Linda Tripp, who blew the whistle on a sex scandal that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, died on Wednesday, April 8.
Her death was confirmed to the Washington Post by her son, Ryan Tripp, and to the New York Post by her son-in-law, Thomas Foley, who said Tripp’s unspecified illness was unrelated to the coronavirus.The Daily Mail in Britain cited a longtime close friend, Diane Spreadbury, as saying Tripp succumbed to a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. (Reuters)
Tripp was a Pentagon employee when she made secret recordings of White House intern Monica Lewinsky describing an affair with the president.
Clinton denied the affair when it was exposed in January 1998 — saying he “did not have sex with that woman.” He also denied the affair in a sworn deposition, leading to his impeachment on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury. After a 21-day trial in 1999, he was acquitted in the Senate. (Union Leader)
Tripp was vilified in the media by Clinton supporters and confidential information was leaked to media from her government personnel files.
The tactics were well known to any whistleblower: Dig into her background, find dirt (even if from her High School days), question her motive all of which was for one purpose – to detract from the objective evidence. The smear knew no bounds. It included political appointees illegally sneaking into her security clearance file and leaking derogatory information in clear violation of the Privacy Act. (The Hill)
Tripp sued the Department of Defense the the Justice Department for violating the Privacy Act of 1974. “The government settled and awarded her a one-time payment of more than half a million dollars, a retroactive promotion, retroactive pay at the highest salary for 1998, 1999 and 2000 and a pension” (biography.com)
In a 2003 interview, Larry King asked Tripp if she had regrets. Tripp replied, “No, I would do it again.” (CNN)