Monday, February 29, 2016
You Never Know What You'll Find In The National Archives
The death of close Clinton friend and White House counsel Vince Foster has been one of many unusual deaths of Clinton associates that has become the source of many conspiracy theories over the years. An independent counsel investigation assured the public Foster took his own life, but newly-discovered evidence in the National Archives by two independent investigative researchers casts doubt on the official conclusion that Foster took his own life after leaving his White House West Wing office early one afternoon in the summer of 1993, driving to Fort Marcy Park and shooting himself in the head because he was depressed.
Documents unearthed by Hugh Turley and Patrick Knowlton included a 31-page memo written by one of the independent counsel's lead prosecutors, Miguel Rodriguez, in which he claims a second gunshot wound to Foster's neck had been overlooked in the initial investigations for some unknown reason. Rodriguez made a compelling argument that the suicide conclusion had been made prematurely and not supported by the evidence. Rodriguez did not believe the evidence showed Foster had been suffering from depression. He found the conduct of several close Clinton associates at the time of his death highly suspicious, and he wondered why Foster had not used the personal firearm he brought with him to Washington to take his life, instead using a firearm of unknown origin with just two bullets. Rodriguez resigned from the independent counsel's office in protest after he had been subjected to an internal investigation and thwarted at every step in pursuing evidence of the second gunshot wound.
At the time of his death, Foster had been heavily involved in trying to contain the various scandals encircling Clinton's first term in office, including Whitewater, Travelgate and the misuse of confidential FBI records by Clinton associates at the White House. That latter investigation involved the Clintons obtaining personal FBI files on leading, major Republican figures and critics of his administration, indicating shades of Richard Nixon's infamous enemies list. According to Rodriguez, photographic evidence provided proof of a second overlooked injury on Foster's neck, which had the appearance of being a wound caused by a 22-caliber bullet.
One of many interesting notes in Rodriguez' memo made reference to a social invitation extended by President Bill Clinton to Foster to join him at the White House the evening prior to Foster's suicide, along with fellow Arkansas and Clinton crony, Webster Hubbell, who would eventually go to prison for Whitewater-related crimes, to watch "Line of Fire," a movie starring Clint Eastwood in which a Secret Service agent, who had been assigned to protect President John F. Kennedy, was attempting to save the current president from a would-be assassin as his loyalty to the president was put to its greatest test.
One fault I would find with Rodriguez' 31-page memorandum was the lengthy discussion in it of personal work Foster was doing on behalf of the Clintons, including the preparation of the Clintons' tax returns, which was clearly personal work that no White House counsel should be performing on the taxpayers' dime. As a prosecutor, I would have thought it would have caught his attention that it was illegal for publicly-paid attorneys to be performing private legal work for any public official, including the president of the United States. His memo made clear that several of the attorneys in the White House counsel's office spent most of their time dealing with evidence of business and personal wrongdoing the Clintons had committed during Bill's long tenure as Arkansas governor and her tenure at the prestigious Rose Law Firm where Hillary worked as a partner with Foster and Hubbell.