Accuracy in Media

The five-volume final report of Independent Counsel Robert W. Ray documents the dishonesty and crimes of the Clintons and some of their cohorts, but it ignominiously retreats under the banner of “insufficient evidence” from holding them legally responsible. It also suffers from serious flaws of omission and misrepresentation in recounting the evidence. This is most conspicuous in the total failure to discuss the evidence showing that the most serious crime the Office of Independent Counsel had to deal with was the cover-up by the Clinton White House of the murder of its Deputy Counsel, Vincent W. Foster, Jr.

The OIC itself has abetted the cover-up by refusing to release hundreds of important documents bearing on Foster’s death. Accuracy in Media sued to obtain several hundred of the 710 documents it requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The OIC claimed it could not find 284 documents sought by AIM. A federal judge dismissed the suit on summary judgment last December without explaining why the loss of so many documents should be excused. The OIC’s final report reveals that its claim that all these documents are missing is false.

It discusses one of the most important of the “missing” documents sought by AIM, an interview of Rose Procopio, identified only as “confidential witness CW,” by prosecutor Robert Fiske’s investigators. It cites related interviews by Fiske’s investigators conducted in 1994 of five senior White House officials?Mack McClarty, George Stephanopoulos, Dee Dee Meyers, Mark Gearan and Bill Burton, and one of Greta Van Susteren.

Rose Procopio applied President Clinton’s makeup for his appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” on July 20, 1993, the day Foster died. In his book, “The Strange Death of Vincent Foster,” Christopher Ruddy gives this account of Procopio’s story: “She told the Fiske investigators that just before air time of 9:00 p.m. she was preparing the president in the White House Map Room just across from the library where the show was being broadcast. At that point, she said, an unidentified male, whom she presumed to be an aide, notified Clinton that a note or document had been found in Foster’s office. She clearly saw the president acknowledge the remark.”

In his book, “The Secret Life of Bill Clinton,” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard said Procopio had been unable to identify the aide from photos the FBI showed her, but she recalled that Chief of Staff Mack McClarty was in the room at the time. Evans-Pritchard pointed out that the interview report was withheld from the Senate Banking Committee and that “like a number of the most incriminating witness reports, it is missing from the archive of documents in the Foster case.”

The OIC’s version of Procopio’s story is that on July 20, when “Larry King Live” was being aired from the White House with the president as the guest, “A confidential witness (hereinafter referred to as ‘CW’) was present in the White House. During a break in the interview, CW entered the White House Map Room, also on the ground floor near the library, and noticed a group of people huddled and talking to one another. CW identified the group’s members as Mack McLarty, George Stephanopoulos, Dee Dee Meyers, Mark Gearan and Bill Burton. CW heard a male voice say, ‘Yes, there was a note found.’ CW heard this remark between 9:15 and 9:45 p.m. Other than CW, only those five people were in the Map Room.”

All of them denied the statement was made or that they knew of a note being found that evening. Greta Van Susteren, who was not then a journalist, confirmed to a Fiske investigator that Procopio told her the next day that she had heard a note had been found. She was surprised it was not reported the next day.

The OIC says the note could not have been found in Foster’s office because the alarm was activated from 8:30, when the OIC says the Secret Service first learned of Foster’s death, until 10:42 p.m. They ignore the evidence that the Park Police called the Secret Service about Foster soon after 6:30 and that a Secret Service MIG group, which deals with technical problems, logged in to the White House at 7:10 p.m. They may have been asked to open a safe in which Foster had placed two manila envelopes that never reached the addressees, Janet Reno and his good friend William Kennedy.




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