Moldea on Foster, Whitewater, and Impeachment
by DCDave

Please note that in this excerpt from his incredible December 5, 1998, Salon interview by Lori Leibovich, author Dan E. Moldea ("A Washington Tragedy, How the Death of Vincent Foster Ignited a Political Firestorm") names Major Robert Hines of the U.S. Park Police as the source of Jerry Seper's false story in the December 20, 1993, Washington Times that "Whitewater documents" were removed from Vincent Foster's office shortly after his body was discovered. This is very curious because he fails to name Hines as the source in his book, simply repeating there the Seper claim of two anonymous Park Police sources and then debunking the claim by obtaining the denials of all four Park Police sources, whom he names, who had any knowledge of the matter of the documents. None of them is Hines. The denials are very believable because the Park Policemen claim that they knew nothing of the Whitewater matter at the time that Seper was allegedly fed his information, and there is no good reason why they should have known.

Bear in mind that Moldea is quite correct when he says that the revelation of the Whitewater document supposed mischief was what got the special prosecutor onto the scene in the first place. So the process that has led us ultimately to the impeachment of the president is founded on an initial lie, and players in the game like the writer Dan E. Moldea seem to be unable to keep all their lies straight.

This is indeed curious business.

How did you go about investigating Vincent Foster's death?

I did what no one else had done -- I went to every single cop involved in this case -- whether he was involved in the crime scene search or part of the official investigation. I saw all the crime scene photographs and I saw all the autopsy photographs. I don't think I was prevented from seeing any of the documents I wanted to see. I am a bona fide crime reporter with great -- and loyal -- sources in law enforcement. I've been doing this for 24 years and you get to know people.

And from those sources and documents it was clear to you that Foster committed suicide.

Yes. It was a no-brainer. But I also looked into the aftermath of the suicide: the search of Foster's office, which led to the discovery of the torn-up note, which led to the interviews that law enforcement conducted, which confirmed, finally, that Foster had, in fact, committed suicide.

What was the chief source of the doubts and the resulting conspiracy theories?

Some mouthy Park Police official, talking about things he knew nothing about, starts to serve as a source to some reporters who start publishing front-page stories saying things like "[former White House counsel] Bernie Nussbaum had removed documents from Foster's office on the night Foster killed himself," which is flat-out not true, even though it appeared on the front page of the New York Times. This teed up the ball for a lot of other things -- for instance, the next allegation, that during the official search of Foster's office three piles of documents were found, which is true, but that Foster's attorney Jim Hamilton wound up with the Whitewater documents, which is completely untrue. Again, the ball is teed up and everyone starts swinging away at it, and it eventually leads to Congress getting involved, saying the media is raising all these questions. And it all started with a Park Police source, Major Robert Hines. And what he said was false.

Why did he say all this?

I don't think there was anything nefarious here; I think he was being approached by reporters and he wanted something to say. I doubt that he realized that he was giving false information, but the fact is, he was. When he starts talking to Reed Irvine at Accuracy in Media, and Christopher Ruddy, who was then at the New York Post, he tells them that there is no exit wound in Foster's head, which was also untrue. This tees up the ball for the conspiracy people to come in. After this information starts to get printed, Hines starts to come back and say, "Hey, I made a mistake here." But by then these people are off and running. (end of excerpt)

"These people" ultimately end up being the U.S. Senate trying a U.S. President for law-breaking, but it starts with this revelation of doubtful origin which causes Robert Fiske to be appointed, who is then replaced by Kenneth Starr, and the rest, as they say, is history.

David Martin
January 3, 1999

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