Wednesday, September 02, 2009

American Patriot And Former Ohio Congressman James Traficant Freed After Seven Years Of Federal Captivity, But Too Late To Help John Demjanjuk

Former U.S. District 17 Rep. James Traficant Jr. (D-Ohio), widely considered to be a patriot by many Americans, has finally been released from prison after seven years of Federal captivity. Main story published by the Washington Post; other stories published by USA Today and WJW Channel 8. The Youngstown Vindicator published somewhat of a hit piece on Traficant on August 30th, and a second hit piece on September 1st.

Additional information from Wikipedia and

The 68-year-old Traficant, released from the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, hailed a taxi and did not answer reporters' questions as he left the prison alone. He wore a T-shirt, shorts and knee-high white socks and carried some of his belongings in a plastic bag. Traficant reportedly wants to keep a low profile and spend quiet time with his wife, Tish, and children and grandchildren. He has not yet made plans about what he might do next. However, according to another Post article, his obligation to the Feds is not yet fully satisfied; he also has three years probation, during which he will be required to report regularly to a probation officer, be subject to unannounced home visits, and get permission before traveling outside northern Ohio. His conviction would not bar Traficant from running for Congress, according to U.S. Attorney Bill Edwards.

From the CNN Political Ticker, we get a video of him being directly escorted to the cab:

On Sunday September 6th, as many as 1,200 of his supporters are planning a welcome-home dinner for him in Youngstown, Ohio. He still has strong supporters there despite his felony conviction, and hundreds of people have bought "Welcome Home Jimbo" T-shirts. The area is part of the U.S. House District 17 which he so ably represented for nearly 18 years. WJW Channel 8 news video embedded below:


In 2002, in a trial in which Traficant represented himself, he was convicted of 10 felony counts, including accepting bribes from businessmen and taking kickbacks from his own congressional staff. But many people believe Traficant was particularly targeted because he led a then-successful effort to prevent the expulsion of John Demjanjuk from the United States on bogus charges that he was supposedly "Ivan the Terrible" at a European concentration camp during World War II. In addition, the Feds may have been deliberately gunning for Traficant because he beat the government's rap in a mob trial in 1983 by claiming he ran a one-man sting of the Mafia, which paid him $163,000 in bribes. The acquittal vaulted him to Congress, where he served his district faithfully for 18 years.

As a result of his conviction, he was expelled from the U.S. House by a 420-1 vote in 2002. Only Gary Condit (D-CA) voted No. He was the second House member since the Civil War to be voted out for unethical behavior. However, not all House members joined the witch hunt. Alaska's Very Own Congressman Don Young, fully respectful of the sovereignty of District 17 voters, voted Present instead of Yes. Obviously, Congressman Young wasn't going to vote No, but by voting Present, Congressman Young apparently also wanted to communicate his own doubts about the veracity of Traficant's conviction. The Anchorage Daily News took a gentle swipe at Young for that vote, but soon let the issue drop. Eight other House members also voted Present, including Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Sonny Callahan (R-AL), Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN), John Hostettler (R-IN), C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Mike Simpson (R-IN).

Unfortunately, Traficant's release comes far too late to help John Demjanjuk. On April 14th, 2009, immigration agents began Demjanjuk's deportation, removing him from his home in a wheelchair. He was scheduled to fly to Munich from Cleveland, but the legal order was again reversed and another stay granted by the court. On May 7th, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Demjanjuk's appeal and on May 8th, he was ordered to surrender to U.S. Immigration agents for deportation to Germany. On May 11th, Demjanjuk left his Cleveland home by ambulance, and was taken to the airport, where he was deported by plane to Germany. He arrived there the next morning on May 12th. On July 13th, 2009, Demjanjuk was formally charged with an absolutely ludicrous 27,900 counts of acting as an accessory to murder, one for each person who died at Sobibor during the time he is accused of serving as a guard at the Nazi death camp.

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