Telephone privacy Montanarelli: State prosecutor is right to initiate investigation of Tripp for possible wiretap violation.

July 11, 1998

STATE Prosector Stephen Montanarelli made the correct decision by moving forward with investigation of possible violation of the state wiretap law by Linda Tripp. It would have been an embarrassment to Maryland had he looked the other way as the Howard County prosecutor did earlier.

The case is about law, not politics, to Mr. Montanarelli, who has an impeccable reputation for nonpartisanship. If Ms. Tripp has secretly tape recorded telephone conversations with Monica Lewinsky from her Columbia home, she has committed a felony.

Mr. Montanarelli has a high burden of proof as he seeks to prosecute Ms. Tripp. A state appellate court has ruled that prosecutors must prove that violators of Maryland's wiretap law were aware their actions were criminal.

Mr. Montanarelli's investigation will help spread the word that surreptitious tape recording is illegal and will not be tolerated.

Pub Date: 7/11/98

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