The Special Committee's Whitewater Report

PART I THE FOSTER PHASE

CONTENTS

CONCLUSIONS OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE 13

1. By the time of Vincent Foster's death in July 1993, the Clinton's had established a pattern of concealing their involvement with Whitewater and the McDougals' Madison Guaranty S&L 16

2. The Clintons and their associates were aware, at the time of Mr. Foster's death, that the Clintons' involvement with Whitewater and the Madison Guaranty S&L might subject them to liability 20

3. At the time of his death, Mr. Foster's office contained damaging evidence about the Whitewater and Travelgate affairs 22

4. White House officials engaged in highly improper conduct in handling documents in Vincent Foster's office following his death 23

5. Mrs. Clinton was closely involved in the handling of documents in Mr. Foster's office following his death and directed that investigators be denied "unfettered access" to Mr. Foster's office 29

6. Senior White House officials and other Clinton associates provided incomplete and inaccurate testimony to the Special Committee 33

7. The Office of the White House Counsel was misused to impede ongoing investigations and to serve the purely personal legal interests of the President, Mrs. Clinton and their associates 35

BACKGROUND 39

I. Mr. Foster's Involvement in the Clintons' Personal Matters 39

II. The Traditional Independence of the White House Counsel's Office 58

SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE 63

The Contents of Vincent Foster's Office at the Time of his Death 63

July 20, 1993 75

A. The Discovery of Mr. Foster's Body 75

B. The Park Police Notify the White House and the Foster Family 77

C. The White House Ignores Repeated Park Police Requests to Seal Mr. Foster's Office 78

D. Mrs. Clinton Learns of Mr. Foster's Death and Begins to Contact Close Associates 81

E. Mrs. Clinton Calls the White House on an Unlisted Trunk Line 82

F. Helen Dickey's Telephone Call to the Arkansas Governor's Mansion 85

G. The Handling of Trash and Burn Bags in Mr. Foster's Office 88

H. Senior White House Officials Conduct a Late-Night Search of Mr. Foster's Office 89

I. Secret Service Officer Henry O'Neill Observes Margaret Williams Remove Documents from Mr. Foster's Office 94

III. July 21, 1993 98

A. Mr. Foster's Office is Finally Sealed 98

B. The White House Impedes Initial Park Police Efforts to Search Mr. Foster's Office 101

C. The White House Counsel and Deputy Attorney General Agree on a Search Protocol for the Documents in Mr. Foster's office 103

D. The White House Finalizes the Agreement on the Search Protocol 106

IV. July 22, 1993 110

A. The White House Counsel's Office Interferes with Park Police Interviews of White House Staff 110

B. The First Lady, Margaret Williams, Susan Thomases and Bernard Nussbaum Conduct a Series of Early Morning Telephone Calls 112

C. The White House Breaks its Agreement with the Justice Department: "A Terrible Mistake" 116

D. The Window Dressing Review of the Documents in Mr. Foster's Office 121

E. Mr. Nussbaum's Failure to Search Properly Mr. Foster's Briefcase 128

F. The Foster Family Lawyer Overhears Discussion of the Scraps of Paper in Mr. Foster's Briefcase 131

G. The Secretive, Real Review of the Contents of Mr. Foster's Office 132

H. The Transfer of Clinton Personal Files to the First Family's Residence 135

I. The Reaction of Law Enforcement Officials to Mr. Nussbaum's Search 139

V. July 26, 1995 143

A. The Existence of the Torn-Up Note is Finally Revealed to Law Enforcement 143

B. The White House's Decision Not to Disclose the Note Immediately to Law Enforcement 148

C. Mrs. Clinton and Susan Thomases Are Told of the Discovery of the Note 150

VI. July 27, 1993 153

A. The Review and Transfer of the Clinton Personal Files From the White House Residence to Williams & Connolly 153

B. White House Deliberations About the Handling of the Note 158

C. The President is Told of the Note 161

D. The White House Finally Turns the Note Over to Law Enforcement 162

FINDINGS OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE 168

1. At the time of his death, Vincent Foster was intimately involved in two brewing scandals--Travelgate and Whitewater--touching on President and Mrs. Clinton 168

2. Senior White House officials were aware that the President and Mrs. Clinton faced potential liability over Whitewater and their relationship with the McDougals 170

3. Senior White House officials ignored repeated requests by law enforcement officials to seal Mr. Foster's office on the night of his death 172

4. White House officials conducted an improper search of Mr. Foster's office on the night of his death 174

5. Margaret Williams may have removed files from the White House Counsel suite on the night of his death 176

6. Bernard Nussbaum agreed with the Justice Department officials on July 21, 1993, to allow law enforcement officials to review documents in Mr. Foster's office 177

7. Margaret Williams and Susan Thomases, in consultation with Mrs. Clinton, took part in formulating the procedure for reviewing documents in Mr. Foster's office on July 22, 1993 178

8. Bernard Nussbaum failed to conduct a meaningful review of Mr. Foster's office and did not describe to law enforcement officials sensitive files pertaining to the Clintons and the Administration 183

9. An index of documents in Mr. Foster's office is missing and other indices were revised following his death to conceal possible references to Whitewater 185

10. Bernard Nussbaum knew about yellow scraps of paper in Mr. Foster's briefcase prior to Stephen Neuwirth's apparent discovery on July 26, 1993 186

11. Margaret Williams, in consultation with Mrs. Clinton, removed files from Mr. Foster's office to the White House residence to be reviewed by the Clintons 188

12. Senior White House officials did not provide complete and accurate information to the Park Police and FBI with respect to the handling of Mr. Foster's note 190

13. Mr. Hubbell probably knew about the discovery of Mr. Foster's note on July 27, 1993 191

14. Margaret Williams provided inaccurate and incomplete testimony to the Special Committee in order to conceal Mrs. Clinton's role in the handling of documents in Mr. Foster's office following his death 193

15. Susan Thomases provided inaccurate and incomplete testimony to the Special Committee in order to conceal Mrs. Clinton's role in the handling of documents in Mr. Foster's office following his death 196

16. Bernard Nussbaum provided inaccurate and incomplete testimony to the Special Committee concerning the handling of documents in Mr. Foster's office following his death 199


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