The Story Behind the
November 1997, Monica Lewinsky told her confidant and supposed friend,
Linda Tripp, that she had in her possession a blue Gap dress that still
bore the semen stain that resulted from her administering oral sex to
President Clinton in February of that year.
Tripp called her literary agent, and fellow Clinton-hater, Lucianne
Goldberg to report the news that evidence existed in Lewinsky's closet
that could prove a sexual relationship between Monica and the
President. Goldberg and Tripp, according to published reports in
both Time and Newsweek, discussed stealing the dress and turning it
over to investigators. Goldberg admitted having such a discussion
with Tripp, calling it a "Nancy Drew fantasy."
In late November, Lewinsky mentioned to Tripp that she intended to have
the dress, which she had been saving a souvenir, dry-cleaned for a
family event. Tripp, anxious to preserve the dress to nail the
President, discouraged her from doing so. "I would tell my own
daughter," Tripp told her, that she should save the dress "for your own
ultimate protection" should she later be accused of lying about the
affair with Clinton. When Lewinsky expressed skepticism that it
would ever come to that, Tripp told her that the dress made her look
"really fat" and she shouldn't wear it again in public.
In late July, 1998, Lewinsky turned the dress over to Kenneth Starr's
investigators after signing an immunity agreement. A blood sample
was taken from Clinton on August 3, and on August 17, the FBI reported
its conclusion that Clinton was the source of the semen on the dress
"to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty."
When news of the the existence of the dress surfaced in published
reports in early August, politicians and commentators alike agreed that
the blue dress proved Clinton lied when he denied a sexual relationship
with Lewinsky. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called the evidence
"very critical." Senator Arlen Spector (R-Pa) agreed that it
would be "the most powerful kind of corroboration" of an affair.
A George Washington law professor, Jonathan Turley, appearing on "Meet
the Press" said of the semen stain: "No one will be able to spin him
out of that."
FBI: August 3, 1998 Note on Taking of President's
FBI Acknowledgement of Receipt of
Dress and Blood Sample
August 17, 1998 FBI Report on Analysis of