Little Rock Grand Jury: That’s All, Folks

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For 25 men and women of Little Rock whose names are protected by federal law, Tuesday was tinged with sadness. After 50 meetings, $40-a-day paychecks and a good deal of bonding, the Whitewater grand jury announced they were calling it a day, and held a pizza party. The grand sum of their achievement: One indictment for Susan McDougal, and the birth of a son for one of their members. “We had an excellent jury. Everybody got along well,” said one grand juror on leaving the courthouse. “We were a close-knit group of people.”

Whether bringing Arkansas closer together is what Ken Starr had in mind for his $40 million investigation is another question. One of the least successful, longest running and most expensive federal grand juries in history failed to live up to even the meager achievements of its predecessor, which managed to indict McDougal, her husband, Jim, and former governor Jim Guy Tucker. Neither came close to touching the Clintons. The Whitewater baton is now passed to Starr’s Washington grand jury -- who will look into the real estate scandal just as soon as they’re done with the Lewinsky probe. No doubt Little Rock wishes them luck.