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FBI Kept Tabs on Politician Thomas Eagleton

It didn’t take much to tick off J. Edgar Hoover. The reams of FBI records on Thomas Eagleton was just another example of Hoover’s long reach.

Thomas Eagleton

Thomas Eagleton

By Phillip O’Connor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
ST. LOUIS — Sitting in the coffee shop of the Las Vegas Desert Inn one morning in February 1958, Thomas Eagleton, one of the youngest prosecutors in the country and already a rising political star, regaled colleagues from Denver and Philadelphia with a story.
The 28-year-old St. Louis circuit attorney told how an FBI fingerprint examiner’s stilted way of speaking while testifying in a robbery trial in St. Louis had blown the prosecution’s case. Unknown to Eagleton, a fourth man at the table worked for the FBI.
Word of the slight made it all the way to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau’s longtime leader who fiercely defended the image of the agency he helped create. Hoover was a feared Washington figure, capable of wrecking careers.
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