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Judge: Tripp Notes Protected

A reporter for The New Yorker magazine will not be forced to testify about her sources for an article on Linda Tripp or have to turn over notes demanded by a private group in connection with a lawsuit against the Clinton administration, a federal judge has ruled.

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An article by Jane Mayer said that Tripp was arrested in 1969 and failed to disclose the arrest when filing later for a government security clearance. Tripp's tape recordings of conversations with Monica Lewinsky have figured prominently in the inquiry into allegations of a relationship between President Clinton and the former White House intern.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that Mayer's work is largely irrelevant to a lawsuit brought by a conservative legal group suing the administration over FBI files. The group, Judicial Watch, also failed to show why it needed the extensive notes it had demanded, the judge wrote in a court order May 28.

Mayer writes in the magazine's current edition that Tripp's former stepmother, J. Lowe Davis, volunteered to let her identity as the source be revealed because stories attributing the information about the arrest to the White House are "wrong and unfair."

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