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From Protester to Senator, FBI Tracked Paul Wellstone

by Madeleine Baran

It started with a fingerprint of a 25-year-old college professor who opposed the Vietnam War and ended with a search for his remains, 32 years later, in a wooded area near Eveleth, Minn.

Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., and his wife Sheila jog to their campaign bus after casting their ballots in their hometown of Northfield, Minn., Tuesday morning, Nov. 6, 1990. Wellstone defeated Sen. Rudy Boschwitz in the general election. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) The FBI's files on Paul and Sheila Wellstone, many of which are being made public for the first time, shed new light on the extent of the relationship between the FBI and the political activist who would go on to become a U.S. senator from Minnesota.

Some of the information uncovered in the 219 pages was new to one of his closest confidantes, former Wellstone campaign manager and state director Jeff Blodgett.

The files show that although the FBI initially took interest in Wellstone as part of the broader surveillance of the American left, the agency later served as his protector, investigating death threats the freshman senator received for his views on the first Gulf War, and, in the end, helping sift through the wreckage of the fatal plane crash that killed Wellstone and seven others eight years ago.

Read the rest of this article here.

The entire FBI report can found on the Minnesota Public Radio's website here.

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