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Lucianne Goldberg, key figure in Clinton impeachment, dies at 87

<i>Emile Wamsteker/AP</i><br/>New York literary agent Lucianne Goldberg
AP
Emile Wamsteker/AP
New York literary agent Lucianne Goldberg

By Mary Kay Mallonee and Shawna Mizelle, CNN

Lucianne Goldberg, the literary agent who suggested to Linda Tripp that she record her phone calls with Monica Lewinsky talking about her relationship with then-President Bill Clinton, has died at the age of 87.

Jonah Goldberg, the conservative political columnist who also is a CNN political commentator, confirmed his mother’s death on Twitter Thursday.

“My beloved mom, Lucianne Goldberg, passed away yesterday. She died peacefully at home, surrounded by people — and pets! — who loved her.”

“I’m still working through my shock and grief. It was a very hard week at the end of an intensely difficult year,” he tweeted.

Lucianne Goldberg was working in Washington, DC, as an author and conservative literary agent when Tripp, then a confidante of Lewinsky, approached her with a story about then-President Clinton, Goldberg would tell PBS in an interview years later. Goldberg told Tripp she needed proof of the accusations she was leveling about Clinton and Lewinsky.

“And I said, ‘Well you got to do something to prove to me so I can prove to a publisher that this wild story was true.’ And I said, ‘You say you talk to her every day, how about taping your phone conversations?’

“And she agreed that that would be a cool idea, and she went to Radio Shack and bought a tape recorder and plugged it into her phone,” Goldberg said.

The resulting scandal brought on, in part, by the disclosure of the tapes ultimately led to Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice, though he was acquitted in the Senate.

At the time of her death, Goldberg was running a website, Lucianne.com, that posts conservative news articles. A statement on the website remembered her as a “loving wife, mother, and grandmother.”

“She was also a patriot who expressed her love of this country with both political fierceness and penetrating wit,” it reads.

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