During a radio interview, Linda Tripp, once the chief cooperating witness to the Independent Counsel probing whether Bill Clinton committed impeachable offenses, said that she deeply regrets not leaking details about various Clinton scandals to Matt Drudge of DrudgeReport.com.
She explained that leaking to Drudge may have resulted in a different outcome for the impeachment investigation, which was led by then-Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, possibly leading to Clinton’s removal from office.
She was speaking on this reporter’s Sunday night talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia.
Tripp stated: “As a cooperating witness, and at that point I was the chief cooperating witness, I didn’t even question abiding by their requirements. That I speak to no one. That I was solely and one hundred percent their witness. Since I believed they had the intention of unearthing all of the scandal and all of the corruption that I had witnessed I was eager and willing to do so.”
She explained that leaking to Drudge may have changed the course of the impeachment probe:
What I regret now in retrospect was allowing the entire media during that time and the Clinton machine in concert to define not only me but the Independent Counsel and everyone else as being the bad guys.
I should have been leaking to Drudge on a daily basis. He was the only one at that point trying to get out the truth. The only entity trying to get out the truth. The rest of the media, their aim at that point was to cover the story, yes. But to find a way to make Bill Clinton the victim. And to do that they needed to essentially vilify me and anyone, including the Independent Counsel, that would dare go after him.
So yeah, I regret not going to Drudge. I think the whole story would have had a different outcome had I done that.
Tripp explained that she fully cooperated with the Independent Counsel, serving at once point as the chief cooperating witness, because she believed the investigation would expand its probe into other alleged Clinton misdeeds beyond the issue of whether the president lied under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Instead, the impeachment investigation zeroed in on the Lewinsky issue only – on one account of perjury and another on obstruction of justice. Clinton was impeached in the House but the Senate did not reach the two-thirds majority vote required for impeachment.
Tripp’s front row seat during her White House days afforded her access to some inside stories on the scandals known as Travelgate, Filegate and Whitewater, and she says she personally witnessed the handling of documents from Vince Foster’s office the morning after the Deputy White House Counsel was found dead in an apparent suicide.
During the Clinton administration, Tripp first served as support staff to the Immediate Office of the President, where she sat just outside Bill Clinton’s Oval Office. After three months, Tripp was asked to work for the White House Counsel’s office as executive assistant to White House Counsel Bernie Nussbaum, who played a lead role in defending the Clintons for their infamous alleged misdeeds. Tripp’s office was located adjacent to Hillary Clinton’s.
In an interview with this reporter last October, Dave Schippers, who served as the Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee’s probe into whether Clinton committed impeachable offenses, also revealed that he wanted the focus to expand beyond the Lewinsky issue.
Schippers alleged that outside forces put the brakes on the expansion of the probe:
When we started our investigation, Henry Hyde said, “How wide do you want to go?” And I said, “Get us an open investigation. We have so many things that we want to investigate.” And we got an open investigation where we were permitted to investigate as far as whatever came up in the impeachment inquiry.
Immediately after the 1998 election, the leadership in the House put the brakes on. We had a meeting and Henry Hyde said the House has told us that we’ve got Monica Lewinsky and we can go no further. We are not permitted to do any additional investigation. And I said, “My God, we’ve got at least three murders and other things that we are going into.” And he says, “I’m sorry we can’t do it.”
Schippers described the room at the Ford House Office Building where the evidence was housed during the impeachment probe as having armed guards outside. He said those who were permitted to enter were not allowed to bring anything in or out.
He said he was one of the few people who actually reviewed all of the evidence in the impeachment case. He added that only 65 House members accepted an invitation to review the evidence in the room and that all senators declined before they voted against impeaching Clinton.
Asked about the specifics of the evidence, Schippers said he was barred from answering the question. However, he replied, “Let me say this. Sixty-five Congressmen saw that evidence. And 64 voted to impeach. Take your own conclusion.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.