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Linda Tripp going to court in 1998. Photo: Karin Cooper/Getty Images

Linda Tripp, a key figure in President Bill Clinton's 1998 impeachment, died at the age of 70 on Wednesday, her son Ryan Tripp confirmed to the Washington Post.

The big picture: While a Pentagon employee, Tripp secretly recorded conversations she had with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, wherein Lewinsky discussed her sexual relationship with Clinton. Tripp later provided testimony in exchange for immunity from wiretapping charges.

  • Tripp argued that she reported the relationship out of "patriotic duty."
  • She turned over more than 20 hours of recorded conversations between her and Lewinsky to independent prosecutor Kenneth Star, who was investigating possible wrongdoing by Clinton.
  • Tripp later told a grand jury she was troubled by the president’s actions toward women.

The impact: Clinton was charged with obstruction of justice and lying under oath. He was impeached by the House in December 1998 and acquitted by the Senate in February 1999.

What they're saying: Lewinsky tweeted on Wednesday, "no matter the past, upon hearing that linda tripp is very seriously ill, i hope for her recovery. i can’t imagine how difficult this is for her family."

Go deeper

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.