National Whistleblower Day commemorates the passage of the first U.S. whistleblower law, and celebrates the contributions of whistleblowers to creating a more open and just society. The U.S. Founding Fathers understood the importance of safeguarding whistleblower rights. Now, 240 years later, we understand just how critical this can be for even the highest public office in the land – the President.
One of Tripp’s lawyers, Michael Kohn, stated: “blowing the whistle on the President of the United States takes enormous courage. The time has come for Ms. Tripp to be accepted as an early trailblazer who stood up to Presidential misconduct and sexual harassment in the workplace at great personal expense before there was a #MeToo movement.”
Nearly 20 years ago, Tripp exposed information that directly contradicted the President’s sworn statements, in which he denied the existence of a sexual relationship with a White House intern. Tripp’s disclosures directly led to the President’s impeachment. She endured widespread backlash for blowing the whistle. Tripp was forced to file a lawsuit under the Privacy Act after her personal information was purposefully leaked. She eventually won that lawsuit, but has continued to be vilified for her actions.
In light of the #MeToo movement, it is time to reframe Tripp’s story. The conversation on the way that privilege and power affect women in the workplace is changing. When seen through this lens, Tripp’s story is revolutionary. She revealed that workplace harassment and abuse of power happens even in the highest public office. Tripp’s actions demonstrated that even a President must be held accountable for wrongdoing and misconduct.
Tripp will be speaking at the National Whistleblower Day celebrations, Monday, July 30, at 1PM EST on Capitol Hill. For those not attending the event in-person, the National Whistleblower Center will be hosting a livestream of the event on Facebook and Twitter. Tune in to hear directly from whistleblowers, including Linda Tripp, about the importance of defending whistleblowers and the truth.