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Starr Probing Tripp Tapes

September 22, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Prosecutor Kenneth Starr is investigating whether Linda Tripp lied about the tape recordings she made of her friend Monica Lewinsky.

The FBI’s Audio Signal Analysis Unit in Quantico, Va., found that nine of the tapes are not consistent with being recorded on the machine Mrs. Tripp says she used to record Ms. Lewinsky’s phone conversations about her relationship with President Clinton.

In material released Monday by the House Judiciary Committee, Starr disclosed that seven of the nine tapes that exhibit signs of duplication are consistent with the use of a single tape recorder.

If Mrs. Tripp ``duplicated any tapes herself or knew of their duplication, then she has lied under oath before the grand jury and in a deposition,″ Starr’s office stated.

The independent counsel’s office ``continues to investigate this matter,″ the report added.

Philip Coughter, a spokesman for Mrs. Tripp, said any suggestion Mrs. Tripp lied is ``not true.″ He declined to elaborate.

Mrs. Tripp testified that she kept the tape cassettes of her phone calls in her home, but that the tapes passed through the hands of two lawyers she had hired before they were provided to Starr’s office in January. Subsequently, prosecutors received four additional tapes. In March, Mrs. Tripp and FBI agents and her new attorney found three additional tapes at her home.

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