#23... June 5,
P. 14, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * June 5, 2006 Jim
from Michael Collins Piper
By Michael Collins Piper
uproar over a surprise FBI raid on the Capitol Hill office of Rep.
William Jefferson (D-La.) reveals precisely how deceitful and hypocritical
members of Congress — of both parties — really are.
When the Justice Department was engaged in a campaign over several
years to conjure up a fraudulent indictment and conviction of then-Rep.
Jim Traficant (D-Ohio), not a single member of Congress came to
the defense of the populist maverick.
Yet, a bipartisan bevy of big name politicians are expressing shock
and dismay at the FBI having conducted the raid on Jefferson’s
congressional office. They argued that the action may violate the
principle of “separation of powers” between the legislative
branch, Congress, and the executive branch of which the FBI, a division
of the Justice Department, is a part.
The FBI raid followed a similar raid on Jefferson’s home in
New Orleans some time ago. The raid on his home was prompted by
the fact that the FBI had videotaped Jefferson accepting a $100,000
bribe in marked bills from an associate who was secretly working
with the FBI. After the big pile of cash was passed to the congressman,
the FBI followed up and raided Jefferson’s home where $90,000
of those funds, wrapped in $10,000 increments, was found in a freezer.
The raid on Jefferson’s Capitol Hill office is part of the
ongoing inquiry into Jefferson’s alleged criminal influence
Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and House Democratic
Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) have expressed concern about the raid
on Jefferson’s congressional office. They’ve been joined
by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) who says that the
raid was “the most blatant violation of the Constitutional
Separation of Powers in my lifetime.”
But while Hastert, Pelosi and Gingrich — supported by a host
of legal scholars — are raising the issue of constitutional
principles in the Jefferson case, they never raised a peep when
Traficant was being put through the wringer by federal authorities.
The sudden concern for the Constitution by members of Congress causes
the hearts of some conservatives to flutter with delight. However,
the fact that the entire Congress sat back and watched the crucifixion
of Traficant, whose constitutional rights were violated repeatedly,
says much about the hypocrisy of those who are now decrying what
happened to Jefferson.
The evidence shows that the Justice Department suborned perjury
by forcing witnesses to provide false testimony against Traficant
by either indicting them and offering them deals in return for telling
lies under oath or threatening them or members of their family with
The point man orchestrating the conspiracy to destroy Traficant
was Michael Chertoff, chief of the Justice Department’s criminal
division. A hard-line supporter of Israel whose mother, a citizen
of Israel, once worked for Israeli intelligence, Chertoff now serves
as secretary of homeland security in the Bush administration.
Chertoff deployed a minimum of 60 Justice Department lawyers and
FBI agents (perhaps as many as a hundred) in a long-running bid
to “Get Traficant.” Chertoff spent a reported $10 million
in taxpayer funds conducting the investigation of the outspoken
Ultimately, Traficant was charged with such nefarious misdeeds as
having a congressional staffer help with chores on Traficant’s
farm in Ohio and with repairs to the rickety houseboat which Traficant
lived on in the Washington harbor because he could not afford an
elegant apartment due to an IRS garnishment of his wages.
When Traficant went to trial, Judge Lesley Wells repeatedly showed
her hostility to him. At one point, she denied Traficant the right
to call an expert witness, a financial crimes investigator, who
could refute the lie that Traficant had forced a staffer, Allen
Sinclair, to pay him a regular $2,500 kickback from Sinclair’s
The investigator had discovered that every time Sinclair withdrew
$2,500 from his personal account, the same amount showed up going
into Sinclair’s lawyer’s trust account. Prosecutors
claimed that money had been given in cash to Traficant.
Earlier, during jury selection, the judge wouldn’t allow Traficant
to ask potential jurors about their political associations, a relevant
matter since AIPAC and other Jewish groups had publicly targeted
Traficant as an “enemy.” Traficant hoped to determine
whether potential jurors were associated with such hostile organizations.
In the end a Jewish juror caused such a commotion during jury deliberations,
relentlessly badgering other jurors who were holding out to acquit
Traficant, that they finally voted to convict him just to shut the
woman up and bring the matter to a close.
Traficant was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison. He
began serving his sentence on July 30, 2002. Although it was said
Traficant might be offered early release if he admits to his “crimes”
and apologizes for them, Traficant has said he will not admit to
crimes he did not commit in order to get his sentence cut short.
WRITE JIM TRAFICANT
James A. Traficant Jr.
Register # 31213-060
Federal Medical Center
Rochester, Minnesota 55903-4000
(Issue #23, June 5, 2006, AMERICAN