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Goldberg: I Got Tripp In Trouble

Lucianne Goldberg says she blames herself for getting Linda Tripp into trouble.

The New York literary agent and her son, Jonah, testified on Thursday before a Howard County grand jury. The panel is investigating whether Tripp violated state wiretap laws by secretly tell a grand jury about her talks with Tripp and to turn over two secretly recorded tapes of conversations between Tripp and Monica Lewinsky.

After the Goldbergs emerged from the courthouse Thursday afternoon, Goldberg said that she had checked with a friend, who told her it was legal under federal law to tape someone without asking their permission. Godlberg says she passed that information along to Tripp.

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Goldberg says she testified for about 90 minutes before the grand jurors, whom she described as "very sweet." She said their questions revolved around when Tripp learned about the state wiretap law. In order for prosecutors to convict someone of violating the Maryland law, they have to prove the defendant was aware of the law.

Goldberg's son said he talked to the panel for about 30 minutes.

Goldberg also said she turned over four tapes. Two were conversations between herself and Tripp. Two were copies of conversations between Lewinsky and Tripp.

Tripp, who lives in Columbia, has told a federal grand jury that she knew she violated state law by recording telephone conversations with Lewinsky, a former co-worker. But her testimony was made under a grant of immunity from independent counsel Kenneth Starr, which means that the statement can't be used against her in the Maryland investigation.

The maximum penalty for breaking Maryland's wiretap law is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Goldberg has said that Tripp asked her in September 1997 if recording her calls with Lewinsky would be appropriate. Goldberg said she incorrectly told her friend that it was legal.

Written by Greg Toppo

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