Jim Traficant Bids Farewell to the House of Representatives
Representative James A. Traficant, Jr.
[Redactor's Note: The following remarks are excerpts from Representative Traficant's final speech in the House of Representatives. Shortly after this speech, the House voted 420 to 1 to expel Traficant. The lone vote against expulsion? Representative Gary A. Condit. Remarks taken from the Congressional Record, 24 July 2002, pages H5385–H5392.]
Now, I am going to get right to the point. I want you to imagine there is a small army of patriots, and they are facing a gigantic army armed to the teeth. And the captain, trying to show strength, calls his assistant and says, "Go to the tent and get my bright red vest."
He goes and gets the red vest. He puts the red vest on, and he says, "To show the power and courage of our people, without a sidearm I am going to carry this sword and I am going to attack the enemy, and, as they slay me, the blood will not be seen because of my bright red vest and you will be encouraged to fight for our homeland." He gave a banshee cry. He ran out into battle and was destroyed.
His assistant come up and he called his attendant. He said, "Go to the tent and get me those dark brown pants."
Think about it.
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Now, let's talk about Tony Bucci. His fourth plea agreement, his brother in Cuba, fled the country on a fugitive warrant, they sentenced him to six weeks arrest, and here is what he said. He did $12,000 worth of work at the Traficant farm, and he owned me. Now, not all of you know me personally, but if you think someone owned me, you would throw me the hell out of here.
Witnesses testified that I asked him for jackhammers because we had an old bank barn. I never owned the farm. But this old bank barn didn't have enough height for horses, Ralph. I asked him to let me use their jackhammers. He said, "It is an insurance problem. I will send some people out." I said, "I don't want you to do that. You will get too close to that old bank barn and you will drop it in."
And that is what happened, folks. And the whole corner of that barn, Cynthia, fell down. Harry Manganaro came out and helped me prop it up. It cost my dad $15,000.
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So I held up the picture and said, "What barn was it?" [He] couldn't identify the barn.
I said, "What was I doing in a barn?"
He said, "You were cleaning a horse's hoof."
He said, "The back one."
I said, "Was he tied, or was he being held?"
He said, "Someone was holding him."
"Anybody else in the barn?"
"Oh, all kinds of people."
"What was the floor like?"
"Can't remember. Too much manure."
The jury even threw that one out.
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I had an FBI agent that compromised one of my constituents under mental instability, desperately trying to save custody of her child, compromised her into sex. She said, "Jim, he didn't throw me to the ground. I don't want my eighty-seven-year-old mother to know about it."
FBI agent Anthony Speranza. I will be damned if someone is going to rape one of my constituents.
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I am running as an independent, and don't be surprised if I don't win behind bars.
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The American people are afraid of their government. Why are we afraid of our government? Now, I want you to listen to this. Bob, they didn't bring one FBI or IRS investigator who investigated me to the stand so I could cross-examine them. They brought a thirty-year veteran from Philadelphia, Mr. Callahan, he had seven trips, spent forty days, a quarter of a million dollars, and all he did was add up the numbers the prosecutor gave him. And said he did no investigation. When he left, he was so confused he walked into the edge of the jury edge, right in the sore spot.
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They went back fifteen years on a horse transaction I had in Uhrichsville, Ohio, George Hooker. They could not find one citizen to say Jim Traficant bought a pencil for cash. Now look, if you drink five gallons of Gatorade, you are going to expend five gallons of Gatorade somewhere in one of these restrooms. You know what you have before you? We are getting to the point where a RICO case is going to be brought against a group of housewives for conspiring to buy Kellogg's cereal.
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Do you know what Jim Traficant said about Janet Reno? Now, I said this on radio and I am on the House floor. I am going to say it to you right now. I called Janet Reno a traitor and I believe in my heart she is.
And Janet Reno, if I do not go to jail, I will be in Orlando August 15 and you are not going to be elected to any damn thing.
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Am I different? Yeah. Have I changed my pants? No. Deep down my colleagues know they want to wear wider bottoms; they are just not secure enough to do it. I do wear skinny ties. Yeah, wide ties make me look heavier than I am and I am heavy enough. Do I do my hair with a weed whacker? I admit.
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Let me tell my colleagues what happened to me early Saturday morning. I was up in Portage County, a new part of the district of the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Strickland), and I did not run against the gentleman because I thought I would beat him easily, and I wanted to give him a break.
I left my car, and at 2:30 in the morning I pulled out, and I got pulled over by a township police car and a county sheriff. The window does not work on the car, so I opened up the door. They could not see me but said, "Mr. Traficant, can we see your registration and license." It had dealer tags on it. I did. He asked me to get out of the car.
They asked me to walk around the back of the car. They asked me to do my ABCs. They asked me to do this with all four fingers on both hands, and they asked me to stand and put my foot in front of my right, take nine steps, stop, turn and return. Then they asked me to lift my right knee, with my left foot on the ground and count to thirty. Try that. Then they said reverse, put your right foot on the ground, pick your left knee up, count to thirty, and I did that, and they said would you mind a breathalyzer. I said knock yourself out. I was .001.
Here is what I asked them: Did the FBI tell you that was my car and ask you to see if you can get a DUI on me? They looked at each other real funny, and I cannot tell my colleagues exactly what I told them because of House decorum, but I told them if I find out it is an FBI agent that did it, I will tear his throat out, and if they lied to me, I would come back to them and tear their throats out.
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Look, show me the beef. Come up with a transcript. They could not even bring an FBI or IRS investigator to the stand, they are so afraid of me. And I am going to tell my colleagues something, and they are not going to believe it. My hands tied behind my back, I believe in my heart I won that trial, and that trial was manipulated. I would not rush in haste.
Now, if my colleagues do not expel me tonight, I am convinced this judge is going to put me in jail. She cannot stand my guts. And she is deathly afraid of me getting on national TV, because it is beginning to resonate around the country about how people do fear our government. And why do we?
I expect my colleagues to expel me. It is going to hurt me when some of you do.