American Crime Story Season 3: Did Linda Tripp really wear a wire to catch Monica Lewinsky?

Impeachment: American Crime Story -- Pictured: Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp. CR. Kurt Iswarienko/FX
Impeachment: American Crime Story -- Pictured: Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp. CR. Kurt Iswarienko/FX /

A big plotline in American Crime Story Season 3 revolves around Linda Tripp committing her final acts of betrayal against Monica Lewinsky and their friendship. In the newest episode of Impeachment: American Crime Story, we’re told that Linda actually went so far as to wear a wire to help the FBI get President Bill Clinton to commit perjury on the stand (and thus get impeached).

The primary reason for needing Linda to meet Monica with a wire comes down to those tapes she made of their phone calls. After all that work, it turns out that recording private phone calls is illegal in the state of Maryland, contrary to Lucianne’s advice.

But Lucianne has connections to help keep Linda from being prosecuted. Still, the FBI needs something more solid since those tapes won’t hold in court. Linda wears a wire and meets Monica for lunch in Virginia, where the legalese regarding wires and recordings is more pliable.

The goal of the meet-up is for Monica to admit she perjured herself in exchange for her new job in New York City. Basically, the implication is that Monica received that job in exchange for lying to protect the President’s reputation, and Linda succeeds in getting Monica to say all of this on the wire.

Linda Tripp wore a wire in real life to meet with Monica Lewinsky at a Washington D.C. hotel

Per People Magazine, Tripp agreed to wear a wire for independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Bill Clinton. She reportedly wore a wire to meet her former friend Lewinsky at a Washington D.C. hotel in January 1998.

Wearing the wire granted Tripp immunity, so she could not be prosecuted for making those secret phone call recordings in the state of Maryland. In real life, after Tripp wore the wire, the FBI agents soon confronted the unsuspecting Lewinsky. The material gathered via the wire and the infamous blue dress were used as evidence against the President.

American Crime Story Season 3 appeared to use a slightly different approach as the FBI agents did not act immediately after Tripp and Lewinsky’s meeting, but we know they will confront her, probably in the next episode, because it was the opening scene of the season.

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