Magazine article Newsweek

Opening a Familiar Case

Magazine article Newsweek

Opening a Familiar Case

Article excerpt

IT WAS ANOTHER BAD WEEK FOR THE ARkansas crowd. The Senate Whitewater hearings featured Vince Foster's briefcase as mute evidence of a sloppy White House investigation. Webster Hubbell, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton's closest friends, mumbled his way through testimony as he prepared to go off to jail. But the worst may be yet to come - when former deputy attorney general Philip Heymann takes the stand later this month. Heymann, who resigned last year citing stylistic differences, will testify how, in the days after Foster's 1993 suicide, he became so alarmed about a possible cover-up that he ordered the FBI to investigate the president's senior aides.

NEWSWEEK has obtained internal justice Department documents showing that Heymann and other officials were deeply suspicious of the White House staff after Foster's death. When White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum blocked Justice Department and Park Police investigators from reviewing files in Foster's office, Heymann called Nussbaum and "reamed him out," according to a Heymann aide's notes. Matters got worse a few days later when a White House lawyer suddenly discovered the now famous shredded note in the bottom of Foster's briefcase--a briefcase Nussbaum had already searched. incensed, Heymann ordered a "full and vigorous investigation" by the FBI. Although the FBI found no evidence of wrongdoing, the inside story of Nussbaum's interference with the investigation may show that aides seem to have been more interested in protecting the Clintons than in finding out why Foster died. …

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