Goldberg Falls for Tripp

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Is Lucianne Goldberg the Oliver North of the Lewinsky scandal? "I take all the blame," the literary agent told reporters Thursday, after she testified before a Maryland grand jury over Linda Tripp's recordings of conversations with the White House intern. Phone-tapping without the other party's consent is illegal in the state of Maryland, and the investigation has focused on whether Tripp knew that. Now Goldberg -- who appears to have recorded all her own conversations, too -- has handed over tapes in which she tells Tripp that the Lewinsky recording would be legal under federal law. "I didn't ask about the state law, silly me," she said. Conveniently, ignorance is a defense under Maryland law.

Special What was Goldberg's motivation for getting involved with Tripp in the first place? The longtime Clinton basher claims her aim was purely to prevent the Pentagon worker from being "destroyed," and that the rumors of a book deal are just that. "If there had been a book," she said, "you'd very likely be standing there with it in your hands." Clearly, Goldberg is in need of an image overhaul; little details such as her habit of calling followers "my pretties" and her raucous celebration with son Jonah on the night the Lewinsky story broke have made her one of the least popular public figures in this whole affair. Will taking the fall for Linda help? Unlikely, since it's Tripp alone -- not Goldberg -- who faces five years in jail or a $10,000 fine. And Oliver North was a lot more telegenic.