Lawyer Loses Whitewater Notes to Car Burglar
A burglar broke into the car of a White House lawyer preparing for Senate questioning in the Whitewater affair and stole copies of her handwritten notes about the handling of the late Vincent Foster’s papers, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.
Foster, who was the deputy White House counsel, died in 1993.
The blue gym bag stolen by the burglar also contained copies of the file that White House lawyer Cheryl Mills kept on the 1993 federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Tex., said the source, who is close to the White House and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
The binder of Waco material included copies of Mills’ notes and some correspondence between the White House and Congress, said the source.
The break-in late Tuesday night, in which police said the right window of Mills’ car was broken, “will feed all the conspiracy nuts who are doing all the stuff on Whitewater,” commented White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry. He noted that the burglar grabbed Mills’ wallet and portable telephone as well as her papers.
Police described the burglar as a man with short hair wearing a baggy white T-shirt and white shorts who may have fled the scene in a blue car, possibly with another man.
The FBI and Secret Service officers went to the scene in an unsuccessful search for the documents. Police offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.
The papers were described by the source as copies of personal notes related to the processes for reviewing and producing Foster’s documents after his death. The source said Mills’ original notes had long ago been turned over to Whitewater investigators.
Mills underwent questioning Wednesday by Senate Whitewater investigators, which apparently was why the notes relating to Foster’s documents were in her car, said another source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
Whitewater prosecutors questioned Mills before a federal grand jury on March 21 about White House meetings she attended following Foster’s death, said other people who are familiar with the criminal investigation.
Mills at the time declined to comment on her grand jury appearance.
The meetings Mills attended with White House aides focused on whether some of the documents found in Foster’s office after his death might involve privileged communications with President Clinton, said these sources, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
During her grand jury appearance, prosecutors also questioned Mills about who and what she saw in the vicinity of Foster’s office on the night of and morning after his death, the sources added.