Key Player in Clinton Scandal Is Dead at 70

Linda Tripp made secret tapes of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2020 5:50 PM CDT
Key Player in Clinton Scandal Is Dead at 70
In this Dec. 14, 1998 file photo Linda Tripp arrives at the offices of Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm, in Washington to give a deposition in a lawsuit about the FBI files controversy.   (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

Linda Tripp, whose secretly recorded conversations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, died Wednesday at age 70. Her death was confirmed by attorney Joseph Murtha, the AP reports. He provided no further details. In August 1994, Tripp became a public affairs specialist at the Pentagon, where Lewinsky worked after being a White House intern. The two reportedly became friends. Tripp made secret tapes of conversations with Lewinsky, who told her she had had an affair with Clinton. Tripp turned almost 20 hours of tapes over to Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor investigating the president, prompting the investigation that led to his impeachment.

Tripp also advised Lewinsky to keep a dress stained with Clinton's semen in case she needed it for evidence one day, the Washington Post reports. "I just don’t want to take away your options down the road, should you need them," Tripp said in one of their recorded chats. "I just, I don't trust the people around him, and I just want you to have that for you." Tripp later testified to a grand jury for eight days in the case. Clinton, charged with obstruction of justice and lying under oath, was impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate. Lewinsky said at the time that "I hate Linda Tripp" but after news broke Wednesday that Tripp was near death, Lewinsky tweeted that she hoped for her recovery "no matter the past."

(Read more Monica Lewinsky stories.)

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