Sheila Foster Anthony slammed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on May 26 for reviving conspiracy theories that her late brother Vince Foster (who died from suicide) may have been murdered in a plot that was tied to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Foster's suicide on July 20, 1993, has prompted conspiracy theories for decades, notes Snopes.com, and they have often hinged on the common legal phrase "ruled a suicide," which conspiracy theorists have claimed is proof of some type of cover-up.
Trump said earlier in May, according to The Washington Post: "It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary."
Whitewater refers to Bill and Hillary's real estate investments in the Whitewater Development Corporation. Conspiracy theorists have said they believe Foster was killed because he knew confidential information about this failed business venture.
Trump said that theories of possible foul play in Foster's death are "very serious," called Foster’s death "very fishy," and added:
[Foster] had intimate knowledge of what was going on. He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide. I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it.
I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.
Trump didn't identify these "people," but Anthony responded to him in an op-ed for The Washington Post on May 26: "How wrong. How irresponsible. How cruel."
Anthony also noted: "Five investigations, including by independent counsels Robert B. Fiske Jr. and Kenneth Starr, concluded that Vince suffered from severe depression that caused him to be unable to sleep, unable to work, unable to think straight, and finally to take his own life."
She recalled how her brother came to live with her in Washington, D.C., when he originally took a stressful job as a deputy counsel to then-President Bill Clinton.
She said that Foster and his family eventually moved into their own D.C. home and rented out their house in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Anthony recalled that her brother called her only a few days before he died and "told me he was battling depression and knew he needed help."
According to Anthony, her brother feared that admitting his depression to the deputy counsel's office would jeopardize his "top-level security clearance and prevent him from doing his job."
Anthony recalled referring her brother to three health professionals whose names were found on a list that Foster had on him when he took his own life in a park in nearby McLean, Virginia.
"I did not see a suicide coming, yet when I was told that Vince was dead I knew that he had killed himself," Anthony wrote. "Never for a minute have I doubted that was what happened."
Anthony added: "He must have felt that he couldn’t stay in his job at the White House, and he couldn’t go back to Little Rock. He was so ill, he couldn’t see a way out."
She recalled when the murder conspiracy theories tied to the Clintons surfaced:
These outrageous suggestions have caused our family untold pain because this issue went on for so long and these reports were so painful to read.
For years, our family had to wage a court fight to prevent release of photographs of Vince’s dead body. My heartbroken mother was plagued by harassing phone calls from a reporter.
Anthony also disclosed that The Washington Post contacted her for a reaction to Trump's comments about her late brother.
"I have donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign but have not had contact with anyone at the campaign about my decision to go public," Anthony added. "For Trump to raise these theories again for political advantage is wrong. I cannot let such craven behavior pass without a response."