Tripp Completes Day Two Of Testimony
Sources: She tried to break off friendship with Lewinsky last year
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 2) -- Linda Tripp, the woman who triggered the Monica Lewinsky investigation with her secret recordings of the former White House intern, wrapped up her second day of testimony before Independent Counsel Ken Starr's grand jury on Thursday.
Tripp's lawyers told reporters that Tripp would be called for a third day of testimony but that a date has not yet been scheduled.
Attorney Joe Murtha said he would not talk about the content of Tripp's testimony because it "is actually so comprehensive, that to release any of Linda's testimony in a piecemeal fashion would really serve no purpose."
"Linda is actually very encouraged by the quality and the content of the questions presented by the grand jurors and by the prosecutor," Murtha said.
During Tripp's second day before the panel, grand jurors were expected to hear some of the 20 hours of phone conversations taped by Tripp, during which Lewinsky reportedly describes a sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton.
Tripp, 48, had also spent all day Tuesday before the panel, but a source familiar with her first day of testimony said no tapes were played, though they were on hand. The source said the first day was designed "to make her human" and involved "mostly her biography, work background and a walk through of her relationship" with former friend and co-worker Lewinsky.
Meanwhile, associates of Tripp have been leaking information designed to repudiate accusations that Tripp led Lewinsky into making claims of a sexual relationship with Clinton.
Sources tell CNN that in October 1997, Tripp sent e-mails to Lewinsky on at least two occasions telling Lewinsky she did not want to be involved or know more about Lewinsky's relationship with the president.
In a message received on Oct. 27, 1997, Tripp wrote, "Please give me a break; I can't take this..." In another message dated Nov. 24, 1997, Tripp wrote to Lewinsky saying, "The information alone is a heavy burden, one that I did not ask for."
The source tells CNN that Tripp tried on more than one occasion to break off the friendship.
Both messages have been seen by Starr and his investigators, the source said. Starr had subpoenaed the Pentagon computer records of both Tripp and Lewinsky.
The grand jury is investigating charges that Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and asked her to lie about it. The president has denied the charges.
Tripp's motivation for taping Lewinsky, and giving the recording to Starr, has been a mystery within the entire sex-and-perjury saga.
Critics of Tripp have painted her as a greedy, manipulative gossip who was out to get the president and land a book deal. One news report, based on a source who has heard portions of the tapes, said Tripp appears to be urging a reluctant Lewinsky to talk more and more about the president, while secretly recording every word.
But Tripp has previously said she made the tapes to protect herself, after the former White House intern asked her to lie during testimony in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against the president.
CNN's Bob Franken contributed to this report.