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 For Immediate Release
Oct 5, 1999 Contact: Press Office
202-646-5172


NEW EVIDENCE LINKS WHITE HOUSE TO EFFORT TO DESTROY LINDA TRIPP

Clinton White House Worried About Her Testimony in Filegate

White House Obtained Her FBI File, And Clinton Appointees Released Information from Privacy Act-Protected Pentagon File

(Washington, D.C.) Judicial Watch forced the Clinton White House to admit, under oath, that Joe Lockhart, Bill Clinton's current spokesman, referred a reporter to the Pentagon for confidential information on Linda Tripp, information protected by a federal law known as the Privacy Act. Judicial Watch, a not-for-profit law firm that exposes and prosecutes government corruption, uncovered the new information through the Filegate $90 million civil lawsuit it filed on behalf of those Bush and Reagan staffers (and others) whose FBI file information was improperly obtained by the Clinton White House.

In written interrogatory responses filed in federal court, the Clinton White House admitted a direct connection to the Tripp Pentagon file release:

"[Former Clinton Press Secretary Mike] McCurry recalls being informed by his deputy Joe Lockhart that Mr. Lockhart had received a telephone call about Linda Tripp from Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, and that Mr. Lockhart referred Ms. Mayer to the Department of Defense. Mr. McCurry does not recall specifically what was stated by Mr. Lockhart or himself."

Mayer then spoke to Clinton political appointee and Pentagon official Kenneth Bacon who ordered that his underling, Clifford Bernath, release the information to Mayer. Judicial Watch uncovered Bacon's role, which was initially covered up by the Clinton Administration, in a deposition of Bernath.

Linda Tripp has testified to Judicial Watch that Clinton confidante and White House lawyer Bruce Lindsey told her she would be "destroyed" if she came forward and exposed illegal activities she witnessed in the Clinton White House including Filegate. In fact, Tripp's FBI file was obtained by the Clinton White House. So not only is Tripp a material witness in the Filegate matter, but a member of the putative plaintiff class of Filegate victims.

Judicial Watch also uncovered Pentagon documents showing that Secretary of Defense William Cohen was likely involved in the release of the Tripp information. Other evidence shows Cohen countenanced the cover-up of the true circumstances of the Tripp information release. Judicial Watch is investigating the Tripp Pentagon file release because the Court ruled that any misuse of Tripp's file is evidence of a pattern of conduct by the Clinton White House in its misuse of Republican and other FBI files.

Judicial Watch had provided all this information and evidence to Ms. Tripp and her lawyers for use in the civil lawsuit filed last week against the Clinton White House and others.


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