Accuracy in Media

    Interest in the death of the late White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster was revived by a story on WorldNetDaily on Sept. 13. Paul Sperry reported that the hard drive from the White House computer used by Foster was recently turned over to Independent Counsel Robert Ray by Sheryl Hall. She is the former White House computer expert who exposed the loss of thousands of White House e-mails. This story shows two things ? that the investigation of Foster’s death was badly botched and that the White House official who found Foster’s computer and hid it feared that his discovery might cost him his life.

    James MacDonald, former director of the Information Systems and Technology Division of the White House, told Sperry that over a year after Foster’s death, FBI agents questioned him about Foster?s computer. They were embarrassed about not having done so much sooner. MacDonald said he was unable to locate it for them at the time, but he came across it several months later. But instead of turning it over to the FBI, he stored it in the building where his office was located.

    One of his employees, Howard Sparks, has signed an affidavit saying that MacDonald told him in confidence that he feared that he might be killed because of what he had found. He knew it was something the Clinton appointees did not want disclosed. MacDonald told Sperry that he didn?t think anyone would shoot him, but he obviously didn’t try very hard to find the computer and when he did, he didn’t notify the FBI. His excuse was that by then “the investigation was over and no one was interested in the computer anymore.”

    That won?t wash. Starr’s investigation of Foster’s death began late in 1994 and went on for three years. Also, a high profile investigation was opened in 1995 by a special Senate committee that would have been very interested in getting access to Foster?s computer. MacDonald?s failure to notify the FBI and turn the computer over to them made him a party to the obstruction of justice by the White House to conceal evidence that could cast light on Foster’s death.

    Sheryl Hall told Sperry that MacDonald kept the computer?s hard drive in his office until he left the White House in 1995. He then turned it over to another official in the Office of Administration who moved to the State Department last year. At MacDonald?s request, Mrs. Hall then retrieved the hard drive and took it to her home for safekeeping. She let Starr?s investigators know that she had it. Her husband had taken the drive apart, and Hall gave them half of it. She told Sperry she kept half because she didn?t trust Starr. Starr’s successor, Robert Ray, subpoenaed the other half and gave the Halls immunity in return for her testimony.

    Foster’s hard drive has already revealed that Foster was to have a date with his wife only hours after his body was found. It might also reveal if these three things we know about Foster were related: (1) his desire to leave his White House job; (2) his distress over the Waco tragedy; and (3) a letter he was writing about Waco on the day of his death. No copy has been found.

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