Linda Tripp, whose tapes exposed Clinton affair, dies at 70

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Linda Tripp, aged 70, passed away after suffering from pancreatic cancer, her family told US media on Wednesday. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — Linda Tripp, an ex- American civil servant, whose secret conversations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998, has died.

Tripp, aged 70, passed away after suffering from pancreatic cancer, her family told US media on Wednesday.

Tripp was working in the Pentagon when she befriended Lewinsky, the former White House intern who was having an affair with the president. In 1997, she made 22 hours of surreptitious recordings of Lewinsky speaking about the affair, and then handed them over Ken Starr, the special prosecutor leading a broad investigation into the Clinton administration.

The sex scandal precipitated Clinton's impeachment by the Republican-led House of Representatives in 1998, when he was found to have committed perjury for lying about the relationship.

He was acquitted by the Senate, but the ugly political battle was seen as a harbinger of further division in American politics, which became more bitter and partisan in subsequent years.

Tripp spoke publicly about her role in the presidential scandal during a National Whistleblower Day event on Capitol Hill in 2018. The former civil servant defended her actions and said her decisions came from a duty to hold power accountable.

"And yet it had nothing to do with politics, which is hard for anyone to understand if they remember the story many years ago," Tripp said. "What it was about was exposing perjury and obstruction of justice."

Tripp is survived by her husband, Dieter Rausch, and her two children. — Agencies


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