An investigative reporter who writes for a British newspaper is claiming that documents indicating Hillary Clinton had a role in “triggering” the 1993 “suicide” of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster have vanished from the National Archives.
Foster’s body was found July 20, 1993, in Fort Marcy Park not far from his White House office. The death was officially ruled a suicide by the U.S. Park Police, and by independent investigations led by Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr. But the common thread woven through all three investigations was the FBI, which critics say worked to cover up the real cause of Foster’s death.
Ronald Kessler, formerly a reporter for the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, reported for the London Daily Mail Tuesday that he has twice requested documents from the National Archives that would show Hillary Clinton publicly berated and “humiliated” Foster in front of his peers during a meeting at the White House one week before his death, sending an already-depressed Foster over the edge into suicide. But Archives officials have been unable to locate the interview reports that were supposedly filed by FBI agents.
There’s a simple explanation for that, contends a group of authors with a competing theory on the death of Vince Foster. They say the documents Kessler is requesting simply do not exist.
Hugh Turley, co-author of the 2006 book “Failure of the Public Trust,” available for free download on the authors’ website, points out that then-first lady Clinton was not even in Washington at the time she is said to have publicly ridiculed Foster at the White House. She had been on a two-week trip to Japan and then to Hawaii, landing in Los Angeles on July 19 and then on to Little Rock, Arkansas, on July 20, the day Foster was found dead in the park.
“She’d been away from Washington for a good two weeks,” said Turley. “These stories about her humiliating him in the White House, those are just made up, and now they say their interview reports are missing. Well, they never existed. It’s sort of like saying Peter Pan’s birth certificate is missing. There never was one!”
Clinton’s trip overseas during that time is corroborated by a July 10, 1995, deposition from Clinton aide Lisa Caputo.
A Wall Street Journal article from 2008 reveals Hillary’s schedule during the Foster episode and documents that the last time she had met with Foster was more than a month before his death.
Conservative media ‘jumps’ on Kessler story
Kessler first reported the claim of Clinton “triggering” Foster’s suicide on June 2, and that story was widely circulated in the conservative media. The story Tuesday added the caveat that no public records could be produced by the National Archives in support of the theory.
“Conservative people tend to jump on anything that’s anti-Hillary, and so this story is very appealing to them because it presents her as a bully,” Turley said. “And this is being used to suck people into the suicide story.”
In his book co-authored with Patrick Knowlton and John Clarke, Turley concludes that Foster was likely murdered and that the government covered it up by making it appear to be a suicide. The three men have assembled exhaustive public documents on their website, FBICover-up.com, and a federal judge ordered Starr to include a 20-page appendix to his report that was authored by Turley, Knowlton and Clarke. Knowlton was a witness to the case and Clarke is a Washington-area attorney.
Kessler’s story was told to him by two former FBI agents, Jim Clemente and Coy Copeland.
“These FBI agents know the mainstream media is already invested in reporting that it was a suicide and nobody is going to go back and check the facts on it, because nobody calls them on it,” Turley said.
“These FBI agents are very specific it was just a week before he died. If she’s away traveling for two weeks how can that be?” Turley added.
Trying to ‘sell’ suicide theory?
Turley told WND he conducted an exhaustive paid online search of newspaper coverage of the first lady during the time leading up to Foster’s death.
“All the press coverage at the time puts her over there, in Tokyo and then Hawaii,” he said. “We have been to the archives and we have read the FBI interview reports, and nobody, nobody, has said that she humiliated Vince Foster, and nobody even talked about her being around, because she was out of town.
“I searched for stories that mentioned her during that period, and all the newspaper accounts were about her traveling in Japan with her mother and then returning to Hawaii to meet Bill and Chelsea for vacation. So there’s just no question about her location. But they’re trying to sell the suicide theme.”
Clarke, co-author of “Failure of the Public Trust,” is just as adamant that the White House meeting could not have occurred one week before Foster’s death. Clarke told WND be believes Clemente lied to Kessler to push the suicide theme.
“She was out of town. The whole thing’s just ridiculous. We have so much evidence on our website that it was a murder cover-up, and this is just propaganda,” Clarke said. “We went through over 20,000 pages of records. And it’s just not true. Not only was she not there, but they had a good relationship [Hillary and Foster] and it just didn’t happen.”
Kessler did not immediately return emails from WND seeking comment Tuesday.
Kessler reports that the blowup between Clinton and Foster came during a meeting about her proposed health-care program. He attributes the story about the public berating to interviews the FBI conducted with White House aides and Foster’s friends and family, interview reports that Kessler says vanished from the Archives.
“Hillary angrily disagreed with a legal objection Foster raised at the meeting and ridiculed him in front of his peers, former FBI agent Coy Copeland and former FBI supervisory agent Jim Clemente told me,” Kessler writes. “Copeland was Starr’s senior investigator and read the reports of other agents working for Starr.”
Kessler says Clemente told him Hillary went so far as to blame Foster for all the Clintons’ problems and to accuse him of failing them.
Clemente was assigned by the FBI to the Starr investigation and probed the circumstances surrounding Foster’s alleged suicide, but Turley and Clarke say he should not to be trusted given the FBI’s record of botched protocol in the Foster investigation. They charge the FBI with witness tampering and suppression of key evidence that would have suggested foul play in Foster’s death.
Foster allegedly shot himself in the mouth with a .38-caliber pistol.
But WND reported in February that Foster had a second wound on his neck, either a small-caliber bullet hole or a Taser dart, and the FBI failed to present photographs that clearly showed the wound. They were revealed by Starr’s lead prosecutor on the case, Miguel Rodriguez, who resigned in frustration when his findings were ignored by Starr’s other top deputies, WND reported, citing the Rodriguez resignation letter on file at the Archives.
Patrick Knowlton, a key eyewitness who was at Fort Marcy Park 70 minutes before Foster’s body was found, said he saw a rust-brown older Honda with Arkansas plates parked in the parking lot. Foster’s Honda was gray and newer but Knowlton says he was pressured by the FBI to change his testimony. When he refused, Knowlton said he was followed and intimidated by what appeared to be government agents.
The car color was just one of the many discrepancies that Fiske and Starr chose not to report but are included in the 20-page appendix.
Another oddity is the missing X-ray of Foster’s body in the autopsy report. Then there was the fact that Foster’s fingerprints didn’t appear on the gun. Nor did he have any grass or dirt on his shoes after supposedly hiking from his car to a remote section of the park.
‘Was Foster depressed?’
Kessler’s writings support the narrative that Foster was “profoundly depressed” after moving from Little Rock, where he was a partner with Hillary Clinton in the Rose Law Firm, to Washington to serve at the White House.
“Foster was profoundly depressed, but Hillary lambasting him was the final straw because she publicly embarrassed him in front of others,” Clemente told Kessler. “Hillary blamed him for failed nominations, claimed he had not vetted them properly, and said in front of his White House colleagues, ‘You’re not protecting us’ and ‘You have failed us,’ Clemente says. “That was the final blow.”
After the White House meeting, Foster’s behavior changed dramatically, the FBI agents told Kessler.
“Those who knew him said his voice sounded strained, he became withdrawn and preoccupied, and his sense of humor vanished,” Kessler writes. “At times, Foster teared up. He talked of feeling trapped.”
“Those who knew him said his voice sounded strained, he became withdrawn and preoccupied, and his sense of humor vanished. At times, Foster teared up. He talked of feeling trapped.”
Again, Turley and Knowlton dispute this characterization.
James Rutherford had lunch with Hillary Clinton at her mother’s home in Little Rock the morning after Foster’s death, and he testified Mrs. Clinton “was in complete shock and disbelief at the thought of Foster committing suicide.”
More than two weeks later, she remained incredulous about the suicide ruling.
“Of a thousand people who might commit suicide, I would never pick Vince,” Hillary Clinton told the New Yorker in an Aug. 9, 1993, article titled “The Suicide” by Sidney Blumenthal.
Yet, Turley says, the American public is to believe Hillary changed her mind. They are asked to believe that she trusted the conclusion of Ken Starr, the longtime Clinton nemesis, when there was ample evidence to suggest her longtime friend was murdered.