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Does Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr still believe White House Deputy Counsel Vincent Foster ‘s death was the result of a simple, straightforward suicide in Fort Marcy Park as his report last year concluded?
If so, how does he reconcile his findings with the deep suspicions about the events surrounding that death voiced by Linda Tripp, his star witness in the Monica Lewinsky case and Foster’s assistant?
On July 28, Linda Tripp testified before Starr’s grand jury about why she went public with her concerns about the dark side of activities at the White House. When a grand juror asked her if her decision was an attempt to salvage her government career, she said: “It was far more than that. … It was for me really far more than that. It was a question of I am afraid of this administration. I have what I consider to be well-founded fears of what they are capable of. I believe that I have had a far more informed perspective than most people in observing what they are capable of and I made a decision based on what I felt I knew to be the possibilities that could befall me.”
What had she seen that made her believe her life might be in jeopardy?
“There was always a sense in this White House from the beginning that you were either with them or you were against them,” she told the inquisitive grand juror. “The notion that you could just be a civil servant supporting the institution just was not an option. I had reasons to believe the Vince Foster tragedy was not depicted accurately under oath by members of the administration. … I knew based on personal knowledge, personal observations, that they were lying under oath. So it became very fearful to me that I had information even back then that was dangerous.”
The grand juror asked about specific examples of violence committed by the administration against those it perceived to be a threat. Tripp cited the case of Jerry Luther Parks, the former head of security for the Clinton-Gore campaign, who was murdered — execution-style — two months after Foster’s death. His wife and son have both stated that Parks feared for his life as a result of Foster’s death.
They have added that Parks had been working for Hillary Clinton, videotaping and cataloging the president’s comings and goings and relationships with various people. His house was burglarized after his death. The only items the burglars appeared to be interested in were the files and tapes Parks had on the president.
“He had been killed,” Tripp said. “I didn’t even at this point remember how, but it was the reaction at the White House that caused me concern, as did Vince Foster’s suicide. None of the behavior following Vince Foster’s suicide computed to just people mourning Mr. Foster. It was far more ominous than that, and it was extremely questionable behavior on the parts of those who were immediately involved in the aftermath of his death. So, I don’t know how much more I can be specific except to say I am telling you under oath today that I felt endangered, and I was very angry, and I resented it, and I still do.”
Tripp added that the pace of activity markedly changed in the aftermath of the Foster death. This was “replicated,” she said, in the aftermath of Parks’ murder.
“There was talk that this would be another body to add to the list of 40 bodies or something that were associated with the Clinton administration,” she said. “At that time, I didn’t know what that meant. I have since come to see such a list.”
Interesting that it took a grand juror to question Tripp about what she witnessed in the White House during these two key deaths of people close to Bill Clinton. Starr and his deputies weren’t interested. It took a private citizen to ask the obvious.
Why wouldn’t Starr be interested in evidence that top White House officials had perjured themselves in their accounts of Foster’s death? After all, perjury by the president is one of the principal grounds cited by Starr for the current impeachment inquiry. Yet, if Tripp is right, the lying under oath that she is talking about would represent far more than a cover-up of a sexual affair. It might represent obstruction of justice in a high-profile murder investigation — or even worse.
Could this be a simple oversight, incompetence, negligence? Or is Starr an active party in the cover-up of the strange circumstances surrounding Vincent Foster’s death?