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Tripp became friendly with Monica Lewinsky when the pair worked together at the Pentagon during the Clinton administration. After Lewinsky revealed to Tripp that she’d had a physical relationship with the president, Tripp started to egg on the younger woman to provide more detail, and secretly recorded their phone calls.
Linda Tripp in 1998.
Larry Morris—The Washington Post/Getty Images
The tapes eventually caught Clinton in a lie after he had denied having a relationship with Lewinsky, creating a scandal that led to his impeachment.
Graham, 64, was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment. Twitter critics pounced on him for equating Tripp’s example with the current case, which centers on an allegation that Trump improperly solicited the help of a foreign leader to investigate a political rival.
A U.S. intelligence official, whose identity isn’t publicly disclosed, filed a whistle-blower complaint alleging that Trump, during a July 25 telephone call with Ukraine’s president, used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
In the call, Trump asked Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy to “look into” unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to challenge Trump next year.
One person engaging with Graham was Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat with a lively Twitter feed, who said that admitting to soliciting a foreign power “would absolutely be admissible.”