Independent counsel Ken Starr says his early 90s Whitewater probe linked Vince Foster’s suicide to Hillary Clinton berating him in front of White House staff.

Starr chose to omit these details from his 1998 report to Congress on President Bill Clinton’s perjury and infidelity to spare the first lady further pain. (The Washington Examiner)

Hillary Clinton’s humiliation of Foster in front of his peers steered him to take his own life on July 20, 1993, six months into her husband’s presidency. But Starr, appointed independent counsel in 1994, “did not want to inflict further pain” on the first lady, according to author Ronald Kessler, who pressed Starr on the matter after a recent speaking appearance in Maryland, at the Annapolis Book Festival.

Circumstances of Foster’s suicide have long been fodder for conspiracists, with Clinton critics contending the first couple had something to do with it in order to cover of misdeeds from Whitewater, a late 1970s Arkansas land deal in which they lost money. President Clinton and Foster had been friends since kindergarten in Arkansas.

Kessler, according to the Daily Mail, says that a week before Foster’s death, Hillary Clinton berated and belittled him in front of other senior White House aides during a healthcare policy discussion, harshly ridiculing him over his small-town Arkansas background. Former FBI agents Coy Copeland and Jim Clemente said Hillary Clinton told Foster in front of his colleagues that he was not ready to be in D.C., among the highest rungs of government, according to Kessler.

“Hillary put him down really, really bad in a pretty good-size meeting,” Copeland said. “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.”

Foster’s profound struggle with depression was exacerbated by his move to Washington, D.C. – halfway across the country from his wife and son, still attending school in Arkansas.

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