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Linda Tripp, Key Figure in Clinton Impeachment, Dies D5FRa
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    Linda Tripp, Key Figure in Clinton Impeachment, Dies

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    The Last Outlaw
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    PostThe Last Outlaw Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:10 pm

    Linda Tripp, Key Figure in Clinton Impeachment, Dies I5Bn3

    From The New York Times

    Anita Gates of the New York Times wrote:Linda Tripp, the former White House and Pentagon employee whose secret audiotapes of Monica Lewinsky led to the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, died on Wednesday. She was 70.

    Linda Tripp, Key Figure in Clinton Impeachment, Dies BB12lqee

    Joseph Murtha, a former lawyer for Ms. Tripp, confirmed the death. No other details were given.

    When Ms. Lewinsky completed her testimony about the scandal, she was asked if she had any final comments. According to CNN, she answered, “I hate Linda Tripp.”

    Ms. Tripp always contended that she had revealed Ms. Lewinsky’s private confession of a sexual relationship with Mr. Clinton out of “patriotic duty.” She had worked in the White House under President George H.W. Bush and stayed on to work briefly in the Clinton administration. She was transferred to the Pentagon and its public affairs office.

    Ms. Lewinsky, who had been a White House intern, was transferred there, too, and the women, despite a 24-year age difference, became friends.

    When Ms. Lewinsky confided in Ms. Tripp that she had had a physical relationship with the president, Ms. Tripp got in touch with Lucianne Goldberg, a literary agent who had once reached out to her for information on Vincent Foster, the White House lawyer who committed suicide in 1993.

    More recently, Ms. Tripp had been working on a book proposal tentatively titled Behind Closed Doors: What I Saw Inside the Clinton White House. Now she had a hook.

    Ms. Goldberg suggested, among other things, that Ms. Tripp tape her telephone conversations with Ms. Lewinsky. That was legal in the District of Columbia and in 39 states, but not in Maryland, where Ms. Tripp was living.

    More than 20 hours of audiotapes were turned over to Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor handling the Clinton investigation.

    After four years and $30 million, Mr. Starr’s investigation had stalled, lost in stale allegations involving the Whitewater land deal in which the Clintons had lost money. Ms. Tripp’s tapes suddenly provided a fresh, rich avenue for exploration, galvanizing the investigation almost overnight as they carried the potential to bring down the president.

    The tapes revealed a complicated relationship between Ms. Tripp and Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Lewinsky seemed grateful to be able to confide in the older woman, talking with her regularly and for hours at a time about everything from their diets and exercise routines to Ms. Lewinsky’s secret romance with the president — all while Ms. Tripp was milking her young friend for incriminating information against him.

    They laughed together and cried. They both ate while on the phone. At one point, Ms. Lewinsky asked Ms. Tripp to help her proofread a love letter she had written to Mr. Clinton.

    “Handsome, you have been distant the past few months and have shut me out,” Ms. Lewinsky read. “I don’t know why. Is it that you don’t like me anymore, or are you scared?”

    Ms. Tripp assured her that he would call, prompting Ms. Lewinsky to say, “Linda, if I ever wanna have an affair with a married man again, especially the president, please shoot me.”

    At another point, Ms. Lewinsky confided that after she had apparently had phone sex with Mr. Clinton, she had told him that she loved him — and called him “butthead” at the same time.

    During another of their lengthy phone calls, Ms. Tripp, fully aware of her betrayal, predicted the demise of their friendship.

    “I feel like I’m sticking a knife in your back,” Ms. Tripp told Ms. Lewinsky on Dec. 22, 1997, during a conversation that ran 68 pages when it was transcribed. “And I know at the end of this, if I have to go forward, you will never speak to me again.”

    Ms. Tripp was later given immunity from wiretapping charges in exchange for her testimony.

    She was soon a figure of ridicule, being played by John Goodman in Saturday Night Live sketches.

    While Ms. Tripp had been central to Mr. Starr’s case against Mr. Clinton, the conservatives and Clinton-haters who once hailed her forgot about her. The gibes about her were so cruel that she more or less gave up on her own defense.

    Linda Rose Carotenuto was born on Nov. 24, 1949, in Jersey City, N.J. Her father, Albert Carotenuto, was a high school math and science teacher who met his wife, Inge, when he was an American solder stationed in her native Germany. The Carotenutos divorced in 1968 after Linda’s mother learned that her father was having an affair with a fellow teacher.

    Linda graduated from high school in East Hanover, N.J., and went to work as a secretary in Army Intelligence in Fort Meade, Md. In 1971 she married Bruce Tripp, a military officer. In a 2003 interview, she described herself as “a suburban mom who was a military wife for 20 years.” The couple divorced in 1990.

    Ms. Tripp married Dieter Rausch, a German architect, in 2004. In later years she worked with him in his family’s retail store, the Christmas Sleigh, in Middleburg, Va., a Washington suburb.

    In addition to Mr. Rausch, her survivors include a son, Ryan Tripp, and a daughter, Allison Tripp Foley.

    Ms. Tripp was dismissed by the Pentagon in January 2001, on the last day of the Clinton administration. She later sued the Justice and Defense Departments for having released her security and employment files to the news media and was awarded a settlement of almost $600,000, plus back pay for three years.

    On Twitter on Wednesday, Ms. Lewinsky wrote: “no matter the past, upon hearing that linda tripp is very seriously ill, i hope for her recovery. i can’t imagine how difficult this is for her family.”

    The Lewinsky story has continued to fascinate Americans. The FX series American Crime Story plans to devote its third season, beginning in September, to the scandal. Sarah Paulson is scheduled to portray Ms. Tripp.

    In a 2003 television interview on CNN’s Larry King Live, Ms. Tripp said: “Actions speak louder than words. My actions over the last five years should be pretty clear evidence that this was not about self-enrichment, political gain, partisan interest. It was about good government.”

    As for posterity and the view that she was the betrayer and Mr. Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky the victims, she said, “I think history will see things through a prism that will make it easier to understand that it wasn’t black and white.”

    Thank you Ms. Tripp for your contribution to our nation's history. Rest now. Let the arms of God comfort you.

    Just Saying... Rest... In... Peace.
    Linda Tripp, Key Figure in Clinton Impeachment, Dies I6goy

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