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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 21, 1993
                            PRESS BRIEFING
                     CHIEF OF STAFF MACK MCLARTY

The Briefing Room

3:30 P.M. EDT

MR. MCLARTY: Good afternoon. As I'm sure you can appreciate, this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Like the President and myself, Vince Foster was from Hope, Arkansas, and for more than 40 years he was my friend. And because of that friendship and because of Vince's considerable accomplishments, I took understandable pride when the President asked him to join us here in Washington as Deputy White House Counsel.

For six months, he served his country with distinction in that capacity and, to be sure, the White House has lost a talented and dedicated attorney.

Many of you may not know that Vince graduated first in his law school class and scored the highest grade on the Arkansas bar exam the year he took it, and was made partner in a major law firm in just two years. He chaired the Arkansas Advisory Council to the Legal Services Corporation, and he just recently received the Arkansas Bar Foundation Award and the Arkansas Bar Association's 1993 Outstanding Lawyer Award.

But I'm here today really to talk more as Vince's friend than his White House Chief of Staff. When we received the tragic news last night the President and I joined his family and his friends at the Foster home. And as the President related to the White House staff earlier today, we all shared some warm and some wonderful memories, as well as shed some very real tears.

All of us who have the privilege and honor of calling the White House our place of employment, on either side of this podium, are used to, in large measure, dealing with issues and problems that are tangible, that are knowable, at least in large part, and most times subject to reason. And that is one aspect that makes this tragedy so difficult to deal with. For try as we might, all of our reason, all of our rationality, all of our logic can never answer the questions raised by such a death.

We really can never fully know a person's private pain and what might lead them in their thought process, even a person we have known all of our lives. But what we can do is offer our prayers and comfort to Lisa, Vince's wife of 25 years; their wonderful children; his mother Alice Mae, whom I spoke with this morning in Hope; and to his sisters, Sheila Anthony here in Washington and Sharon Bowman of Little Rock.

As a measure of our affection for them, there has been established a Vincent W. Foster Scholarship Fund with the Arkansas Bar Foundation. Funeral services will be held in Little Rock this Friday. The President and First Lady, as well as Donna and I will, of course, attend. Donna is at the Foster residence this afternoon, and I plan to join her and the Foster family later today.

It is one of life's ironies that just yesterday, when speaking of what John F. Kennedy had meant to him, the President said -- and I quote -- "The only way to ever honor any memory of someone gone is to do something today which reinforces the validity of that memory in our hearts." And so we will reinforce the validity of our friend's life, even as we mourn the circumstances of his death.

The work which he was devoted here at the White House will go on, and Vince Foster's spirit will live on in the hearts of those of us who loved him.

Thank you very much. I would now like to ask Mark Gearan to respond to any questions that you may have. Thank you.

Q Mack, did you know of any personal reason why he might have done this?

MR. GEARAN: Thank you. Let me provide you some background information, if I might, and walk through some things and then we'd be happy to take some questions.

In terms of the chronology for the White House notification, the Park Service police made the initial contact to the White House security and administrative officers about the report of a body being found. The Secret Service and the Park Service respectively notified the administrative and security officers of the White House. That set into motion calls to the Chief of Staff. We were here for the Larry King Live show in the Residence.

Soon after the show began, we were pulled from the staff room where the Chief of Staff Mack McLarty was informed of this -- that it was an unconfirmed report. In the intervening 50 or so minutes, efforts were made to both confirm the report and to make preliminary calls to individuals that needed to be contacted. Mack McLarty was with us in the Residence and coordinated the activity.

Just about five minutes before 10:00 p.m., before the Larry King Show concluded, we had the confirmation that indeed Vince had been confirmed as deceased. And the President concluded the show, went up to the Residence with Mack; at which point Mack informed the President of Vince's death. Following the indication -- following that report, then the President visited the Foster family with Mack and with several of their friends from here in Washington, senior staff members and folks from Little Rock that went to be near the Foster family at that time.

Secondly, let me tell you a bit about Vince's day-to-day responsibilities here at the White House. He's the Deputy Counsel to Bernie Nussbaum, and as such, assisted Bernie in managing all of the day-to-day activities in the White House Counsel's Office. In a staff meeting that the President had at noon today in the Old Executive Building, Bernie spoke very movingly of what they tried to do in the White House Counsel's Office, and that is to establish a law firm. They view their work as partners, senior partners in the firm in putting together the law firm there. He advised the President in the selection of judicial nominees, was a key advisor to the Health Care Task Force, and provided day-to-day management assistance to Bernie overall in the Counsel's Office.

Yesterday, Vince attended Judge Freeh's announcement ceremony, returned to his office and did some work in his office. Around noon, he stopped by and visited with Bernie in Bernie's office, which is adjacent to his, ate lunch at his desk. And soon thereafter --

Q Had lunch at Bernie's desk?

MR. GEARAN: Ate lunch at his own desk. Soon thereafter, left the office and said he would be back. Mack has gone through some of Vince's bio that I think we've provided to you as well, so we'll let it stand at that.

Let me say a bit about the investigation, where we're at at this point. At the request of the White House Counsel's Office, the investigation will be coordinated by the Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General and her deputy, Phil Heymann. And that's where we would refer you to any questions. We'll be providing scheduling information and details of the funeral services set for 11:00 a.m. on Friday at St. Andrews Catholic Cathedral in Little Rock. And burial will be later in Hope, Arkansas.

I'd be happy to take any questions.

Q Is there any doubt -- I mean, the Justice Department investigation -- is there any doubt as to the apparent suicide?

MR. GEARAN: I'm sorry. As to the --

Q You say an investigation is underway.

MR. GEARAN: No, it's standard operating procedure, I think, that following a death of this nature that there is an investigation, and that's being coordinated by the Attorney General.

Q Do you know anything about the weapon that was used? To whom it was registered or any of those details?

MR. GEARAN: I don't, but I think it's general procedure that there's research on that by the appropriate agency. And again, Justice can provide you the status of that to determine --

Q Did the Secret Service have a role in the investigation?

MR. GEARAN: It's being coordinated by the Department of Justice. The Park Police, because that was the -- was where Vince's body was found was -- is also involved in the --

Q Was it unusual for him to be out of the office all afternoon? What was going on yesterday that -- did he say anything to anyone before he left the White House?

MR. GEARAN: He did not. He said he would be back. A different points during the day Bernie said, is he back yet? But it was not atypical. They did have meetings or availability, but certainly there was --

Q There was no concern about his welfare?


Q Mark, had he ever given anyone any indication that he needed help or was in a difficult psychological condition?

MR. GEARAN: No. He never said anything to indicate that anything was out of the ordinary to his colleagues.

Q How did he go when he left? Did he have his personal car? Was it a White House car?

MR. GEARAN: His personal car.

Q And no one tried to page him or no attempt to reach him?


Q What time did he leave?

MR. GEARAN: Soon after 1:00 p.m. or soon thereafter.

Q Was there any indication of the time of -- we know when you guys were contacted, but the time of death or the time that his body was found?

MR. GEARAN: The Park Service can provide that information. I think that we can --

Q Did he go home at all before --

MR. GEARAN: We don't believe so.

Q Do you have the information, Mark?

MR. GEARAN: I'm sorry?

Q Do you have anything that answers Ruth's question?

MR. GEARAN: About the time that his body was found?

Q Yes.

MR. GEARAN: -- 6:00 p.m. I think is what the Park Service report --

Q You don't know -- that period of five hours -- 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. --

MR. GEARAN: We do not.

Q No one knows where he was in those five hours?

MR. GEARAN: That's correct.

Q Mark, was he under any treatment that was -- was he seeing any kind of doctors? Was he under any kind of medication that you're aware of?

MR. GEARAN: Not that we're aware of, no.

Q Did the Park Service investigators -- I'm sorry, Terry.

Q I was just going to say -- he wasn't seeing a psychiatrist or getting any kind of counseling as far as you know?

MR. GEARAN: Not that we're aware of.

Q Did the Park Service investigators tell anybody on the White House staff what they thought the time of death might have been?

MR. GEARAN: Not that I'm aware of. The exact time of death?

Q Well, or approximate time of death. You say the body was discovered approximately 6:00 p.m. How long had he been dead?

MR. GEARAN: I don't know the answer to that. We can refer you to the Justice Department for that.

Q The Justice Department has a policy of not ever commenting on pending investigations, so in essence, Mark, by referring us to the Justice Department we're not going to get any answers.

MR. GEARAN: Well, I think if the question is what -- the question is at what time was the death recorded?

Q No, when do they think death took place. They can estimate these things and they normally do.

MR. GEARAN: I don't know the answer to that.

Q Was there a note?

MR. GEARAN: There was not.

Q Are you sure there was no note, computer note --

MR. GEARAN: Not that we're aware of.

Q Do you know of any personal problem that could have driven him to this?

MR. GEARAN: No. As I said, he never said anything to his colleagues here in the White House or his friends here in Washington that would indicate that anything was out of the ordinary.

Q And when things were going wrong at the White House in terms of appointments and the travel office, this did not upset him? I mean, he didn't have any undue stress?

MR. GEARAN: No. I think I've kind of summarized as best, Helen, in terms of talking to other colleagues or friends, and obviously, we spent the preceding -- whatever it is -- 12 hours all visiting with each other on this topic to search our own minds, and there's nothing to indicate that.

Q People have said, though, that there was a change in his demeanor and attitude over the last week or so. Are you aware of that either personally or by report from Bernie or others?

MR. GEARAN: I think people have observed in the White House there are good days and bad days here in the White House. I don't think anyone had an indication that it was out of the ordinary.

Q Had he been, in fact, depressed, down in the dumps in the last few days or weeks?

MR. GEARAN: Some people might have observed it, but again, nothing to indicate anything out of the ordinary, obviously.

Q Had he left the White House for afternoons before? Have you any evidence that he'd taken such long departures?

MR. GEARAN: I'm not aware of it, but I would not be, frankly.

Q Are you providing any counseling to any members of his staff about his death? And is there any attempt to counsel people on perhaps the pressures of the job and --

MR. GEARAN: Not at this point, although the President and Mack McLarty, the Chief of Staff, convened a staff meeting today that Bernie spoke at and that Mack spoke at, and the President spoke at. And I think it was a good session for us all certainly to be together and an opportunity to share some thoughts.

Q The whole staff, Mark?

MR. GEARAN: The entire White House staff was invited.

Q Mark, what time --

Q In 450?

MR. GEARAN: In Room 450 of the Old Executive Office Building.

Q Mark, what time did you say again that the White House was first notified -- 9:15 p.m.?

MR. GEARAN: Nine fifteen p.m., soon after 9:00 p.m. --

Q Well, what accounts --

MR. GEARAN: -- is when we Mack was notified, because we were at the Residence.

Q What accounts for the lapse in time then between 6:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. before you or the White House was notified, and who made the positive identification?

MR. GEARAN: The White House, our security administrative officers were notified at 8:30 p.m. or so and 9:00 p.m. respectively.

Q That's still two and a half hours, presumably. Did he have his identification on him?

MR. GEARAN: It was --

Q It seems like -- I don't know, it just seems like an inordinate amount of time, two and a half hours --

MR. GEARAN: I don't know if that's inordinate or not.

Q Okay, but did he have identification on him, do you know?

MR. GEARAN: Yes, he did.

Q Okay -- no --

MR. GEARAN: I do not know. And I don't know if that's inordinate.

Q Who made the positive identification?

MR. GEARAN: Craig Livingstone went to the Fairfax Hospital, accompanied by Bill Kennedy.

Q Who is Craig Livingstone?

MR. GEARAN: He's our security officer.

Q And when you say the administrative and security officers were --

MR. GEARAN: Craig is the security officer, and David Watkins is the administrative officer -- the official point of contacts on all matters of this.

Q The President has spoken of this as a suicide, and so did Mack. What is the evidence that it was a suicide?

MR. GEARAN: The Park Service report indicated that.

Q Is there any doubt at all?

MR. GEARAN: That's what the Park Service report concluded. We have no reason to dispute it.

Q Did his wife known he owned a gun, or did this come as a complete surprise to her that he even had a gun in his possession, or that he might have secured it only yesterday?

MR. GEARAN: I don't know. I don't know his gun ownership or the nature of this gun. This is, again, part of the standing procedure, and an investigation of this type is that they do look at the number and determine the ownership of it.

Q When he didn't return to the White House in the afternoon, did his secretary or anyone in his office become alarmed, or try to contact the family?

MR. GEARAN: From visiting with Bernie, he did say from time to time and then by the end of the day, they thought he might have then returned home. It was not necessarily atypical.

Q What do you mean by that? Can you explain that?

Q What do you mean it was not atypical?

Q A minute ago you said you didn't know if he had done this before.

MR. GEARAN: That's their observation. I do not know from personal --

Q What had he gone in to talk to Bernie about? You said he visited with him.

MR. GEARAN: They were watching -- he came in to talk about Judge Freeh's announcement and the opening proceeding of the Ginsburg hearings.

Q Mark, Bernie said --

Q Nothing out of the ordinary?


Q Bernie said this was not atypical for him not to have returned by the end of the day?

MR. GEARAN: It was not viewed as any way unusual in that sense. They weren't sure of his exact schedule.

Q In what sense, Mark?

Q Had this happened before then?

MR. GEARAN: I don't know the answer to that.

Q Can you check that for us?


Q Mark, what was his -- how did Bernie describe his demeanor at that lunch before he left?

MR. GEARAN: He had -- Vince had lunch by himself at his desk. He went into --

Q But Bernie was the last one to meet with him at the White House?

MR. GEARAN: Yes. Dee Dee has got the statement we're releasing that from the staff meeting when Mack and Bernie and the President spoke. He did speak about that visit that we can provide you some of the excerpts from.

Q Mark, it's not unusual in a case that seems so unexplainable as this for the person's friends to take on some sense of the guilt that, gee, maybe I did something or maybe I should have -- does President Clinton feel any sense that the pressure or the work load or being part of this administration contributed to his decision?

MR. GEARAN: Well, I think we're all saddened beyond words at Vince's death. Obviously, he was enormously well-respected here. We all feel like we lost a very valued colleague. It's also the case that when we met today we talked -- the President spoke as he had before of the need to balance all of our lives and this provides --

Q The President said that work isn't everything, that you have to pay more attention to friends and family. Does President Clinton feel that he has, perhaps in some way, neglected friends and family?

MR. GEARAN: No, I think we're just speaking to, as he has since we got here, that at moments like this you're reminded of the importance of friends and family.

Q How and by whom was Mrs. Clinton notified? And can you characterize her reaction?

MR. GEARAN: She was -- Mack McLarty, the Chief of Staff, called her from the Residence at 9:40 p.m. -- somewhere --9:45 p.m. --

Q Told her before he told the President?

MR. GEARAN: The President was on Larry King Show --that there was this report. She was in Little Rock.

Q And was this report the reason for the last half hour of the program being cut off?

MR. GEARAN: The original agreement with the show was that it would be an hour, and then it was extended midway during it. But, obviously, as events and our knowledge of the circumstance became more clear, then we agreed to terminate --

Q This was the reason? The stated reason was that there was an appointment. That's the way -- but the appointment was a cover --

MR. GEARAN: The President did not know until he left the set.

Q The appointment was a cover for this event.

MR. GEARAN: The President did not know until he left the set.

Q Was Foster related in any way to the President or anybody else on the staff here?

MR. GEARAN: I'm not aware of any familial relation. They grew up in Hope, Arkansas, and their backyards joined each other growing up. The President's grandparents that he lived with growing up and in the foster home --

Q Was he related distantly, if at all, to anyone else on the White House staff?

MR. GEARAN: On the White House staff? I'm not aware of it. His sister, Sheila Foster Anthony, serves in the Justice Department.

Q Mark, I have two questions. One, can you tell us who else besides Mack and the President sat in on that conversation among friends last night at the Foster home?

MR. GEARAN: Webb Hubbell, the Fosters --

Q Including Sheila?

MR. GEARAN: I believe so.

Q Anybody else? Was Lindsey there?

MR. GEARAN: Bruce was not -- David Watkins was there.

Q David Watkins and Pat --

MR. GEARAN: I don't believe so.

Q David called Chief Langston and Major Hines here today, I understand, from the Park Service to brief on this investigation so far. Who did they brief and what did they tell you, please?

MR. GEARAN: Well, the agreement today was, as I said, at the request of the Counsel. The Justice Department is going to coordinate the investigation.

Q And you were told that? Is that what they were brought here to be told?

MR. GEARAN: They discussed that and the Chief agreed to that. Thought that was a good idea.

Q Did they brief you on anything they had gotten? Did they bring you up to speed? Who did they talk to?

MR. GEARAN: No, no, they did not brief me.

Q Mark, just a -- let me follow Ruth's question. Is there anyone of all the people who you've talked to in your discussions, either Bernie or others, who really were in a position to see him over a period of time and measure, who felt or believed there had been a change in his behavior -- a discernible and obvious change in his behavior in the last week or two?

MR. GEARAN: I can only repeat what I've said in that there was nothing people felt that he said anything in the extraordinary, that was out of the ordinary to his colleagues or to his friends. Something we've all thought about.

Q How long did the President stay at the Fosters last night?

MR. GEARAN: He stayed 45 minutes.

Q Mark, back on the investigation. What is the specific goal of this investigation that you're undertaking?

MR. GEARAN: This is a standard operating procedure.

Q It can't be standard for the Deputy Attorney General to investigate a suicide.

Q Mark, can I follow that, please?

MR. GEARAN: No, to coordinate it with the Park Service and the Secret Service.

Q What do you want to find out?

Q the factors that might have contributed to this?

MR. GEARAN: I'm sorry.

Q Are you looking for collateral factors that might have contributed to this, whether it be financial problems or blackmail or something that's unseen at this point?

MR. GEARAN: No, we're looking just to ensure that the standard procedure is followed in the sense of the Counsel's Office here because some of it may require the broadened focus of the Justice Department only in the sense of the Counsel's Office.

Let me just -- I don't want to confuse anyone here. The Department of Justice has been asked by the Counsel's Office, Bernie, to coordinate this from the Park Service to any of the other procedural investigatory authorities on behalf of the White House. That's all that's --

Q Mark, I'm sorry, isn't the nature of this -- in the case of this kind, if I'm not mistaken, at its first impression for the authorities, an investigation to see if, indeed, it was a suicide, and, if not, if it were some other kind of crime? That being the case, I wonder is it standard procedure for the White House, despite the fact that the victim worked here, to be involved in directing how the investigation is coordinated or having the federal authorities do that? Is that standard procedure to your knowledge?

MR. GEARAN: I can provide additional details on the specific legalities as to why that was suggested. I think the instance of both from the scene of Vince's death, it's the Park Service, to any -- another part of the investigation would be any information that would provide background that would also involve his place of work or whatever.

Q You're talking about the White House as supervising cooperation with the investigation, or are you talking about the White House actually having the Justice Department supervise the investigation and run it itself?

MR. GEARAN: What we -- and I will be more precise when -- I didn't come in here prepared fully on this, and we want to make it very clear. My understanding is that the Department of Justice has been asked to coordinate this because of the various investigating authorities. Let me come back to you on it completely so as not to confuse anyone.

Q Who made the request?

MR. GEARAN: The Counsel's Office.

Q Are you going to get back to us on that --


Q So you're going to take a question, in effect, and get back to us?

MR. GEARAN: Absolutely.

Q Are you going to try and get back before our deadlines this evening?

MR. GEARAN: Yes, we don't want to have any confusion on this.

Q Mark, will you explain to us also what this is that they're investigating if the Park Police is convinced it's a suicide?


Q Is there any doubt as to whether it's a suicide?

MR. GEARAN: No, as I said, there's no reason to doubt that.

Q tell both agencies or --


Q Mark, did the President personally request that the Justice Department --

MR. GEARAN: No, the White House Counsel's Office.

Q Can you say what the wife felt? Was there any indication -- did she get any kind of an insight? You weren't there last night in the house, but has there been any word from her, any expression that she might have known he was not feeling --

MR. GEARAN: Not that I'm aware of, no.

Q Do you have any word on a medical exam?

MR. GEARAN: I do not know that.

Q The autopsy has been concluded, has it not?

MR. GEARAN: It was to be conducted today.

Q Are White House employees routinely asked whether they own firearms upon being employed?

MR. GEARAN: I don't recall.

Q What was the question?

MR. GEARAN: Whether White House employees are asked whether they own firearms. I don't recall from the questionnaires that we were provided. I do not know.

Q Did he park on campus here? Did he park his car routinely on campus here on the White House grounds?

MR. GEARAN: I believe so, yes.

Q What's you're understanding of how Mr. Foster reacted to The Wall Street Journal editorials about him?

MR. GEARAN: I think people, again, just to state the broader point here because I know where a lot of the concerns are here from folks, is that, generally, in conversations with colleagues that Vince had and as we've all been following up on, no one ever felt there was anything extraordinary. In the White House there's good days and days of more stress than others. No one ever felt that he was unduly burdened by it.

Q He seemed to take it in stride, is that what you're saying?


Q Mark, how about this travel office report? That concluded that the White House Counsel, among others, could have done more to avert the damage that was caused. Do you have any indication that Vince took that to heart and that had a particular impact on his state of mind over the last couple of weeks?

MR. GEARAN: No, we don't. As you know, Mack and Leon have spoken from this podium about the travel office, and, as you know, there was no instance of conduct that was noted there to necessitate any reprimand of Vince.

Q Mark, do you have anything more on the travel? Is he going to stay overnight?

MR. GEARAN: We don't.

Q Mark, you've left the impression with a comment earlier about his unexplained absence during the afternoon was not atypical -- it left the impression it kind of was not unusual for him to kind of go AWOL in the afternoon.

MR. GEARAN: I don't want to leave that impression.

Q Can you go back to the atypical line and say what you meant?

MR. GEARAN: Yes, thank you. I think what I was trying to suggest is that while he was out of the office, whether this was at a meeting or whatever, people did not feel, based on any comments that he might have given anyone or any behavior that would necessitate further inquiries, that other than the fact that his schedule was not known that he might have left earlier in the afternoon for home after an appointment. It was within that kind of context that there was --

Q Mark, can you give us a rundown on what the President's day and night was like after he left the Foster home last night?

MR. GEARAN: He came back to the Residence.

Q We were told that he didn't get much sleep.

MR. GEARAN: He visited in the Residence with Mack for some time. And this morning he conducted his meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus and then had the staff meeting. The public schedule today out in Maryland was conducted by the Vice President. He's been in the office. This evening's schedule I don't know.

Q Can you go back on Mrs. Clinton's contact with Foster's family and tell us a little bit about her friendship with --

MR. GEARAN: She was Vince's partner at the Rose Law Firm and was friendly with Vince and his wife and their family, as was President Clinton and many of the folks around the White House.

Q Did she call her last night? Did she have any contact with the people who were at the --

MR. GEARAN: I need to confirm that for you, the timing of the call.

Q Was anyone else on the White House staff or in the President's family or inner circle -- did anyone hear from him yesterday other than the context you've mentioned before this happened?

MR. GEARAN: Not that we're aware of.

Q Or in the 24 or 48 hours before?

MR. GEARAN: Wait a minute, Brit. One more time.

Q I gather that yesterday, apart from the contacts in the office, no one is aware of any discussions he may have had that would shed any light on how he felt or what might have led to this.


Q In the two days -- did anyone else in the White House hear from him yesterday who did not work in the immediate office that might have given some sense on this?

MR. GEARAN: People saw him at the Judge Freeh ceremony.

Q He seemed fine.

MR. GEARAN: He was doing legal work after that at his desk and with a colleague.

Q His secretary had no sense of anything wrong?

Q How involved in the review process for Dr. Elders was Mr. Foster? Was he very involved in the review of her nomination and the questions about Social Security taxes from last weekend?

MR. GEARAN: I don't believe so. I don't believe so. I can clarify that for you, but I do not believe that was part of this.

Q Mark, what did the --

Q He didn't go home during the afternoon, did he?

MR. GEARAN: Not that we're aware of, no.

Q And did the authorities call his family, or did the White House contact Mrs. Foster?

MR. GEARAN: The authorities went to the Foster residence.

Q Has his office been searched at all for clues? And is it now being sealed as part of the investigation?

MR. GEARAN: It's secured, yes. It's secured.

Q And was it searched for notes or clues or anything?

MR. GEARAN: There was nothing remaining, no.

Q What are the ages of the children?

MR. GEARAN: We can provide the exact ages. Two are in college and one is about to enter his senior year.

Q Of college?

MR. GEARAN: I'm sorry -- in high school.

Q I'm sorry. You said there was nothing remaining in his office?

MR. GEARAN: The question was a note, I believe, wasn't it?

Q Was it searched for a note.

MR. GEARAN: Is the question --

Q For any clues or nothing remained?

Q Why has it been sealed?

MR. GEARAN: That's part of the standard procedure as --

Q Was there any indication, Mark, that he had tried to put his affairs in order in some way --

MR. GEARAN: Not that I'm aware of.

Q like tidy up legal matters?

MR. GEARAN: Not that I'm aware of, but I don't know the answer.

Q And the police informed Mrs. Foster?

MR. GEARAN: Yes, yes.

Q They came to the house?

MR. GEARAN: They go to the house.

Q Do you know did they --

MR. GEARAN: The question was did the police inform Mrs. Foster.

Q Did they inform Mrs. Foster before they informed the White House? That might account for the lapse in time. Do you know what time they informed her?

MR. GEARAN: They informed -- they went to the house right before 10:00 p.m., I think. They wait for confirmation -- somebody to identify the body.

Q What particular official made the ruling that the death was by suicide, and what particular official was conducting the autopsy?

MR. GEARAN: The Fairfax County Coroner's Office in the instance of the latter question, and the Park Service police report indicated that.

Q What kind of hours has he been working and when is the last time he had a vacation?

MR. GEARAN: Vince was very hard-working. I don't know his exact hours. I think --

Q Is it 18 hours, is it 14 hours, is it seven days a week?

MR. GEARAN: It's at least 12 hours, I would suspect, or more.

Q When was the last time he had a vacation?

Q Do you have any details on how he was found, who found him?

MR. GEARAN: I don't know the answer to that.

Q Do you have any details about how he was found or who found him?

MR. GEARAN: No, I don't.

Q What is the President's schedule? Do you have any details over the weekend?

MR. GEARAN: No, we'll have to provide that for you.

Q Will he go to the burial?

MR. GEARAN: He's going at least to the funeral at this point.

Q Mark, can you tell if that's the only business relationship that Vince and Hillary had was in the law partnership? Do you know if they had any other business relationship?

MR. GEARAN: I'm not aware of any other business relationship, no.

Q Mark, did the President phone the First Lady last night?

MR. GEARAN: Yes, he did.

Q Do you know how long they spoke?

MR. GEARAN: I don't know that. Mack was -- it was from the Residence and Mack was there.

Q Can I ask you a question on another issue?

MR. GEARAN: I want to get back to you on this Justice thing --

Q Mark, has she returned to Washington?

MR. GEARAN: No, she's in Little Rock.

Q Will you release the Park Service police report? Is that a public document you can release?

MR. GEARAN: I can check. I think they have released it, yes.

Q What was Foster like to deal with in the office on a day-to-day basis?

MR. GEARAN: Vince Foster was a delightful guy. He was solid. He was someone that you'd want as your lawyer. He was earnest and exhibited a tremendous sense of honesty and integrity, and also enjoyed the good humor and respect of -- people who worked with him liked working with him and for him.

Q You're giving an impression that he didn't wear his emotions on his sleeve. Is that accurate?

MR. GEARAN: I think we'll leave it as where I left it. I think it's --

Q Mark, was he driving home? Was this the route to his home?

MR. GEARAN: He lives in Georgetown or Northwest.

Q Mark, can I ask you a question on another subject? The Congressional Black Caucus said today that the President indicated he was considering adding a black and a woman to his inner circle. Where do things stand on that? Is that an accurate portrayal of where things are?

MR. GEARAN: I wasn't at the Black Caucus meeting, so I'm not prepared to take the question.

Let me leave it there because I don't want to leave any misunderstanding on the status of the coordinated effort with Justice.

Q When did Mrs. Foster last see her husband? Did she have any indication? Did you say yesterday morning before he left for work?

MR. GEARAN: I can't confirm that. I don't know the answer to that.

Q Thank you, Mark.

END4:15 P.M. EDT