September 2, 2009
Ex-Ohio congressman Traficant freed
Former Ohio Rep. James Traficant walked out of a Minnesota prison Wednesday morning after serving a seven-year sentence for bribery and racketeering.
The nine-term Democrat from Youngstown left the Federal Medical Center in Rochester and stepped into a waiting cab.
Traficant, who wore a gray T-shirt, white shorts, white knee-high socks and had his famously wild hair pulled back, ignored a reporter's shouted question.
He faces three years of probation. He hasn't said whether he will retire or try to return to public life.
Traficant, 68, was one of Congress' most colorful members, known for his hair and his penchant for Star Trek references, including brief floor speeches typically punctuated with the phrase, "Beam me up."
He was convicted in a raucous trial in 2002 of bribery and racketeering for accepting bribes from businessmen and taking kickbacks from staff members. He then was expelled from Congress, only the second House member since the Civil War to be ousted for unethical conduct.
Traficant was transferred in 2004 to the Rochester facility, which provides specialized medical services to inmates.
His three years of probation will include a requirement to report regularly to a probation officer, be subject to unannounced home visits and get permission before traveling outside northern Ohio.
Economically depressed Youngstown was a beneficiary of Traficant's time in Congress, but it wasn't clear what kind of reception he would get.
Some residents planned a welcoming party Sunday for Traficant's return, selling $20 tickets for a bash with a suggested dress code of skinny ties, denim suits and bell-bottom pants — all part of his trademark style.
Tony Trolio, a longtime Traficant friend, has sold as many as 50 "Welcome Home Jimbo" T-shirts and sweatshirts every day for a week at his Youngstown-area store, and about 900 since April. He organized the welcoming party and has sold about 1,150 tickets.
Traficant hasn't indicated if he will attend, but Trolio said he hopes that he does.
Traficant's wife, Tish, told The Associated Press in an e-mail last week that she would pass along an AP interview request to her husband.
In Youngstown, former Traficant congressional staff member Linda Kovachik hung yellow ribbons outside her house to welcome Traficant home. She talked Tuesday with Tish Traficant, who indicated that her husband plans a short vacation after his release.
Probation requirements would require him to check in with his probation officer within several days of leaving prison.
According to Trolio, both his political supporters and opponents are pleased Traficant has been released.
"The majority of the (Mahoning River) valley — pro or con, I think — is glad to see him out and hopefully will give him some peace and let him go on with his life until he decides what he wants to do," he said.
And what will that be? "Only Jim knows that," Trolio said, adding that one possibility was hosting a talk show, a format that would showcase Traficant's offbeat, quotable side.
Associated Press writer Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland also contributed to this report.
Former Ohio congressman Jim Traficant, left, is released from federal prison in Rochester, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. Democrat Traficant is ending a seven-year federal prison stay for accepting bribes and other corruption charges. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Former Ohio congressman Jim Traficant, left, heads for a cab after being released from federal prison in Rochester, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. Democrat Traficant is ending a seven-year federal prison stay for accepting bribes and other corruption charges. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Letter from Prison: Jim Traficant Speaks
The following is from
a correspondent who wishes to remain anonymous:
Thank you! Thank you for thinking of me and my family. Life is hectic and fast-paced-- and for you to have thought of me, and then to stop and take time from your precious life to write me-- is an honor. And once again, I thank you! Most of the people who write me say they cannot understand why the government targeted me with such a passion. Every rumor and innuendo that any political opponent would plant and foster became public and, before long, developed into an indictment without any physical evidence-- only the testimony of subjects who were able to avoid jail by fabricating falsehoods about me. Lies and half-truths became 'facts'; and ultimately became a 10 count indictment. My evidence, that would have proved they were lying, was not allowed to be presented -- either before the Congress or the Federal Court! However, I know why I was targeted: I was not afraid of the government, and I had learned too much! The beginning of all of this was my first trial, in 1983, when I became the only American in history to defeat the U.S. Department of Justice in a RICO case-- pro se (representing myself), and me not being an attorney. They were embarrassed!
The straw that broke the camel's back was when I proved that John Demanjuk was not the infamous Ivan the Terrible of the Treblinka death camp in Poland. The government was stunned and in shock. The real Ivan was nine years older, taller, and had black hair and a scar on his neck; his name was Ivan Marchenko. My investigation, in conjunction with John Demanjuk's beautiful family, proved not only that John was innocent, but also that the Justice Department knew he was not guilty-- even before they took him to court!
Shame, shame!! They lied to the court-- gave false testimony and presented false witnesses-- knowing that he would be put to death! Shame!! The Justice Department then came after me with revenge, and a passion! I lost my respect and my faith in our government. Because this case was 'too sensitive,' Congress would not even hold a hearing on my evidence... Congress, all of them, at the time-- turned their back, worried about reelection!! The Democrats were in charge then, and they knew of my investigation in Congress... hoping I would abandon it! I did not! I sent my findings to the Israeli Supreme Court-- and they had no choice: They released John Demanjuk! In fact, they delivered him to me at the airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, and I personally brought him home, along with his son, his son-in-law, and Israeli bodyguards!
I am proud of what I did. No one else, in the House or the Senate, would even talk to the family-- afraid of media power and the vindictiveness of the Justice Department. But even today, John Demanjuk is still being persecuted.
The government agents that destroyed Demanjuk's life should be in jail! That was just the tip of the iceberg. When people saw what I had done for the Demanjuk family they came to me with unbelievable information.
The information is so powerful that it is hard to believe, and the government knew I was getting sensitive information that could damage the American people's confidence in the government. People came to me with facts about Waco, Ruby Ridge, Pan Am Flight 103, Jimmy Hoffa, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It may all sound far-fetched, but I do know what happened to Hoffa and J.F.K. The government knows that I know-- and so they had to ruin my voice by destroying my credibility. I may yet divulge this information if I can get the proper forum.
As you know, I was the dreaded enemy of the I.R.S. My legislation in the last I.R.S. Reform Bill changed the Burden of Proof law. Before that, you had to prove you were innocent in a tax court. The burden of proof was on the taxpayer. The I.R.S. said you owed... but the I.R.S. did not have to prove it. Unbelievable! Now that the I.R.S. has to prove their charges, the following statistics tell the true story. Comparing One Year Before the changes to One Year After: 1. Wage Garnishments dropped from 3.1 million to 560,000; 2. Taxpayer Property Liens dropped from 680,000 to 161,000; 3. Foreclosures on individual family-owned homes dropped from 10,063 to 57! That's right: only 57 homes in all 50 states! Fact is, the I.R.S. was seizing our homes-- over 10,000 every year-- when they had neither proof nor the right to do so! Congress allowed the I.R.S. to intimidate us and frighten us. Think about it! And then maybe you can begin to understand why I love America but hate the Government -- and why the Government hates me. The Justice Department had to get rid of me, but I'll be damned if I would back down!
America is in trouble... not from without, but from within! The Central Government has become too powerful. Citizens fear the Government. This is wrong. This is dangerous! I know the Government covered-up and promulgated LIES about Waco, Ruby Ridge, Pan Am Flight 103, Hoffa, and J.F.K. The Government knew I was right when I called Janet Reno a traitor. Janet Reno sold us out when she refused to investigate a $10-million payoff to the Democratic Party from a general in the Red Chinese Army (no less!). Think about it! And the Government knew that I had known why Reno was forced to betray America! I'm proud that I tried to do something about it! Someday the truth will come out. (I hope China never attacks us!) Many of you have asked what you can do for me. I appreciate this. You can help my family:
Mrs. Tish Traficant 429 N. Main Street Poland, OH 44514
Thank you for remembering me... for thinking of me... for caring!
I found this at "Friends of Jim" web site http://www.traficant.com/
WRITE TO JIM:
James A. Traficant Jr.
The Rumor Mill News Reading Room
JIM TRAFICANT IN THE HOLE FOR 4 MONTHS AND CONTINUING
Posted By: Rayelan
Can someone please take the time to become the official RMN Liasson with Jim Traficant?
What would this entail?
Writing him and transcribing his letters and posting them on RMN.
I have been meaning to do it.... but there never seems to be enough time.
Write me and let me know you are doing this!!
Since his mail is watched, don't say that you are going to post this on the internet.
I have his wife's address, I don't think she will mind if I post it as it was posted on another webpage:
Make a copy of anything you send Jim and send it to her also!! If you send him money, make sure it is a cashier's check and put his name and number on the check!!
Having been a prisoner's wife, I know what Tish is going through. Let's see what we can do to make life easier for both of them.
From: "L.R." < firstname.lastname@example.org
Received this note from Tish Traficant recently, dated 12-30-03:
"We are now waiting for the decision of the Court of Appeals. Jim has
I know that James Traficant can receive and reciprocate written
James A. Traficant Jr.
Posted By: Groovy
"Currency is not money, but a money substitute. Redeemable currency must promise to pay a dollar equivalent in gold or silver money. Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) make no such promises, and are not 'money.' A Federal Reserve Note is a debt obligation of the federal United States government, not 'money.'" - James Traficant
Jim Traficant spoke the truth. There are those in high places who don't want their deeds done in darkness to be revealed in the light of truth.
In September 2006 there was an affidavit sworn by Nnamdi Okolo, who was subtly threatened by U.S. government (FBI & IRS) officials ("It would be tragic for your one year old son to have no parents at home, we can really help you") to lie about car rental transactions in late 1999 so they could build a case against Mr. Traficant. Mr. Okolo states that since his refusal to participate in a lie, he has been charged with bank fraud, he spent time in jail, his rental cars were repossessed, business closed, and he has been deported to Nigeria, where there is precious little hope of his being heard.
Here are updates from http://www.beammeupart.com:
The Bureau of Prisons has apparently taken away Mr. Traficant's access to the Commissary to purchase day to day items necessary for health and wellbeing (for a few months), and has or will be taking away "good time" (reward for good behavior), so effectively extending Mr. Traficant's prison sentence.
So far Mr. Traficant can send and receive mail and is allowed to phone out."
James A. Traficant Jr.
Drop him a note today to encourage him. Let him know that there are others who love the truth.
Thanks for keeping the candle lit.
The outrageous never-before-told inside story of how the Justice Department, the Israeli lobby and the mass media conspired to set up and take down Ohio’s outspoken Congressman Jim Traficant . . .
Three Strikes Legal - Index