- The Washington Times - Monday, January 10, 2000

A former Clinton administration staffer says first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was responsible for the hiring of much of the White House's political staff, including D. Craig Livingstone, the former security chief at the heart of the "Filegate" scandal.
"It was widely known at the Clinton White House that Hillary Clinton was running things and was responsible for the hiring of the political staff, such as Livingstone," Deborah Perroy said in a sworn affidavit in a pending lawsuit in the "Filegate" case.
"Livingstone was really working for Mrs. Clinton, as far as everyone knew, and everyone dropped everything to accommodate Mr. Livingstone's requests," Mrs. Perroy, who was a member of the National Security Council support staff, said in the affidavit.
Mrs. Clinton and other top White House officials have denied in sworn court depositions and in testimony before House and Senate investigating committees that the first lady had any involvement in "Filegate" abuses or Mr. Livingstone's work at the executive mansion.
In July, the first lady said in an affidavit filed in the $90 million "Filegate" lawsuit brought by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch that she never requested anyone to obtain FBI files on people who worked at the White House during the Reagan and Bush administrations.
"I never obtained, nor ordered nor requested anyone, including [White House Counsel] Bernard Nussbaum, [White House security chief] Craig Livingstone, or Anthony Marceca [a civilian Army investigator detailed to the White House personnel office], to obtain any FBI file, FBI background investigative summary, or information therefrom, of any former government employee employed by either the Bush or Reagan administration," she said in a July 11 affidavit.
Mrs. Clinton also said she had "never seen the FBI background investigative summary, FBI file, or information I knew or had any reason to believe had been taken therefrom, of any former government employee employed by either the Bush or Reagan Administration, nor have I ever maintained or disseminated any such summary, file, or information."
In 1998, Mr. Livingstone acknowledged that errors had been made in getting files of former employees instead of just current employees, but the mistakes were not made "for nefarious reasons."
It has never been clear who hired Mr. Livingstone or why the FBI files had been sought. President Clinton has referred to it as "an honest, bureaucratic snafu."
But former FBI agent Dennis Sculimbrene, in a 1993 note, said Mrs. Clinton was responsible for Mr. Livingstone's hiring and Mr. Nussbaum personally told him he had come to the White House "highly recommended" by the first lady. Mr. Nussbaum has denied the conversation had taken place. The first lady also has denied playing any role in Mr. Livingstone's hiring.
Mrs. Perroy's accusations concerning the first lady's role in the Livingstone flap are the second in the past month by a former White House official who said Mr. Livingstone played a key role in the "Filegate affair" and did so at Mrs. Clinton's direction.
Sheryl Hall, a former White House computer specialist who left her job four months ago, said in a separate sworn affidavit that she and other White House staffers "understood that Craig Livingstone was brought to the White House by Mrs. Clinton and that Mr. Livingstone spoke for Mrs. Clinton."
"Consequently, to oppose a request or instruction from Livingstone was to oppose Mrs. Clinton," Mrs. Hall said.
She also said Mrs. Clinton ran the White House during the seven years she worked there and, "based on my personal observations and experience, as well as my interaction with numerous White House staffers, it was clear to me that Mrs. Clinton had operational control of the White House, including, but not limited to, the hiring and firing of personnel."
Mrs. Hall said "a coterie of individuals," including Margaret Williams, Mrs. Clinton's former chief of staff, and Marsha Scott, director of White House correspondence, "acted as [the first lady's] agents."
"Mrs. Clinton acted through these individuals and instructions from them were to be acted upon as if they came directly from Mrs. Clinton. This was also Mrs. Clinton's reputation at the White House," she said.
The two affidavits were taken as part of a Judicial Watch's pending lawsuit. The firm claims the White House "willfully and intentionally" violated employees' rights under the Privacy Act by receiving more than 900 confidential FBI files.
White House officials have called the accusations "baseless."

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