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‘You ought to be tarred and feathered’: Politicized anger toward Watergate grand jury provides parallel for controversy over Mueller report

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On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Vladimir Pregelj, a former Library of Congress researcher who served as the foreman on the first grand jury in the Watergate investigations, recounted how politicized his grand jury proceedings became.

“You all ought to be tarred and feathered,” wrote one woman from Wichita, Kansas, as he and the grand jury deliberated over the fate of President Richard Nixon as he was accused of obstructing probes into spying and burglary against his political opponents. “Why don’t you stop this terrible thing? It is ruining our country both home and abroad! Try digging up the dirt and mistakes of former presidents. None are perfect.”

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On the other hand, other people wrote to him urging him to release the truth after Nixon resigned and President Gerald Ford granted him a pardon. “This can’t happen to our country!” wrote one woman from Cary, North Carolina. “I urge you to inform the public of the facts … if no one else will.”

The recount described in the Post Bears a striking resemblance to the proceedings surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia and the possible involvement, or obstruction, by President Donald Trump and his allies. The whole case has been trashed as a “witch hunt” by the president, while his opponents are clamoring to see the full report for a broader context of what evidence there was and why it did not rise to the level of bringing charges or recommending impeachment.

Pregelj, for his part, told the Post he believes that the grand jury information in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia should be made available to the American people.

“In my citizen’s heart I feel the information gathered by the grand jury should be made public,” Pregelj told the Post, although he qualified his statement by adding that “I’m not on [this] grand jury.”

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Pregelj also said that he believed former President Richard Nixon ought to have been indicted based on the evidence his grand jury was shown. “It was in a sense a disappointment that justice didn’t run its course,” he said.

The grand jury information in Mueller’s investigation has become a major sticking point for releasing the full report, which does not recommend charges against Trump or his campaign for conspiracy with the Russian government and is agnostic on obstruction of justice, but reportedly contains some inconclusive evidence against the president.

Special counsel regulations generally prohibit the release of grand jury information, to prevent injuring the reputation of criminal suspects for whom evidence is insufficient to bring charges. However, in cases of massive public significance like these, where disclosing all the evidence would be of interest to the public, the DOJ can petition a court to waive these rules, and there is no indication that Attorney General William Barr has done this or plans to do so.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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Trump’s resolve on background checks ‘substantially softened’ after call from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reversed his promises to fight for gun control, The New York Times reported Monday.

"Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as 'very meaningful background checks' that would be possible because of his 'greater influence now over the Senate and over the House,'" the newspaper reported.

"But after discussions with gun rights advocates during his two-week working vacation in Bedminster, N.J. — including talks with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association — Mr. Trump’s resolve appears to have substantially softened, and he has reverted to reiterating the conservative positions on the gun issue he has espoused since the 2016 campaign," The Times reported.

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