a few years ago; Leval is still alive
and still a judge on the Second Circuit. But Doar decided I don t want to overstay this.
He I wanted more litigators, I wanted more trial lawyers for this thing. I envisioned
the trial of the Senate, I wanted guys who were my contemporaries. Doar, you know he
had me and he had some other people. He had Joe Woods, he had Dick Cates; he felt he had
enough people along those lines and therefore he passed up the opportunity to hire Leval
and to hire Sifton. But somehow their careers managed to do okay without coming down to
our staff. So I did try to get him to do that. He was more comfortable with the staff that
he sort of put together and a lot of the younger people we had such as Hillary Rodham and Maureen,
who was not a lawyer at the time. But and it worked out. I mean he was he was his comfort
level was important. He had me and I was sort of both very useful to him and an irritant
at the same time, but you know. I was very aggressive. I was 37 years old, I d been I
was a trial lawyer; I d been a trial lawyer, and we had disputes from time to time as to
how things should happen and, you know how things should proceed. When I think back he
was right most of the time and I was wrong most of the time. He wanted to be he understood
that we couldn t come off as prosecutorial; he understood and this is very important he
really understood and Rodino did too I understood it to some extent, but less so. He was I understood
what he was saying and I sort of agreed with what he was saying, but I still wanted to
be more aggressive in terms of the he was very cautious about how we should investigate
this thing. He understood that the papers we d be writing if we sent out investigators
he basically wanted to do it in a low-key fashion. Have the information collated from
various sources, especially the special prosecutor who ended up giving us sort of a report, some
sort of roadmap so to speak, although it wasn I mean we so and then of course we got the
tapes. We didn t do a lot of original investigation. We did some, but not very much. We interviewed
the witnesses obviously before John Dean and John Mitchell and people like that, but we
didn t go out to aggressively investigate the facts, which is something I wanted to
do, I felt we had to do. This was my background, both as a prosecutor, as a private lawyer.
Doar was much more cautious about doing it knowing that we sent people out, there ll
be newspaper stories, who knows what we ll get, who knows how we ll be attacked. So he
was just take it step-by-step. Other people were gathering information or information
was coming in, let s just put it together. Let s just collate it and we ll present it
in a neutral fashion. That judgment, which I some of which I opposed at the time, I realized
after it was all over happened to be a correct judgment and I think it was very helpful in
achieving what was the ultimate outcome. At the beginning we weren t sure I wasn t sure
at least and I don t think Doar was sure either, although articles have been written contrary
to this, that we were going to recommend the impeachment of the President. That wasn you
know we didn t come in to and this is how I remember it and I I truly believe this.
We weren t coming in to drive him out of office. We were going to see where the what the facts
really were. Obviously we were suspicious about the events that led to the Saturday
Night Massacre and the President s conduct and the conduct of some of his chief aides.
But there was no real no real animus, no real desire to say we re gonna try to get Nixon
President Nixon out of office. Even, look at what I just said. Nixon, I said, but really
it s President Nixon. Doar and we all remember this Doar charged us all with never calling
the President other than by the name the President. Not Nixon and certainly not anything, you
know derogatory. We had to call he was the President, we called him the President. We
were trained to call him the President. And he was and that s a very interesting insight,
you know he understood that. Something I don t think I would I might not have understood
at the time, but of course he we understood, we called him Nixon, we tried to treat it
with respect and, you know we wanted to aggressively find the facts. But as I said before we didn
t really go out and investigate on our own, but collate the facts. And also when we started
collating the facts and gathering the facts, especially of course when the tapes came,
then yes, then we did make a determination that the proper recommendation to the committee
would be to impeach the President. But we didn t start off like that. People claim we
did and a friend of Doar s wrote an article and Arthur Adler sort of claims that he always
intended to do this. I never saw that and I don t think it s true. I think Doar also
sort of had an open mind until the facts sort of came in together and then at some point
they jelled and we made the decision, yeah, especially after the tapes came in that we
really have to go all out to try and convince the committee that the right thing to do would
be to impeach the President. Naftali: Tell us a little bit about how Mr. Doar took advice.
When you were having this discussion with him, and I m sure it happened more than once
was Joe Woods also part of a Nussbaum: Yes. Naftali: discussion whether or not to continue
the investigation started by Nussbaum: Yes. Yes. Naftali: the Senate? Nussbaum: No, Joe
Woods was a, you know very sensible person. Doar surrounded himself with good people.
You know he used them different people in different ways and he consulted with them.
He was fairly close to the vest at times. He didn t really know me before and we you
know as I said we had a good relation, but a rocky relationship to begin with. But, you
know it had ups and downs. But over time I think it became pretty good and pretty close,
which I think exists today. We were different personalities. He was more of a Midwestern
type I was sort of an aggressive East Coast prosecutor I guess. But he relied on other
people too. He relied on Woods, who s a good example, who s a very common sense guy. Also
a cautious person. He relied on Dick Cates, who was more of a trial lawyer and I related
to him very well. But he liked Cates a lot; they used Cates a great deal to interface
a word I don t like to be a contact with the committee itself. So Doar, you know and he
was comfortable with the younger people. He was comfortable with Hillary, he was comfortable
with Evan Davis, who was about 30 years old at the time. We had Bob Sack, who was a few
years younger than me, who came in. We had all sorts of good people, sensible people.
He put together a good staff partly through his Burke Marshall, who was also a key advisor.
He had sort of a kitchen cabinet in effect who he looked to. Burke Marshall, Owen Fiss,
Bob Owen, you know then Joe Woods and Dick Cates were on the some were on the staff,
some weren t on the staff. So Doar sort of reached out. He knew he was in a very sensitive
situation and when I think back it was handled, you know as well as anybody could handle it.
Naftali: Would you and Woods participate in discussions with the kitchen cabinet? Nussbaum:
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Not always. Sometimes, you know Doar would Doar was always
in contact with various people on his own. There was no formal meetings a lot. But sometimes
yeah, sometimes I would talk to Marshall myself, or who s really the key figure in the kitchen
cabinet. Marshall Burke Marshall was also a key figure in recruiting people for the
staff. Hillary I think came in from Burke Marshall, Mike Conway came in through Burke
Marshall. Various people came in through Burke and the Yale connection, Bill and Hillary
Clinton obviously went to Yale. Well, she wasn t Hillary Clinton then, she was Hillary
Rodham then. So Burke was a key figure both in recruiting people and advising Doar. And
Burke was a very sensible guy. He was a great Assistant Attorney General in charge of Civil
Rights Division prior to Doar having that position. I met Burke Marshall actually I
worked in the summer of 1960. I graduated law school in 61. So I think I met Burke Marshall
14 years before when I was just a kid before I graduated law school even, when I worked
at Covington and Burling for the summer. And Burke Marshall was then a partner at Covington
and Burling. That was through the year that Kennedy was running for President. This was
1960. Kennedy hadn t yet been elected. I worked the summer of 1960; Kennedy was elected November
of 1960. And I knew of I knew Burke slightly. He was a partner, a young partner and I was
a second year a summer associate. But I had a great respect for him and he was a wonderful
Assistant Attorney General. I knew from my Justice Department days because I was in the
Justice Department the same time he was. I was in the U.S. Attorney s office in New York;
he was in Washington, but I knew of him then. And he was a wonderful advisor I think to
Doar. And I kept in touch I met him from time to time over the years after the impeachment,
normally at Doar s farm. And he was just a good guy. He s also dead now; he just died
a few years ago. A wonderful guy. Naftali: Can you remember some of the effects that
his influence had? Nussbaum: No. Not specifically. I just thought he generally was cautious and
he gave good advice. You know I don t remember any particular issue at this point. I mean
I think Doar consulted him on a lot of things virtually anything. The key person to interview
here is Doar, but and he could tell you much more obviously because he s still I don t
know if he s going strong, but he s still but he but he relied on Burke a great deal
[inaudible]. And that was good. I didn I just wanted to do our job; I wanted to get the
facts, I wanted to present the facts. My job on the impeachment I was a very senior person
on the impeachment obviously, Joe Woods and I and a few others you know nobody was really
sort of number two. There were a number of number twos in effect for different purposes.
Joe Woods might have been, but he only didn t stay the whole time. I was there the whole
time. Cates, there s no Deputy Chief Counsel, at least the way I remember it. My title was
Senior Associate Special Counsel and I had the highest salary anybody could get, $36,000
a year at the time. I think it was a little less than I was making a lot less than I was
making as a partner in my law firm, which I just resigned from with three children.
But so different people sort of had different tasks, and my basic task ultimately as a very
senior aide to Doar was to sort of oversee the factual investigations. We set up various
task forces at the time as I remember. Others who you ve interviewed of course could be
more specific. You know there was the Watergate Task Force, which Evan I think worked on;
there was the Agency Task Force, which Bob Sack worked on. We had people in charge of
legal research and writing. John Labovitz was sort of a leading figure there. And we
divided people among these various task force these task forces. I was sort of over all
the tasks forces in effect. They didn t sort of directly report to me; it was not all that
hierarchical, you know I was sort of in charge, in my mind, of the factual investigation.
I would work with each of the task forces to some extent. And then when the tapes came
in later on, I was sort of in overall charge, at least as I remember it, I don t know other
people can remember it differently, but I do remember it in dealing with the tapes.
In having the tapes transcribed, analyzing the tapes and deciding how are we gonna use
the tapes. So that was sort of my role. And then I was gonna be in charge is too strong
a term, as if I m the only person, I m not the only person, but I m one of the key people
because there wasn t a lot of trial lawyers there. So then I was gonna be in charge again,
I used that word [inaudible] I was going to have a very important role, let me put it
like that, in planning the trial in the Senate. That s what I was really I was convinced that
Nixon President Nixon would never resign, even, you know and that we would have to try
this case in the Senate. So I was always I was always thinking how do I try as I do in
private practice when I have a case or I did in the U.S. Attorney s office when I was a
prosecutor. How do we try this case? Who re we gonna call? Who are our witnesses? What
are our documents? What are our themes? You know this is the kind of thing we did. My
other function in connection with that, I was tasked to make a key presentation to the
committee on the necessity for a third article in the Article of Impeachment, which involved
our inability to get tapes and documents directly from the White House. The tapes we got obviously,
were from the independent from the special prosecutor who received them as a result of
litigation against the President and the Supreme Court. They refused to turn over many documents
and tapes to us and we and under my leadership here, we claimed that was in itself an impeachable
offense, not to cooperate with the committee. And we had law going back to the mid-1800s
to support that. That was a very important position. I took a very strong position, which
Doar basically agreed with or mostly that we re not going to go to court to try to get
documents or tapes. The courts had no role in this process. That the Constitution set
up the impeachment process if there was a basis to try to impeach a Oresident, that
was a Congressional prerogative. When Congress had started a legitimate impeachment inquiry
it was entitled to reach into the dark recesses of the administration to get whatever documents
and tapes or whatever existed, to help it formulate a decision with respect to impeachment.
And if the executive branch and the President refused to cooperate, that itself was an impeachable
offense. That was contrary to the Constitution; that undermined the Constitutional scheme.
So we didn t go to court. We didn t bring a case in court. You know the recent Clinton
impeachment, I proceeded differently, but that was a phony impeachment; that was a political
impeachment. This was a as Hillary once said to me the only Constitutional impeachment
was the one we did in 1974. But so one of my key roles was to be involved and in charge
up to some extent with factual gathering and that meant trying to deal with the White House
to get these things. And when they didn t give us a lot of the stuff, which I thought
undermined our ability to present a proper case to the House Judiciary Committee, that
itself turned into an impeachable offense, I thought. We drafted an article, which I
was involved in drafting, and then I was also involved in making the presentation to the
committee in support of voting out that Article of Impeachment. And it was voted out. It was
the Third Article of Impeachment. And indeed to my in my mind I always thought about it
then and I still think about it now, it s still a key historical precedent in Constitutional
precedent in the event of any future impeachments, which I hope none really come up, that the
executive branch is obligated to cooperate if there really is a legitimate impeachment
inquiry. Naftali: What happens to the so you believe that then the concept of executive
privilege has to be completely waived then, by the White House? Nussbaum: In an Impeachment
Inquiry, yes. Not in any other inquiry, but in an Impeachment Inquiry, yes. Not in a criminal
case or not in any other case, but the executive privilege falls in an Impeachment Inquiry,
and that s the only place it falls. That s what I believe. Naftali: Oh, okay. Nussbaum:
That s not the way it worked out in Watergate and it hasn t worked out since. In Watergate
it so happens the Supreme Court, as we discussed the Supreme Court decided that there is such
a thing as executive privilege, but it can be overridden by the needs of the criminal
case. That resulted in them ordering the tapes to be turned over. President Nixon then turned
over the tapes and then the tapes were then sent to us by the special prosecutor. Naftali:
But, if Nussbaum: But that s a different Naftali: Well, I was gonna ask you, if the impeachment
proceedings involved a crime by the President, are you not then asking the President also
to waive his Fifth or her Fifth Amendment rights? Nussbaum: An impeachment proceeding
is not a criminal proceeding. The impeachment proceeding doesn t send anybody to jail. The
impeachment proceeding is to decide whether somebody should stay in office is fit to stay
in office. And in that proceeding the President takes the Fifth Amendment, you can use or
refuses to testify because they might be subject to a criminal proceeding, then you can take
that into consideration in effect in deciding he s not fit to stay in office. s a whole
different thing. And that s the whole and also we had big discussions about this and
other people can discuss this as well, or better than I, you know to impeach a President
you don t have to prove that he committed a crime. This was a major discussion. We have
misdemeanor a felony, a high crimes and misdemeanors has a different meaning under our Constitution
and we thought that the word crime or misdemeanor normally has. It it had to be something that
only a President can do that undermines our Constitutional structure, that an abuse of
power, whether it turns out to be criminal or not. That was a very interesting discussion
at the time. And the misuse of the FBI to investigate your political opponents may or
may not be a crime, but that s an impeachable offense. The misuse of the CIA, you know whether
or not it turns out to be a crime is an impeachable offense. When you send the CIA to, you know
to act outside its proper parameters for your own political interest, that s a crime. That
s rather an impeachable offense, it may not be a crime. That s an impeachable offense.
Those are the issues we tried to deal with at the time, and that s what we tried to articulate
at the time. Naftali: Well, it s articulated in that document, the Grounds for Impeachment
Nussbaum: Grounds for Impeachment, right. Naftali: Can you tell us what you remember
of the who was on which side in that debate? Nussbaum: No, I don t think others may have
different memories and it s been a long time obviously I don t think we had different sides
so much in that. I think we were all we all reached the conclusion, I know I reached that
conclusion, but I think there was no there was not a lot of opposition to this. The more
we looked into it, the more we realized that what we really were investigating was not
whether the President committed a crime and we didn t have to but whether there was an
abuse of power by the executive branch and by the President with respect to the Watergate
matter. And that s all we really needed to show ultimately. Whether we had to do that.
And I don t think there was a lot of conflict on the staff. You know it took time to reach
that position because this was all new. There hadn t been an impeachment of a President
in a 100 and some odd years. The last one was Andrew Johnson; that was clearly a political
thing over this act, you know, which Congress passed saying he couldn t fire the Secretary
of War. It was a much more confined, much more narrow thing and he almost was impeached
over that. s true Congress can impeach a President for anything it wants to impeach a President,
but the proper way of looking at it is to see whether or not there was a fundamental
abuse of power by the executive branch contrary to our structural government, contrary to
our Constitutional principles, and that s what we concluded. I don t think there were
people on different sides of that. Maybe some people at the beginning said no, we really
are we really have to prove some sort of crime, but I don t remember anybody pushing that
that hard. Labovitz, I think was one of the key people who wrote that memo, The Grounds
for Impeachment memo and I think Hillary helped on it too on that memo. But that s the conclusion
we reached at the time and I think that s the conclusion that s still correct. Naftali:
Since you oversaw as much as a kibitzer or as a supervisor of the task forces, tell us
how you came to conclude how to present the information to the committee? Because you
had an enormous amount of information. Nussbaum: Yeah. Well, this was here I give most of the
credit, not to myself because I don t deserve the credit, but to Doar. This is an interesting
problem. Doar well, look, the thing really took off after we got the tapes, we realized
the stuff on the tapes was very powerful. And of course you had the 18-minute gap and
you had all those issues. Doar was the one who decided that we would present this in
a sort of low key, neutral fashion. These sort of statements of facts, whatever we called
them at the time, I have to refresh myself on this and these books that were given with
listing fact after fact after fact Statements of Information, that s what they were called.
I still have those books, Statements of Information I think it was called Statements of Information.
Not even facts it was interesting. We weren t even we didn t want it shows how cautious
John was, we didn t want to say they were facts; they were information. So we present
this information in the form of a sheet of paper, which was read to the committee and
behind there was documents demonstrating where we came up with this Statement of Information,
not statement of facts. Gee, I remember that, I said why can t we call this statement of
facts because thought was if you say it s a fact you re sort of making the judgment
that something happened. If you say it s a Statement of Information then you re just
presenting some data, which somebody else could make a judgment as to whether it s accurate
or factual or not. So Statements of Information. It even shows how careful this thing was thought
out, but I give all the credit here to John. You know this is not the normal way you present
to a Grand Jury or but he did it like that. So he came up with the scheme. I was, I think
dubious at the time whether this is the most effective way of doing it, and indeed it was
kind of boring to the committee. You know as a trial lawyer and as an investigator too
because I conducted Grand Jury investigations in my time, you sort of wanna, you know spice
it up a little bit. You want to make it interesting. But Doar wanted it to be boring almost, which
is right, which was the right decision. It s like it s kind of intuitive. But it was
right. So they set this committee and Evan Davis would read from a Statement of Information,
you know on June 18, this happened; on July 3, this happened, you know and then this document
and this piece of Grand Jury testimony, which we got or this tape or back that up. And he
wanted it to have some sort of cumulative effect. I think without the tapes it would
have fallen flat. But then we had the tapes. And then also we did finally they called witnesses;
finally we did have witnesses testify. And then I was actively involved in the witness
preparation, which is more my m tier, you know I prepared John Dean, who I must admit
turned out to be sort of the perfect Nazi corporal in the sense that whoever was in
power he would sort of ll tell a ll tell a Dean story which is interesting. I sat with
John Dean for four or five days preparing him to testify before the House Judiciary
Committee, and he s very intelligent and he was very smart. And he was very knowledgeable
about what happened. He was a key key witness before the Senate Watergate Committee, and
so I m preparing him for his testimony. And of course there are gaps, you know like in
everybody, you re trying to sort of figure out. So I play the tapes with him, you know
we d listen to the tapes and then I m trying to figure what happened between let s say
incident one and incident two, or day one and day two. And like I normally would do
with a witness sometimes, I would try to we would try to sort of logically figure out
what would have happened to sort of connect certain things. But I didn t know for sure.
And sometimes I would start making suggestions, well isn t the most logical thing that happened
this, since this happened here and that happened there. Is this the most logical thing that
happened between this? And all of a sudden I start seeing Dean start agreeing with every
logical logical hypothesis that I would forward. Because he wanted to go along with me. I really
didn t want him to go along I just wanted to try to figure out what happened. But I
realized he was going to go along because, you know so I got very cautious. Because I
didn t want to put words in his mouth, and I didn t want to make things up, and I didn
t want to create facts that weren t facts. Now, some prosecutors do that and as I ve
learned over my career. I didn t really wanna but Doar was not Doar Dean was sort of s perfectly
willing to sort of accept my hypothesis. So I became, you know somewhat cautious about
and then I realized listening to the tapes, listening to Dean on the tapes with President
Nixon, that Nixon would be doing the same thing with him. So he would start going along
with President Nixon, and Nixon was oh, that didn t happen, John, and this happened. And
sure enough Dean would start folding on the tape. He was sort of being directed by Nixon.
Nixon was trying at this stage to sort of direct him to thinking in a certain way and
to going to a certain fashion. And then I found what I found when I was talking to Dean
that the same thing was happening again, except I was I was in sort of, quote, the position
of power. I represented the House of Representatives, not me personally, I was, you know so he was
like going along with me just like he was going along with President Nixon. I was very
cautious. Having said that, I m not saying he lied or he made things I think he was just
willing to bend very so we were careful. Anyway, he testified before the committee, but the
committee testimony turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic. I mean James St. Clair, the
President s trial lawyer, who s a good lawyer who I got to know during the hearing, you
know cross-examined. But really, the truth is the witnesses didn t have a great impact.
John Dean s testimony didn t secure President s Nixon s impeachment, or John Mitchell. I
met with John Mitchell; John Mitchell was a tough guy. He wouldn t talk, he was he was
I tried to break him down I tried to Dean was easy. Mitchell, he was tough he was friends
of mine in New York had represented him in a criminal case. Guys from the U.S. Attorney
offered me into the defense lawyers and they ended up representing him. He was a tough
guy. Mitchell, he wouldn t give an inch, in effect, you know. I guess he testified before
the committee too, but he didn t get Dean testified, similar to the way he testified
obviously before the Senate Watergate Committee. But the testimony everybody said we gotta
have witnesses, we gotta have witnesses, we gotta have witnesses I said it in the early
stages. It turned out, Doar s instinct as I remember it was the right instinct. The
witnesses well, yeah, fine. We had witnesses, we had to satisfy the Committee. If it was
up to Doar we wouldn t have witnesses I don t think. He didn t want witnesses, but the
pressure of the Committee was we had to have some witnesses, so Doar said we have to have
some witnesses. It was my job then to prepare these witnesses, so to be me and others to
prepare these witnesses. And the witnesses, which I had great hopes would be a have a
great impact, really didn t have a great impact. What had a great impact was these Statements
of Information one after another, which were boring, plus the tapes. The tapes were, you
know once you heard the tapes and you could put the tapes together with documents and
with some of the testimony, that created this tremendous impetus for impeachment. Naftali:
Tell us about please, the first time you heard the tapes. If you can remember. Nussbaum:
Well, I ll tell you a story about how I heard the tapes and I ll tell you a Hillary story
in connection with this. The first time well, I heard the tapes by myself it was not you
know I was one of the first people on the staff to hear the tapes. Doar obviously heard
the tapes at the same time. And we were, you know we were shocked is the wrong word. This
was tremendous proof to us that really there was a significant abuse of power by the White
House, which went to the very top in the White House. So it had a big impact on Doar, it
had a big impact on me that we really had a case here, which was reflected the Articles
of Impeachment that we ultimately drafted to the Committee. And then and we had them
transcribed, and then we I have this vivid memory of then playing them with the Committee
for the first time. And I remember sitting there this is a private session obviously
when we play the tapes for the Committee. The senior members of the staff and the Committee
were there, and everybody in the Committee had their earphones on listening to tapes.
But I didn t have my earphones on. I heard the tapes a number of I wanted to just watch
the Committee and I ve never forgotten this. I saw this Committee I saw especially the
Republicans, the people, you know we would desperately try to make this non-partisan
to reach over to the other side if we recommended impeachment. And after we had the tapes we
knew we were gonna recommend impeachment. And I saw the faces of the members like flush
get red, the Republicans. They were they acted very disturbed when they were listening to
the tapes. And I sat there, see I said, they realize that this is something we have to
do, I said to myself as I was sitting there just watching the Committee in the Committee
Room in this private session. And I remember the session ended and I remember everybody
taking off their earphones and they re just walking out and I was really pleased to see
that it had that impact. A day or two later we have another meeting with the Committee
to discuss the tapes to discuss what we heard. And we re gonna lead the discussion, you know
engage with them Doar. And all of a sudden they came in and they and I started hearing
rationalizations. Oh, well, he really didn t mean that. He didn t really say that, I
mean this is just hypothetical. You know all of a sudden you saw them trying to escape
the language of the tapes. I mean the 24 or 48 or 72 hours that had passed since they
heard the tapes, they came in with all sorts of rationalization. So now, of course we answered
some of that with other things and you know just friendly discussion. I mean we were the
staff; they were the Committee. But I feel oh my God, this is gonna be this is gonna
be a tough sell I said. So I was really concerned about how this thing was gonna come out at
the time. And then since this is a Hillary story then sort of that evening or an evening
just at about that time I had a big Oldsmobile Tornado. Remember I was a partner of a law
firm. I d resigned, but I still was in a better economic position than most I was older, I
was one of the oldest people on the staff. That was another thing, it was a very young
staff. I was 36 years old, I became 37 during the impeachment. I was an old man on the staff.
Everybody was younger was me other than Joe Woods and Dick Cates and John Doar. And since
I had a car, and this is Washington in the 70s and it was sort of a dangerous place,
it was my job to drive young staff members home off at night. I told this story before,
but it s a good story still. So I would pile people into my car at 11:00, 12:00 at night
because we were working around the clock on this stuff. And I would just drop them off
one after another and then I would go to my little apartment that I had. And so one night
I m dropping all these people off and the last person in the car with me that night
is Hillary, who I d been working with and Hillary Rodham, who was a star on the staff
and Doar liked her and I liked her. She was a hard worker, really aggressive and really
smart. So anyway I m driving she s now in the car alone with me and I m about to m driving
to where she lives. She was living with a woman named Sara Ehrman, who ended up in the
White House later on with me. In any case, I m about to drop m sort of pulling up to
her place, not quite there yet, and she says to me, you gotta oh, I want you to meet my
boyfriend. He s coming in tomorrow something like that. I said oh, great. I said I what
s his name? And she said Bill Clinton, you know I met him at law school; we ve been going
out. And I said you know I didn t know I wasn t paying attention to people s personal lives
at the time. Really, I was so driven, you know at that point. I didn t know she had
a boyfriend even, you know. And she said no, you gotta Bill Clinton. I said oh, that s
great, I d be happy to meet him. I liked Hillary a lot and, you know I d be happy to meet him.
She says yeah, you know. I said he just graduated, what firm is he going to, or something like
that. And she s said oh, no, he s not going to a firm, he s going into politics and he
s gonna be the Senator from Arkansas s from Arkansas. He s gonna be the Senator from Arkansas
and he s gonna run for Governor or something from Arkansas and he s gonna be President
of the United States. And I look at this woman, this 26-year-old woman and I say and I remember
this to this day, I say what have I gotten myself into. I am now a senior person on this
staff. I m sort of in charge of the tapes, I presented these tapes to the Committee,
now these tapes are devastating evidence with respect to the impeachment. The Committee
hears it and realizes it and then it comes back later and rational and it [inaudible]
rationalized them away. We re not gonna be able to make the case, we re gonna be looked
upon as the dumbest lawyers in history not being able to make a case of this thing. And
Doar refuses to hire people that I want down here such as Pierre Leval and Tony Sifton,
real trial lawyers who could help me make this case. He hires a bunch of kids, who are
bright kids, one of these kids is now sitting next to me, it was a young woman who I like
a lot and is very bright, but never really tried a case or anything. And now she s telling
me her boyfriend s gonna be President of the United States. I said this is nuts. So I started
I blow up, I start screaming at her. I mean it s [inaudible] I said that s idiotic. I
said that s the stupidest thing I ever heard. I said what kind of child are you that your
boyfriend s going to be President of the United States. And I started screaming. I guess all
this frustration, away from home, the tapes, the Committee, you know not hiring certain
people, you know I start screaming at her because she tells me her boyfriend s gonna
be President. I was like I m working with a bunch of children they re children here
and I [inaudible]. And she looks at me, she glared. We pull up to this place, we just
I still remember this. She looks at me, she glares at me, she says to me, she gets really
mad because I and she said you re an asshole, she says to me. You don t know what the fuck
you re talking about. She says this guy is great and you know you haven t even met him
and you re just a big jerk or something. And she opens the door and slams the door and
storms out of my car and goes into her place. And I was sitting there. I say what I was
sort of blaming myself. I said what did I do? I mean I should have she says her boyfriend
s gonna be President, what do I why should I get so upset about it? I mean because oh,
God, I was very upset. So the next day I go into the office and the first thing I do is
seek her out to apologize I wanted to go to apologize to her, you know her superior so
to speak because I screamed at her. I mean I started to scream. And before I could apologize
to her, she comes to see me to apologize to me for saying that. So we apologized to each
other and, you know we make up immediately. And then, well sure enough she brings in this
tall, good looking guy, who I never met, named Bill Clinton. And he comes in and I chat with
him for a little while, you know five minutes, I mean I m very busy. He tells I don t say
anything, he tells me he s gonna run for Congress or something that year. I said oh, good luck,
you ll need it I don t wanna start any more fights with Clinton Bill Clinton or Hillary
Rodham, his girlfriend. And he and we agreed and then it s the last I see him from, you
know at that particular point in time. Of course a time goes on, before at the end of
the impeachment after President Nixon resigns, she tells me she s going to Arkansas. I m
trying to talk her out of going to Arkansas. Nice guy, I m not telling her what to do with
her romantic life, but I really think she should go to New York or Washington to a big
firm. No, she s gonna go to Arkansas to live with Bill Clinton. I said oh, all right, [inaudible].
So she s gonna go, and sure enough she goes and we stay in touch with each other. And
he runs for Congress that year, in 1974, and he loses, but not by very much. He ran against
a guy who was in office for eight terms or something like that. He loses by four or five
percentage point. Really a very good race. He s 27 years old at the time. And the next
year I get a letter from her saying he s running for Attorney General of Arkansas, would I
send a contribution. I m not gonna fight with Hillary anymore so I sent him a contribution
right away. And I m back in my law firm so I have money now, so I sent him a contribution
and sure enough he wins as attorney general. And two years later, 1980, I think it was,
he runs for Governor and she gets in touch with me and asks me to contribute to help.
And so I do a little bit, you know I m busy. And actually I was in touch with her over
the years also because she s at the Rose law firm, and my firm was using that firm we were
working with that firm on certain major matters. So I m sort of in touch with her, not very
much. But, so I did, I contribute to the 1980 race, and of course he s elected Governor.
And I m thinking oh, my God, see, all of what she said. But this is crazy I said. And she
invites me to the inauguration in Arkansas, but I can t go because I m in the middle of
some big trial at the time. So I never went to a gubernatorial [inaudible], so I didn
t go. And two years later he runs for Governor again in 1982, and he loses. I said see, I
always knew I was right. He should have gone to a law firm back then. And he runs for Governor
two years after that he wins. Then the rest is sort of history. I get involved with them
when he s running for President. She calls me in 1988, says he s probably she comes into
New York to see me in 1988. hZ$! gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo gdIo
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