politics

Fact Check: Navy Didn’t Do New Autopsy of Vince Foster

Vince Foster, left, with his wife and Hillary and Bill Clinton in this Oct. 12, 1988 photo. 

Source: Arkansas Democrat Gazette via AP Photo

(AP) -- No new autopsy was performed on former White House deputy counsel Vince Foster at a U.S. Navy hospital in Virginia, despite the claim of an online story that experts there found evidence of a homicide.

The story from usapoliticstoday claimed Foster's body was exhumed and examined at "the Naval Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia." It said forensic specialists, including the head of the hospital's forensics laboratory, concluded the cause of death should be changed from suicide to homicide. The article also alleged there was no autopsy when Foster died in 1993.

Foster was a deputy counsel in former President Bill Clinton's White House. A Virginia deputy chief medical examiner who performed an autopsy the day after Foster's death determined he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

There is no naval hospital in Norfolk. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth is the service's hospital in the region. In a statement, the Navy said, "Naval Medical Center Portsmouth has verified that an autopsy was not performed on Mr. Vince Foster at their facility. NMCP does not have a forensic pathologist on staff; therefore, NMCP staff are not able to perform a forensic examination."

When an autopsy is done at the hospital, it is performed by a member of the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

"A review of NMCP's log book confirms that the AFME did not use NMCP's autopsy room for a forensic autopsy on Mr. Vince Foster," the Navy statement said.

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This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

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