In Memoriam: Linda Tripp (1949-2020), a Genuine Whistleblower

Courtesy of Linda Tripp

Linda Tripp, the Pentagon staffer who blew the whistle on President Bill Clinton’s illicit relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky in 1998, leading to the first presidential impeachment in more than a century, died on Wednesday at age 70.

Tripp spoke frequently with Breitbart News and also wrote occasional pieces for the website — most recently an op-ed attacking the idea that the so-called “whistleblower” against President Donald Trump deserved the label she had earned.

In “Some Whistleblowers Are More Equal than Others,” she argued:

The long-sought impeachment of President Donald Trump was brought about by an anonymous source — a “whistleblower” whose allegations, if not his identity, surfaced suddenly one day on the world’s stage.

Let’s be clear. The world has not met him.  He reportedly blew himself into Adam Schiff’s inner sanctum, and with his help and the help of his staff, prepared to bring this president down once and for all. The word “coup” comes to mind.

This person is critical.  The question of bias is critical. The logistics of the allegation and the path it took are critical. The president deserves to know the identity of the individual who took steps to unseat him.

One thing is certain. As a very public whistleblower in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton 22 years ago,  I can state unequivocally that this yet-to-be-identified, anonymous person bears no resemblance to a bona fide whistleblower.  Identifying him as such does great damage to the much deserved credibility of actual whistleblowers. He deserves disdain, not accolades, for his inauthenticity.

Whistleblowers have a few things in common, none of which apply to this guy. Whistleblowers have first-hand, unique knowledge, and information about something s egregious that they are compelled to act.

Most whistleblowers stand alone. It is a very lonely place to be. The element of choice no longer exists.  In making this difficult decision, they lay it all on the line. For all practical purposes, life as they know it,  personally and professionally, ceases to exist.

I was not protected. I was not shielded. I was eviscerated. Not only by President Clinton and his wife, but also by the mainstream media. A concerted effort began to decimate my credibility. The effort gave birth to what we now call fake news. That led to the Senate’s acquittal of President William Jefferson Clinton, by changing the subject.  The abuse of power, the perjury, the subordination of perjury, the malfeasance of President Bill Clinton simply disappeared.  It swiftly became a mere matter of a distasteful  “affair”, something between a man and a woman, and ultimately not impeachable.

In other words, the lies won. Fake news changed history. We are facing it again.

In more than half a dozen other pieces for Breitbart News, Tripp opposed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president, attacked the “Russia collusion” hoax, and condemned the impeachment of President Trump, including the media’s protection of the “whistleblower.”

In interviews, Tripp also hit back against Hollywood and the mainstream media for the way she had been portrayed during the Clinton impeachment. (Saturday Night Live, for example, cast John Goodman as Linda Tripp, mocking her appearance.)

Speaking to Breitbart News’ Aaron Klein, Tripp confirmed many of the most damning allegations about Hillary Clinton’s behavior in the White House, calling her “a fearsome, paranoid individual with zero concern for the masses.”

A cause of death had not been identified, according to the New York Post.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This story is developing


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.