Is it now time to go Whitewater rafting in the river of American Injustice? In the Texas-Mexico border region there is something they call la mordita ("the bite"). The game theorists at the Rand Corporation might refer to a "side payment". Vulgar street parlance speaks of "graft" or "payola". Whatever it's called, it often accumulates in hidden bank accounts.
Was such an account in existence at Mellon Bank on July 16, 1993? Or was the account in question entirely legitimate?
Let us consider an innocent attorney named Sheila F. Anthony.
Sheila F. Anthony, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice. Besides serving as liaison with Congress, her duties include clearance of bills before they are forwarded to the Office and Management and Budget. She also has a role in selecting nominees for positions as U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Marshalls, and Federal Judges.
Sheila F. Anthony, the wife of Beryl Anthony. Beryl Anthony is a former Arkansas congressman, former treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, and a lawyer in the Washington D.C. office of the Chicago-based law firm of Winston and Strawn, whose chairman is former Governor of Illinois Jim Thompson.
Sheila Foster Anthony, sister of Vince Foster, the dead Deputy White House Counselor.
Sheila F. Anthony, who is said to have effected a wire transfer of approximately $286,000 from a branch of Mellon Bank on July 16, 1993, to her sister-in-law, Lisa Foster, the wife of Vince Foster, four days prior to Vince Foster's death.
Large financial transactions, taking place between relations of a person whose death is not entirely satisfactorily explained, usually generate further inquiries--no manner how possibly innocent the explanation.
Particularly if the money is authorized by a top official of the Justice Department and paid to the wife of a top official of the White House--and the White House official disappears a few days later for a number of hours, before being found dead under mysterious circumstances.
This wire transfer is not mentioned in the two volumes of the 1994 Senate report on the death of Vince Foster, nor is a likely explanation suggested by a perusal of their contents. Lisa Foster did tell the FBI she arrived to set up a permanent residence for her family on June 5, 1993. But if the money was payment on a house, why was this not discussed in the context of Vince Foster's "depression"? For Lisa also said Vince had, in the previous week, talked of resigning his White House job--hardly auspicious circumstances under which to make further financial committments in the D.C. area.
Moreover, what was the source of the funds? Did they represent the private savings of Sheila F. Anthony or her husband Beryl?
Or did they come from a hidden account set up by Vince Foster himself, but now being transferred to his wife for safe-keeping, because Foster's Swiss account had been recently cleaned out?
Or was there something even more sinister involved in this transfer of money?
Let's put this alleged $286,000 wire transfer into chronological perspective:
Sheila Anthony told the FBI on April 4, 1994, that she had "no knowledge of Foster having any financial difficulties".
July 1, 1993, Thursday
Foster purchases a plane ticket from Washington D.C. to Geneva on TWA and Swiss Air.
July 2, Friday
Vince Foster has a dinner at his house, and surprises Sheila Anthony by the secret arrangements he had made to have Sheila's daughter fly up from Texas to attend the dinner which was in honor of Sheila's confirmation as Assistant Attorney General.
Around the same date, Vince and Lisa Foster have dinner with Sheila and Beryl Anthony at the Cactus Cantina restaurant.
July 8, Thursday
Swiss Air refunds the purchase price of Foster's ticket. Foster had canceled the trip to Geneva "when he inquired about his numbered bank account at Banca Della Svizzera Italiana in Chiasso, Switz.--and found the account empty. Foster was shocked to learn from the bank that someone using his secret authorization code had withdrawn all $2.73 million he had stashed there and had moved it to, of all places, the U.S. Treasury" (Jim Norman, "Fostergate", Media Bypass Magazine, August 1995).
July 11, Sunday
Vince Foster tells his wife Lisa he had written the opening argument for his defense against a feared congressional probe into his affairs. According to the Fiske report, Lisa believed this was the torn note found in Foster's briefcase by Stephen Neuwirth on July 26, six day's after Foster's death.
July 12, Monday
Webster Hubbell receives Inslaw's rebuttal to the Bua Report. The rebuttal is dated July 11, 1993.
July 16, Friday
Sheila F. Anthony allegedly effects an approximate $286,000 wire transfer from Mellon Bank to Lisa Foster. Sheila Anthony contacts a psychiatrist and tells him--according to the psychiatrist--that Vince Foster is working on "top secret" issues at the White House, and that "his depression was directly related to highly sensitive and confidential matters." But Vince Foster does not visit the psychiatrist. Instead the name of this psychiatrist, along with the names of two others, are found in his wallet after his death.
Clinton has a two hour meeting with Judge Louis Freeh.
In the evening Vince and Lisa Foster drive to the Tidewater Inn, on the eastern shore of Maryland.
July 17-18, Saturday & Sunday
Vince and Lisa Foster spend the weekend on Maryland's eastern shore. By "coincidence" Webster Hubbell also spends the weekend in the area, and he and Vince Foster meet at the estate of Michael Cardozo, head of Clinton's legal defense team and son-in-law of prominent Democratic fund-raiser Nathan Landau.
According to the Fiske report, "Lisa Foster stated that the weekend did not go particularly well for Foster. When Foster returned on Sunday evening, July 18, he spoke to Lyons by telephone."
(James M. Lyons was a Little Rock attorney who was Counsel to the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Planning Foundation. He says Foster discussed Travelgate, and they talked about his representing Foster before Congress.)
July 19, Monday
Marsha Scott, Deputy Assistant to the President, spends 1-2 hours in a closed door session with Vince Foster. This is especially noted by Linda Trapp, executive assistant to Bernard Nussbaum, because Foster rarely has meetings this long with any one person.
Foster calls Larry Watkins, his physician in Arkansas and says he is depressed. Watkins calls a D.C. pharmacy and has 30 tablets of DESYREL (Trazodon) delivered to Foster's residence before 6 p.m.
At 3:15 p.m. Clinton meets with Janet Reno to discuss the FBI. Afterward he fires FBI Director William Sessions, and appoints Floyd Clark as Acting FBI Director.
Webster Hubbell stops by Foster's office. According to testimony, Hubbell gives Foster a Systematics-related document.
Monday night Foster goes home earlier than usual. Bill Clinton calls to invite Vince to a movie back at the White House. Vince declines, and has dinner with Lisa.
July 20, Tuesday
At 9:27 a.m. in the Rose Garden, Clinton nominates Judge Louis Freeh to be head of FBI. Clinton commends the FBI on the "remarkably swift arrest in the World Trade Center bombing" and laments that "drugs continue to ravage our young people and our streets".
In Little Rock, the FBI obtains a warrant to search the Little Rock offices of David Hale, the head of Capital Management Services.
(Hale was a Clinton-appointed municipal judge who charged that James McDougal and Gov. Clinton forced him to give fraudulent SBA loans to Clinton's friends. This included $300,000 to a company connected to Madison Guaranty and run by McDougal's wife, $100,000 of which later ended up in a Whitewater Development Co. account.)
James Lyons calls Foster from Little Rock late morning, but says he was unable to speak to him. Lyons was scheduled to meet with Foster the following day in Washington D.C.
C. Bradley Buck, a partner at the Rose Law Firm, calls Foster. Buck leaves a message when he is unable to speak to Foster. Foster calls back at 12:17 p.m. (D.C. time) and leaves a message for Buck. Buck then calls Foster back at 1:00 p.m., but Foster has gone out. Buck later tells the FBI his calls related to the blind trust he was working on with Foster for Bill and Hillary Clinton.
At 12:00 Foster asks Linda Tripp, executive assistant to Bernard Nussbaum, to get him lunch from the cafetaria. He eats lunch in his office. At about 1:00 p.m. he emerges with his jacket on and leaves, telling Tripp, "There are lot's of M&Ms left in there. I'll be back."
Later at 6 p.m. Foster is reported dead, his body found laying on a steep slope near one of the cannons at Ft. Marcy Park across the Potomac in Virginia. His 4-door Honda Accord bearing Arkansas license plate RCN 504 is found in the Park parking lot. The car is registered to Vincent Foster, Jr., 5414 Stonewall Rd., Little Rock, Arkansas 72207.
A Park Service employee says that a man in a white contractor van had told him that he had seen a body by the last [second] cannon at Fort Marcy Park. This report was in the form of a 911 telephone call to the Fairfax County Public Safety Communications Center. The call was received by dispatcher Marion White at call-taker position 11, at 5:59.59 p.m.
The Secret Service is notified when a White House identification badge is found in the car.
White House staffers Bernard Nussbaum, Patsy Thomasson, and Maggie Williams rifle Foster's office for "national security matters". The FBI and the Park Police are kept waiting outside in the hallway. Secret Service officer Henry O'Neill says he saw Maggie Williams, Hillary's chief of staff, leave "carrying what I would describe, in her arms and hands, as folders". Some documents are taken to Hillary's closet upstairs at the White House.
The White House releases a statement saying, "The positive identification of Mr. Foster's body was provided to the White House at approximately 9:55 p.m., and the death was reported by Park Service Investigators as an apparent suicide."
July 21, Wednesday
At 12:50 p.m. in the Rose Garden, Clinton refers to Foster as "my friend of 42 years," but as to his intimate friend's [alleged] suicide, says "there is really no way to know why these things happen".
July 22, Thursday
Robert Brink is appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs.
At the afternoon press briefing, Dee Dee Myers says that the Park Service Police had been at the White House that morning; ". . . what they are looking for is anything that would confirm it was a suicide, such as a note".
Deborah Gorham, Vince Foster's secretary, is asked by Bernard Nussbaum to help search Foster's file. She observes that the index detailing the Clinton's personal files is missing.
July 23, Friday
In the morning Clinton attends funeral services for Foster at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Little Rock, then travels to Hope, Arkansas, for the burial.
At a press briefing at Jack Still's Watermelon Stand in Hope, Clinton said that earlier in the day he had met with Win Rockefeller whom he had reappointed State Police Commissioner. (Clinton said he had met Win in 1969 when Win's father was governor of Arkansas.)
If Foster had no financial difficulties, then what was the alleged $286,000 wire transfer all about?