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What goes around comes around? Tripp's under investigation

By Brooks Jackson/CNN

WASHINGTON (September 22) -- Linda Tripp told us she was the truthful one.

"I have been vilified for taking the path of truth," she said from the steps of the federal courthouse following her final day of grand jury testimony.

"I'm you. I'm just like you," she even said.

Linda Tripp  

But now it is Tripp who is under investigation -- for possible perjury.

FBI analysis shows many of the tapes she gave to Independent Counsel Ken Starr are probably duplicates, and possibly altered.

Tripp said she bought a Radio Shack tape recorder last October to record her onetime friend Monica Lewinsky's conversations about President Bill Clinton.

Now a Starr memo says nine of those tapes probably weren't recorded on that machine, according to the FBI's Audio Signals Analysis Unit.

Linda Tripp under investigation for possible perjury
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The memo said: "If Ms. Tripp duplicated any of the tapes herself or knew of their duplication, then she has lied under oath before the grand jury and in a deposition."

And, "The Office of Independent Counsel cannot exclude the possibility of tampering at this time."

Tripp's lawyer is denying she lied. The tapes had been in the hands of at least two previous Tripp lawyers besides Tripp herself. Seven other tapes were determined to be originals.

And there are more unflattering disclosures in Starr's latest material released Monday, including a description of how Tripp cajoled Lewinsky to save the infamous stained navy blue dress.

Lewinsky testified before the grand jury: "(Tripp) told me I should put it in a safe deposit box because it could be evidence some day. And I said that was ludicrous," insisting to the grand jury that she thought she would never betray the president.

Later Lewinsky said, "I told her I was going to wear it for Thanksgiving (having it cleaned). She told me I looked fat in the dress. I shouldn't wear it."

She said she wore a jacket borrowed from Tripp's "thin closet" instead.

It may have been Tripp who was responsible for false news reports that Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, harbored the stained dress. "My mom never hid the dress," Lewinsky testified.

She did tell Tripp she'd given "everything" to her mom but said that was a lie -- told because by then she suspected Tripp of betraying her.

At the end of her testimony Lewinsky said tearfully, "I hate Linda Tripp."

"Leave her where she is," one juror told Lewinsky "because whatever goes around, comes around."

"It comes around," echoed another juror.

"It does," said another.

"She is definitely going to have to give an account for what she did," a fourth juror said.

The grand jury foreperson wished Lewinsky "luck, success, happiness and blessings."

As for Tripp, she now faces a federal perjury investigation and a Maryland grand jury is still investigating whether her taping violated state law.

Investigating the President


Tuesday, September 22, 1998

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