WASHINGTON — Agents for Independent Counsel Robert Ray have secured
late White House lawyer Vincent Foster’s computer hard drive and are
trying to recover files from it, WorldNetDaily has learned.
They’re also interested in the White House back-up tapes of Foster’s
C: drive, sources say.
Foster worked closely with first lady Hillary Clinton, his former
Arkansas law partner, and was dealing with Travelgate and the first
couple’s Whitewater tax returns before he died suddenly in 1993.
Sources familiar with the independent counsel’s ongoing investigation
into Whitewater — including the frantic, late-night search of Foster’s
West Wing office after his untimely death — say prosecutors are working
with FBI computer-forensics experts to retrieve data from Foster’s hard
Prosecutors also are asking White House witnesses about back-up tapes
to Foster’s hard drive, sources say.
A prosecutor in Ray’s office confirmed that the Foster case is still
open as part of the overall Whitewater investigation.
“That particular matter was a part of the Whitewater-Madison Guarantee
(Savings & Loan Association) jurisdiction,” Keith Ausbrook, senior counsel
to the independent counsel, told WorldNetDaily. “And we have not filed a
final report in that matter.”
Former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr closed the investigation
into Foster’s death, ruling it a suicide. He concluded Foster shot
himself in the head on July 20, 1993, in Fort Marcy Park, using an
antique Colt pistol he’d concealed in an oven mitt. Starr ruled out foul
play, although a bullet was never found at the scene.
According to well-placed sources who insisted on anonymity — and who are
not within the independent counsel’s office — prosecutors did not recover
Foster’s hard drive from the White House.
The White House originally stored Foster’s computer in the West Wing,
but then moved it to the New Executive Office Building.
At least the external hardware is still there in a storage area,
wrapped in plastic. It’s labeled, with three-inch letters, “FOSTER’S
PC,” according to sources who have seen it.
At some point, Foster’s hard drive was removed.
James MacDonald, a Bush appointee who headed White House computer
operations, kept it in his office, sources say. Before he was replaced
in 1996, he gave it to another White House official, who kept it in his
office for awhile. He has also left the White House.
Sources say West Wing political appointees such as Patsy Thomasson
and Marsha Scott were not aware that Foster’s hard drive was floating
around at the New Executive Office Building, which is across
Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.
It’s not clear if the Foster hard drive in the possession of Ray’s
office has been erased or wiped clean. If it has been erased or
reformatted, experts in computer evidence, using special software and
hardware, can still recover data from it.
But wiping a hard disk, which involves running a software process
that writes a series of 0s and 1s over characters in text files, renders
It’s also not clear if prosecutors have all or just part of Foster’s
hard drive. But they’ll know soon enough if they have fragmented data.
Officials who knew Foster have said in the past that he preferred
writing notes and memos by hand and was not known to use his computer
much for word processing. Whether he used it for spreadsheets or other
tasks is another question.
Also interested in Foster’s hard-drive tapes is U.S. District Judge
Earlier this month, he ordered the White House to search them for
information relevant to the Cara Leslie Alexander, or “Filegate,”
class-action suit against Hillary Clinton and other White House
officials. The FBI also is a defendant.
“The EOP (Executive Office of the President) shall search the
archived C: drives of the following individuals: William Kennedy,
Vincent Foster, Linda Tripp, Betsy Pond and Deborah Gorham,” Lamberth
He OK’d the following search terms for Foster’s tape: