WASHINGTON – A media-watchdog organization will present evidence Thursday in a hearing before a federal judge, alleging that the Office of Independent Counsel engaged in conspiracy and cover-up during its investigations into the death of former White House Deputy Counsel Vincent Foster, whose lifeless body was discovered July 20, 1993, in Fort Marcy Park, five miles from the nation’s capital.
The Clinton administration promptly declared the death a suicide by gunshot through the mouth – a decision that ignited a firestorm of controversy over the wound to the body, the weapon used, how Foster was conveyed to that spot where he was found, and a hundred other details. Critics of the official version have repeatedly pointed to the mountain of evidence that the death was not a suicide, but their documentation has been ignored and their questions left unanswered.
The upcoming hearing represents a major breakthrough for these critics, as District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, who agreed to hear the evidence, will make a decision on the merits of the evidence presented. In the eight years since Foster’s death, no judge has actually made such a ruling or even granted critics a day in court.
“We’re going to tell Judge Huvelle right up front that [Foster’s death] is a murder case, and the OIC knew it and covered it up,” said attorney John Clarke, who is representing Washington-based Accuracy In Media in a request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act.
“We have overwhelming evidence of a cover-up,” he added.
AIM has been following the Foster case since 1994, but has not been involved in any legal action until it retained Clarke to file FOIA requests on its behalf.
“We’re hoping Judge Huvelle will rule in our favor that there is compelling evidence of illegal activity,” explained Clarke. “We want certain documents, but these are being withheld under an exemption to the FOIA, under which a court is required to do a balancing test between the issues of personal invasion of privacy and the advantage to the public knowledge. But the court doesn’t have to do a balancing act unless there is compelling evidence of illegal activity.”
Judge Huvelle granted Clarke one hour in which to present his evidence, which he will do using Microsoft PowerPoint on a computer to present several hundred pages of documents. The OIC will have an hour to present a rebuttal to convince the judge not to grant AIM’s FOIA request.
Clarke is no newcomer to the issue. As reported by WorldNetDaily, in 1999 he represented Kenneth Starr grand jury witness Patrick Knowlton in an attempt to attach a 511-page report by Knowlton as an amendment to the Interim Report, or the “Starr Report,” on the investigation of Foster’s death, which was released in 1997. Knowlton’s report was a point-by-point analysis and refutation of the 114-page Starr Report. Among its many startling findings was evidence that the so-called suicide was, in fact, the work of a professional hitman.
A three-judge panel in Sept. 1999 agreed to unseal Knowlton’s report, thereby making it public, but at the same time refused his request that it be attached to the Starr Report.
“When we filed our 511-page report with the court, nobody read it; it was never litigated,” Clarke recalled. “I filed it in so many courts, and no one would adjudicate it. Nobody would say either yes or no, this proves a cover-up or it doesn’t. They just stayed away from it under various excuses. No judge would give me a hearing on it; no judge would let me present the evidence.”
Though the evidence to be presented to Huvelle includes much of what was in the earlier Knowlton Report, a great deal more documentation has been uncovered, said Clarke.
“We’ve obtained a lot of documentation from the defendant – the OIC – during the course of this suit,” he explained, “so we have a lot more, and we’re concentrating on the newer material. We have a lot more than we have in that 500-page report.”
According to Clarke, the new evidence regards the autopsy, the evidence of a bullet wound in the neck and ownership of the gun, “among other things.”
“For instance,” he said, “we’ll be covering the fact that Foster’s car wasn’t there when he was dead, that is, he was dead before his car arrived. That’s another of the things we will prove.”
The hearing is open to the public and will be conducted at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., at Third and Constitution Ave., beginning at 2:00 p.m. Thursday.
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