Linda Tripp, Key Figure in Clinton Impeachment, Dies


Ms. Tripp was later given immunity from wiretapping charges in exchange for her testimony.

She was soon a figure of ridicule, being played by John Goodman in “Saturday Night Live” sketches.

While Ms. Tripp had been central to Mr. Starr’s case against Mr. Clinton, the conservatives and Clinton-haters who once hailed her forgot about her. The gibes about her were so cruel that she more or less gave up on her own defense.

Linda Rose Carotenuto was born on Nov. 24, 1949, in Jersey City, N.J. Her father, Albert Carotenuto, was a high school math and science teacher who met his wife, Inge, when he was an American solder stationed in her native Germany. The Carotenutos divorced in 1968 after Linda’s mother learned that her father was having an affair with a fellow teacher.

Linda graduated from high school in East Hanover, N.J., and went to work as a secretary in Army Intelligence in Fort Meade, Md. In 1971 she married Bruce Tripp, a military officer. In a 2003 interview, she described herself as “a suburban mom who was a military wife for 20 years.” The couple divorced in 1990.

Ms. Tripp married Dieter Rausch, a German architect, in 2004. In later years she worked with him in his family’s retail store, the Christmas Sleigh, in Middleburg, Va., a Washington suburb.

In addition to Mr. Rausch, her survivors include a son, Ryan Tripp, and a daughter, Allison Tripp Foley.

Ms. Tripp was dismissed by the Pentagon in January 2001, on the last day of the Clinton administration. She later sued the Justice and Defense Departments for having released her security and employment files to the news media and was awarded a settlement of almost $600,000, plus back pay for three years.

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