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Tripp claims she was threatened by Lewinsky

By Ted Barrett/CNN

WASHINGTON (December 15) -- Linda Tripp believes her onetime friend Monica Lewinsky threatened her days before Tripp filed an affidavit in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case about Lewinsky's affair with President Bill Clinton.

The threat, in the form of a list of people close to the Clintons who have died in recent years, was placed on Tripp's Pentagon chair by Lewinsky, according to a sworn deposition that Tripp provided a Washington watchdog group Monday.

Tripp, Lewinsky
Linda Tripp with her former friend,
Monica Lewinsky
 

Tripp considered the list a threat because, at the time, Lewinsky knew Tripp was planning to testify about Lewinsky's affair with Clinton, according to a source close to Tripp.

The source says Tripp believes it was Lewinsky who left her the list because Lewinsky later telephoned Tripp asking if she found it.

At the time of the alleged threat, Tripp had "overall fear for her personal safety and her job," according to the source. "There were a great number of instances that her fears were justified."

The source refused to elaborate and U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth sealed information related to threats against Tripp.

The existence of the list was revealed Tuesday at a court hearing concerning the deposition of Tripp for Judicial Watch, a group investigating the so-called Filegate scandal.

Videotaped portions of the deposition were played at the hearing.

In it, Tripp, who worked in the White House counsel's office before moving to the Pentagon, testified she saw a secretary in that office loading the contents of what the secretary said were FBI files into the White House database.

She testified that Betsy Pond complained of the enormous workload she faced typing the information into the computer.

Tripp also testified that former White House security aide Craig Livingstone, who was fired over the Filegate allegations, told her he was hired by Hillary Clinton, and carried out his work at her direction.

"He implied it," Tripp said. "It wasn't explicitly stated."

She called Livingstone a self-promoter.

"He would talk into his watch as if he were a covert agent," she said. "He wanted me to believe he was talking to Hillary Clinton."

Tripp testified she saw waist-high stacks of files in White House lawyer Jim Kennedy's office. She said she read the names of several former Bush administration officials on the file jackets.

She testified overhearing Kennedy and White House aide Marcia Scott discussing loading the files into the White House database and, at the direction of the first lady, sharing the data with the Democratic National Committee.

According to the source close to Tripp, Tripp has never been certain that any of the files she saw or heard discussions about were, in fact, the illegally obtained FBI files.

Judicial Watch is suing the government on behalf of former Bush administration officials whose files were illegally transferred to the White House during Clinton's first term in office.

There was no immediate reaction from Lewinsky or the White House.


Investigating the President

MORE STORIES:

Tuesday, December 15, 1998

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