Linda Tripp

Monica Lewinsky Scandal

Basic Information

In 1998, Bill Clinton was having a secret sexual affair with a government intern, Monica Lewinsky. He lied to the American people by stating that this claim was invalid, and for seven months the thought lingered in American minds.

Linda Tripp, a former White House worker, was convinced that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were having an affair. After confronting Lewinsky, her beliefs were confirmed. She began secretly recording phone calls between Clinton and Lewinsky, where Clinton tried to convince Lewinsky to lie in his ongoing Clinton v Jones case, which was unrelated to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Tripp became friends with Lewinsky, and convinced her to not wash the semen off of her dress (proving Clinton was guilty) and also convinced her to not sign an affidavit denying her affair with Clinton.

Tripp leaked this information, mainly in audio tapes (which the legality was debated upon).

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The Aftermath

After Clinton's confession of lying to the nation and his sexual involvement with Lewinsky, he was impeached by the House of Representatives. In the Senate, not enough votes were reached to get him out of office. Clinton got a bad reputation, but Tripp was not exactly rewarded. Many Americans believed that Tripp betrayed Lewinsky by gaining her trust, but Tripp claims that her actions were patriotic and just. Tripp was placed on trial for illegally recording Clinton and Lewinsky's phone, but the charges were dropped by the court. At the end of the Clinton Administration, Linda Tripp was fired.

The America's Future Foundation stated:

"In the wake of the Clinton scandals, independents warmed to Bush's promise to 'restore honor and dignity to the White House.' According to Voter News Service, the personal quality that mattered most to voters was 'honesty.' Voters who chose 'honesty' preferred Bush over Gore by over a margin of five to one. Forty Four percent of Americans said the Clinton scandals were important to their vote. Of these, Bush reeled in three out of every four."

Personally, I believe that personal scandal is not a good reason for the impeachment of a president, but lying to the nation and court is debatable. He says he was trying to protect his family, which may be admirable, but it was his fault for engaging in sexual involvement with Lewinsky.