Live Freeh or Die

In their August 8 raid on Mar-a-Lago, FBI agents spent hours in Donald Trump’s private office, broke open his safe, and “scoured Melania Trump’s wardrobe.” As they process this unprecedented home invasion, the people might wonder what a search of FBI closets could possibly turn up. The administration of Bill Clinton is a good place to start looking. 

On July 19, 1993, President Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions, a former judge and U.S. attorney appointed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan. Clinton charged that Sessions used his position to leverage perks. The more likely cause was Sessions’ effort to prevent the politicization of the FBI, then gearing up under the new administration.

Clinton’s pick for FBI boss was former FBI agent and federal judge Louis Freeh, who had “investigated and prosecuted some of the most complex crimes of our time.” According to Clinton, Freeh would be “good for the FBI and tough on criminals.” The nominee proclaimed, “I pledge a total commitment to the FBI, whose only beacon is the rule of law.”

On July 20, 1993, at approximately 1 p.m., Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster came out of his office with his suit jacket in hand. He told Linda Tripp, an aide to White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, that he left some M&Ms on a tray if she happened to want any. Foster didn’t say where he was going, but as he headed out the door, he told Tripp “I’ll be back.” He wouldn’t. 

At approximately 6 p.m. that day, Foster’s body was found in Fort Marcy Park in Virginia. Foster had suffered a gunshot wound to the head, but in one account he was found on a berm near a Civil War cannon in a straight coffin-like position, with the gun still in his hand. That seldom if ever happens in a suicide, the default explanation for Foster’s fate.

Accounts also differed on where Foster’s body had been found, which raised the possibility that it had been moved. A point-blank gunshot wound to the head leaves an enormous amount of blood, bone and tissue but accounts discussing the position of the body, and photos of the scene, do not reflect that reality. The bullet was never found, and accounts also differed on the type of gun found in Foster’s hand.

The discharge of a .38, 9mm, .45 or even a .22 pistol would make a loud noise, but a report of a firearm discharge had not prompted a police report or search of the park. The body had been accidentally found by a visitor to the park, who had not heard a gunshot. Accounts also differed on the identity of people in the park that day, and what, exactly, they were doing. These were far from casual matters. 

Death by gunshot is necessarily a violent death and treated as a homicide. As Christopher Ruddy noted in The Strange Death of Vincent Foster, if he perished by the hand of another, Foster would have been the highest-ranking White House official to be killed since President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Since Foster was a government employee, his death was a public matter.

No suicide note was found at the scene. But as Ruddy notes, the Park Police, the FBI, and the Clinton White House concluded that Foster’s death was a suicide before all the facts were in. As Ruddy showed, the FBI also downplayed any evidence that contradicted official claims. 

“The American public has not been told the complete facts of this case,” wrote William Sessions in his cover endorsement of The Strange Death of Vincent Foster. According to the former FBI director, Ruddy raised “serious concerns about the handling of the Foster case,” and “it is legitimate to question the process employed by authorities to make their conclusions.”

As for possible motive, Foster possessed records of Hillary Clinton’s work at the Rose Law Firm on behalf of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, managed by Clinton crony Jim McDougal. Madison’s failure led to a loss of more than $70 million for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Two years after Foster’s mysterious demise, those records miraculously turned up at the White House

The last person to see Vincent Foster alive was Linda Tripp, who died in April 2020 at the age of 70. Tripp feared retribution from the Clintons, and her book on what she saw at the White House never appeared. In June 2020, William Sessions passed away at the age of 90. During his emeritus years, Sessions issued no further revelations about Vincent Foster. For Louis Freeh, it was hardly the only untimely death he was to encounter. 

On Freeh’s watch, the FBI deployed massive military force against the family of U.S. Army veteran Randy Weaver, who had been entrapped by the ATF and branded a “white separatist.” There must have been something nefarious about Weaver’s skin shade that he did not choose. Living in rural Idaho, a place he thought safe for his family, made Weaver an evil “separatist,” a choice target for militant action. 

On August 22, 1992, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi gunned down Vicki Weaver as she held her infant daughter. Snipers are trained carefully to acquire their targets, but Freeh claimed it was an accident. If so, it is strange that the accident-prone sniper was not discharged, disciplined, or put on leave. In 1993, Freeh’s FBI deployed Horiuchi at Waco, where 77 perished, including 26 children

Agent Larry Potts was censured for his performance at Ruby Ridge, but Freeh still recommended Potts for deputy director of the FBI, claiming he was “superbly qualified” for the post. That casts doubt on Freeh’s claim that the FBI’s only beacon is the rule of law. Current FBI boss Christopher Wray, never an FBI agent, also calls that into question.

“We protect the American people and uphold the U.S. Constitution,” the FBI website now proclaims. In 2020, that protection was little in evidence during 120 days of coordinated Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots that claimed more than 35 lives, caused $2 billion in property damage, and left more than 1,500 law enforcement officers injured. In June of 2020, when violent protesters took over part of Seattle, that failed to prompt any FBI action on the scale of Ruby Ridge. 

The FBI now conducts surprise heavily armed raids at dawn, with friendly media in tow, such as the action against Roger Stone. In similar style, an FBI squad slapped handcuffs and leg irons on Trump advisor Peter Navarro, 72 at the time, for the crime of defying a congressional subpoena. 

Last November, the FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid on investigative journalist James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, all over a diary that had belonged to Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley. O’Keefe told reporters the FBI made him stand handcuffed, in his underwear, as a squad of FBI agents, one carrying a battering ram, searched for his phones. 

In light of such abuses, the FBI claim of upholding the Constitution seems something of a stretch. None of it seems to trouble Christopher Wray, whose FBI also harbors a skeleton in their closet. 

On February 21, 2020, the body of Philip Haney, author of See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad, was “found deceased” in Amador County, California, with a gunshot wound to the chest. 

The Amador sheriff “reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in analyzing documents, phone records, numerous thumb drives and a laptop that were recovered from the scene and Mr. Haney’s RV. Those items and numerous other pieces of evidence, were turned over to the FBI. The FBI has performed a forensic examination of these items. We expect to receive these reports within the next few weeks.” 

More than two years later, the FBI reports have yet to show up in Amador County. The FBI website shows no information on the Haney case, and a search for statements from Wray turns up nothing. The terrorists Haney so deftly exposed had a strong motive to silence him, but there is another possibility. 

The whistleblower was reportedly working on another book that would go into the “deep swamp” and “name names.” That would not go down well with federal agencies such as the DHS and FBI. The composite character President Obama, formerly known as Barry Soetoro, transformed the FBI to ignore Islamic terrorism and target patriotic Americans wary of government power, fond of liberty, and determined to preserve their constitutional rights. 

Wray’s FBI now invades the home of Donald Trump, so the people might wonder what actions the FBI could be planning for Trump’s supporters. At this writing, those less than worshipful of the Biden Junta, are branded violent extremists, white supremacists, and domestic terrorists.

What Louis Freeh, now 72, thinks about all this is uncertain, but it is possible to guess. During the Midyear Exam, Crossfire Hurricane, and the Russia hoax, Freeh did not emerge as a leading critic of the FBI. More likely, the former FBI boss is still wielding influence. 

In 2006, Freeh authored My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror. For a different take on Freeh’s record, particularly on the terror front, see this essay. Skeletons remain in the closet, but Freeh’s true legacy may be the FBI’s deadly actions in the bright light of day.

Based on his performance to date, embattled Americans can believe that Christopher Wray would be willing to turn back the clock. As at Ruby Ridge and Waco, massive military force against the people would render deadly results but on a much wider scale. Remember, the FBI retains military snipers even after deadly “accidents,” so more innocent women would surely take bullets to the head. 

More whistleblowers would suffer fatal gunshots to the chest, passed off by the FBI as a suicide before all the facts are in. That could also be the fate of more government insiders with access to sensitive documents. Sudden, heavily armed FBI raids of politicians’ homes could easily have deadly consequences, to be passed off as accidental. 

On Wray’s watch, more journalists could find their homes and offices raided, and it’s not out of the question that some journalists could suddenly disappear. With massive power, special privilege, and zero accountability, pretty much anything is possible for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 2022 moving forward, the struggle of the people against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post