The Death Of Vincent Foster

The London Telegraph On Foster



	FROM THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (LONDON), 15 JAN. 1995

	   WHITE HOUSE SUICIDE - WAS THE BODY MOVED?	

	    BY AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD IN WASHINGTON


THE SCOPE of the inquiry into the mysterious death of the top White House 
aide Vincent Foster has suddenly been broadened, casting doubt on the 
original verdict of suicide.

It has now emerged that Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel 
investigating the Whitewater affair, which concerns alleged shady 
business deals linked to President Clinton and his wife, summoned several 
police officers before a Grand Jury late last week.

During the meeting he took the unusual step of reading them the statutory 
definition of perjury. The officers were grilled on the precise 
circumstances surrounding the discovery of Foster's body in a Virginia 
park in July 1993.

The cause of death of Foster, an intimate friend of the Clintons, had 
been considered settled by most observers in Washington. An inquiry by 
Robert Fiske, the former independent counsel who was later replaced by a 
panel of judges, endorsed the police conclusion that Foster shot himself 
in the mouth. He attributed the suicide to depression unrelated to the 
Whitewater property dealings of the Clintons.

However, Mr Fiske did not convene a Grand Jury for that part of his 
investigation. This was considered strange by many legal experts. The 
rescue workers and park police who found the body did not testify under 
oath, and Mr Fiske essentially confined himself to a review of their 
report rather than conducting a full-scale probe of his own.

The grand jury questioning last week, which took place in secret, 
appeared to focus on the precise location of Foster's body in the park. 
One of the police officers was overheard reassuring a grand juror in the 
lobby that he would bring a map to assist testimony the next day. 

The seemingly minor issue of where the body was found could turn out to 
be of critical importance. A journalist for the *Pittsburgh 
Tribune-Review*, Chris Ruddy, has been fighting a lone crusade for 
several months seeking to establish that the Park Police misreported the 
location of the body.

Ruddy is convinced that it is the key to exposing a cover-up that 
allegedly involves the police, the White House, and even elements of the FBI.

If Ruddy is right, it suggests a political scandal of colossal proportions.

On Thursday, an article by Ruddy in the *Tribune-Review* alleged 
sloppiness in the Fiske investigation and argued that key witnesses may 
have given false testimony.

His latest revelation is that Dr Donald haut, the Virginia medical 
examiner who viewed the scene of the crime on the night of Foster's 
death, said the body was 10 to 20 yards past an old civil war cannon, the 
first cannon in the park.

This is in direct contradiction to the Fiske Report, which said that the 
body was at the foot of a second cannon deep inside the park. The 
testimony of Dr Haut, who said he was never questioned by the Fiske 
investigation, corroborates early statements by a Fairfax County rescue 
worker, George Gonzalez, and several other sources who all said the body 
was in tangled undergrowth near the first cannon.

The Ruddy article was republished as a full-page advertisement in the 
*Washington Times* on Friday, paid for by a conservative media watchdog 
in California called the Western Journalism Center. Both Ruddy and the 
Center are already being sued for libel by the Park Police, who insist 
that their report was accurate.

Questions about Foster's death have been a staple of radio talk shows 
across America. According to extensive interviews conducted by *The 
Sunday Telegraph*, suspicions are also shared by some members of the 
Foster family and parts of the FBI.

Senator Lauch Faircloth, a Republican member of the Banking Committee 
that held brief hearings into Foster's death last July, has also raised 
doubts about the suicide verdict.


 

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