Park Police expressed concern to the Justice Department about the White House decision, Langston said. The department then raised those concerns with the White House and at that point, "White House staff became very compliant and everything that we had asked for they provided to us fully," Langston said.
White House Communications Director Mark D. Gearan said that a reference in Foster's note to the "usher's office" related to discrepancies in cost estimates for redecorating several rooms in the White House. The note alleged that the "Ushers Office plotted to have excessive costs incurred, taking advantage of Kaki and HRC," a reference to Mrs. Clinton and a Little Rock friend and interior designer, Katherine (Kaki) Hockersmith, who was hired by the First Lady to supervise the work.
The White House usher, Gary Walters, is responsible for upkeep of public and private rooms in the White House and is working with Hockersmith on the renovations, which are being paid for with donated private funds.
In March, Hockersmith and Walters estimated that renovations of the Oval Office, Treaty Room and several other parts of the residence would cost $250,000. By June, the figure had escalated to $377,000. That figure apparently was reported to Foster, who handled most of the White House legal work involving Mrs. Clinton, his former law partner.
Gearan said that Foster appeared to be concerned about that discrepancy. But an initial Justice Department inquiry found no evidence of any plot by Walters to inflate the renovation costs to embarrass the First Lady, Gearan said.
Heymann said that, while the investigation "is not totally complete, I am told that based on its interviews to date nothing has led the Public Integrity Section to suspect any criminal conduct that would then have to be investigated."
Nor has the White House found any evidence to support Foster's contention that the press received "illegal benefits" from the travel office staff, Gearan said. Further, the aide said, "we have no reason to believe" the FBI lied to the attorney general in its report on the travel office scandal, despite Foster's assertion.
The spokesman declined to term Foster's letter a suicide note. "I think it is viewed as a note of (a man) who was troubled by matters at work; that indeed, it's a sad commentary in many ways on life in Washington, and it's, frankly, given many of us pause for thought, particularly the reference that Vince makes at the close of his writing."
"I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport," Foster concluded.