Interviews conducted by two FBI agents documenting Hillary Clinton's harsh rebuke of her friend Vincent Foster in front of White House aides a week before his 1993 suicide are missing from a location where they should've been stored at the National Archives, Daily Mail Online reports.
Journalist and author Ronald Kessler, writing for the outlet, reports he spoke with the two agents who compiled information about the withering "put-down," but discovered those reports weren't among records containing FBI interviews on Foster's death.
Kessler reports his Freedom of Information request then prompted a more extensive search that still came up empty on the data from former FBI agent Coy Copeland and former FBI supervisory agent Jim Clemente.
John Valceanu, the archives' director of communications and marketing, disputed anything was missing, Kessler reports, but held out the possibility the FBI interviews weren't filed where they should have been — and wound up somewhere else in the more than 3,000 boxes of records amounting to 7.5 million pages generated by the long-ago Starr investigation.
The FBI investigation into Foster's death was conducted for independent counsel Kenneth Starr's probe of the Clintons' investments in the Whitewater real estate development, explains Kessler, author of "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents."
The then-first lady's denunciation of her friend and mentor came during a mid-July 1993 meeting in the White House on health legislation she was working on — and on which Foster raised a legal objection, Kessler reports.
"Hillary put him down really, really bad in a pretty good-size meeting," Copeland tells Kessler. "She told him he didn't get the picture, and he would always be a little hick town lawyer who was obviously not ready for the big time."
Clemente said Clinton even blamed Foster for the Clintons' problems at the time, Kessler reports.
"Foster was profoundly depressed, but Hillary lambasting him was the final straw because she publicly embarrassed him in front of others," Clemente tells Kessler.
"Hillary blamed him for failed nominations, claimed he had not vetted them properly, and said in front of his White House colleagues, 'You're not protecting us' and 'You have failed us,'" he added. "That was the final blow."
Added Copeland: "The put-down that she gave him in that big meeting just pushed him over the edge. It was the final straw that broke the camel's back."
Foster became tearful and withdrawn afterward, Kessler reports.
On July 20, 1993, Foster placed a .38 caliber revolver in his mouth and pulled the trigger, killing himself, investigators determined.
In his extensive report, Starr never referred to either the meeting where Clinton confronted Foster in front of aides, or his change in disposition afterward, Kessler reports.
"Starr was a very honorable-type guy, and if it did not pertain to our authorized investigation, he did not want to pursue it," Copeland said. "And I think he felt that Hillary's personality and her dealings with subordinates in the White House were immaterial to our investigation."
Clemente tells Kessler that "Starr didn't want to offend the conscience of the public by going after the first lady."
"He said the first lady is an institution," Clemente tells Kessler. "He acted most of the time as a judge instead of as an investigating prosecutor, and then he hired attorneys who went to the other extreme."
According to Kessler, it's not the first time documents related to the Clintons have seemingly vanished from the National Archive.
Kessler reports that in March 2009, the archives found that an external hard drive from the Bill Clinton White House containing confidential documents was missing, and the inspector general's office said it'd opened a criminal investigation.
The Archives had a backup drive, Kessler reports.
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