Michael Gaynor
Americans should draw an adverse inference against spoliator Hillary Clinton
By Michael Gaynor
March 30, 2015

Zeifman's candid opinion of his subordinate Hillary Clinton as Watergate impeachment inquiry staffer: "She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality."

Former member of the impeachment inquiry staff advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal, First Lady, United States Senator, Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is a Yale Law School graduate.

Surely she knows what spoliation of evidence is.

Nevertheless, she chose to be a spoliator.

Even though Jerry Zeifman reportedly fired her from his staff for trying to conceal a key precedent favorable to President Nixon' position that he had a right to counsel.

Black's Law Dictionary defines a spoliator as "[a] spoiler or destroyer" and notes that "[i]t is a maxim of law...that everything most to his disadvantage is to be presumed against the destroyer, (spoliator,)" (http://thelawdictionary.org/spoliator/).

Where there is a duty to preserve, spoliation results in the imposition of sanctions by judges in lawsuits. Judges have broad discretion to impose a variety of sanctions against a party that fails to produce evidence in violation of the civil rules.

The sanctions are imposed to preserve the independence and integrity of justice, because the destruction of evidence inhibits a judge's ability to hear evidence and accurately determine the facts.

The American people should be imposing their own sanctions on spoliator Hillary Clinton for wiping the server she used for email purposes while Secretary of State after Congress started to investigate the Benghazi scandal.

The two most important factors in determining spoliation sanctions are the culpability of the spoliator and the degree of resulting prejudice from the spoliation.

Courts traditionally use an adverse inference jury instructio to sanction spoliation of evidence. The jury is instructed that it may assume that the lost evidence, if available, would have been unfavorable to the spoliator.

Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chair of the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks, announced that Hillary Clinton, had wiped her server clean and failed to respond to a subpoena for her private server, which she had used for government business despite the security risk. "We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server," Gowdy said in a statement.

Gowdy told the New York Times that. Clinton's "unprecedented email arrangement with herself and her decision nearly two years after she left office to permanently delete all emails" had deprived Americans of a full record of her time in office.

Clinton claims to have given copies of all work-related emails to the State Department.

The State Department claims it gave Gowdy's committee all the relevant emails.

Clinton was under a subpoena order from the Select Committee on Benghazi for all documents related to the 2012 attacks on the American compound there.

David Kendall, an attorney for Clinton, informed the committee that Clinton's emails from her time at the State Department have been permanently erased and insisted that "[thereis no basis to support the proposed third-party review of the server that hosted the hdr22@clintonemail.com account."

Kendall added:

"To avoid prolonging a discussion that would be academic, I have confirmed with the secretary's IT support that no emails.....for the time period January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013 reside on the server or on any back-up systems associated with the server."

"Thus, there are no hdr22@clintonemail.com e-mails from Secretary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized."

Should Hillary Clinton and her lawyer be trusted when her conduct is under investigation?

No, especially if the following 2008 article (www.wnd.com/2008/04/60962/) is true


"Clinton was fired for allegedly colluding with Kennedys to protect JFK legacy

"Published: 04/07/2008 at 2:25 PM

"Details of Hillary Clinton's firing from the House Judiciary Committee staff for unethical behavior as she helped prepare articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon have been confirmed by the panel's chief Republican counsel.

"Franklin Polk backed up major claims by Jerry Zeifman, the general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee who supervised Clinton's work on the Watergate investigation in 1974, reported columnist Dan Calabrese in a column republished by WND.

"Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, called Clinton a 'liar' and 'an unethical, dishonest lawyer.'

"He contends Clinton was collaborating with allies of the Kennedys to block revelation of Kennedy-administration activities that made Watergate 'look like a day at the beach.'

"Her brief, Zeifman said, was so fraudulent and ridiculous, she would have been disbarred if she had submitted it to a judge.

"Polk confirmed Clinton wrote a brief arguing Nixon should not be granted legal counsel due to a lack of precedent. But Clinton deliberately ignored the then-recent case of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who was allowed to have a lawyer during the impeachment attempt against him in 1970.

"Moreover, Zeifman claims Clinton bolstered her fraudulent brief by removing all of the Douglas files from public access and storing them at her office, enabling her to argue as if the case never existed.

"Polk confirmed the Clinton memo ignored the Douglas case, but he could not confirm or dispel the claim that Hillary removed the files.

"Looking back on the case amid Clinton's fierce battle with Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, Calabrese sees a picture emerging 'of a very ambitious young lawyer who was eager to please her political patrons, and was willing to mislead and undermine established committee staff and senior committee members in order to do so.'

"The columnist, editor in chief of the North Star Writers Group, noted Zeifman has been 'trying to tell his story for many years, and the mainstream media have ignored him."

Zeifman's candid opinion of his subordinate Hillary Clinton as Watergate impeachment inquiry staffer: "She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality."

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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