Linda Tripp's Statement After Final Day Of Testimony
July 29, 1998
SPEAKERS: LINDA TRIPP
PHILIP COUGHTER, SPOKESMAN FOR LINDA TRIPP
COUGHTER: Good evening, everyone.
A great deal has happened since we first met here on June
30th for Linda's initial day of testimony.
To the men and women of the media, through this lengthy
process, you've shown great professionalism and, for the most
part, admirable restraint.
On behalf of Linda, her children, Zach, Joe and myself, I'd
like to say how much we appreciate the many courtesies that you
have shown us. Thank you, folks.
We understand that there is some interest in hearing from
As I've said on many occasions, she has never enjoyed being
in the limelight. And as such, she hopes you'll understand that
she would not be comfortable taking any of your questions today.
She has, however, agreed to make a few brief remarks.
TRIPP: Good afternoon.
I'm not a public speaker. I am going to have to refer to my
notes. Please bear with me.
I've just completed my testimony before the federal grand
jury. This has been a lengthy process and, as I'm sure you can
imagine, a very difficult one.
While I am relieved that the testimony has come to an end, I
am glad to have fulfilled my legal obligation to the grand jury
by testifying truthfully and completely.
I hope -- I sincerely hope that all remaining witnesses will
do the same.
I am encouraged that it appears from press reports that
Monica has decided to cooperate with the independent counsel.
The facts will show that, time after time, I urged her to tell
the truth right up until the end.
I understand that there has been a great deal of speculation
about just who I am and how I got here. Well, the answer is
simple. I'm you. I'm just like you. I'm an average American
who found herself in a situation not of her own making.
I'm a suburban mom, who was a military wife for 20 years, and
a faithful government employee for 18 years.
I never, ever asked to be placed in this position.
Because I am just like you, I ask you to imagine how you would
feel if someone you thought was a friend urged you to commit a
felony that could jeopardize your job, potentially put you in
jail and endanger the well being of your children.
Imagine how you would feel if your boss's attorney called you
a liar in front of the whole country. And imagine if that boss
was the president of the United States.
Imagine how you would feel if your employer illegally
released your confidential records to the media, then demoted
you and cast you aside for daring to tell the truth.
Imagine how it would feel to see the pain in your children's
eyes when they hear a seemingly endless barrage of lies about
their mother, a mother who is not going out to defend herself.
As a result of simply trying to earn a living, I became aware
between 1993 and 1997 of actions by high government officials
that may have been against the law.
For that period of nearly five years, the things I
witnessed concerning several different subjects made me
increasingly fearful that this information was dangerous, very
dangerous to possess.
On January 12, 1998, the day I approached the Office of the
Independent Counsel, I decided that fear would no longer be my
master. This investigation has never been, quote, "just about
sex." It has been about telling the truth, the truth matters.
For example, it matters that you know now that I have
testified to the fact that I had nothing, let me repeat, nothing
to do with preparing the so-called talking points. Allegations
to the effect that I contributed to or assisted in any way with
the creation of the talking points are as illogical and as they
are patently false.
I have been vilified for taking the path of truth. I've been
maligned by people who have chosen not to tell the truth, and
who know that they are not telling the truth. That's a pretty
frightening thing. To cast me in the role of the villain, they
have enlisted legions of paid prevaricators, not surprisingly,
many in the entertainment industry have chosen to ridicule me as
well. Going so far as to even make fun of my appearance in a
manner so mean and so cruel that I pray none of you is ever
subjected to it.
Despite all of that, I bear no malice toward anyone
in this case. I have never had any political agenda. I still
don't. I have been honored to serve presidents in both parties.
I want to say a word about the people who've supported me
throughout this ordeal. I don't believe they're Washington
insiders. I don't think that they're the politically connected.
But they have made a noticeable effort to have their voice heard
and to support me and my family. It has meant a great deal to
us. So for all of that, I thank each and every one of them.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the men standing
with me today for their unfailing support and superb counsel.
Anthony Zaccagnini, Joe Murtha and Philip Coughter.
I certainly could not have gotten through this without the
love and support of my children, Ryan (ph) and Allison (ph), who
are here with me today, and a very strong extended family. I
believe in our country -- as I said, I'm no different than any
of you. I believe you have the right to tell the truth under
oath, and I believe you have the right to do so without fear of
retribution or worse.
I hope that when all the facts are revealed, you'll
understand that it is a right all of us should be fighting for.
QUESTION: May I try one question I think that you might want
her to answer. And that is...
COUGHTER: We're not going to take any questions.
QUESTION: Well, let me just ask this and see if she'll take
The question is was she -- what about the charges that she
was the one who led Monica Lewinsky into making the comments she
did on the tapes?