JUDGE WELLS: You've been a congressman in the United States, and because of that position you had

JUDGE WELLS: You've been a congressman in the United States, and because of that position you had extraordinary power and authority. That power and that authority were granted to you as a public trust. That power and authority that you were granted was not on your own behalf, but on behalf of the people of your 17th Congressional District of Ohio.
You cast yourself the way you apparently want the world to see you, and much of the world does, as a kind of folk hero, a champion of the people --
TRAFICANT: I object to those remarks.
JUDGE WELLS: -- and as a voice for the average guy, but you were also a United States congressman. You've done a lot of good in your years in Congress. Nobody denies you that, it's commendable, but as a lawmaker, you know perfectly well that the good that you have done does not excuse the crimes that you were convicted of.
Your office didn't belong to you. The privileges and the powers of your office were not yours to trade for some kind of personal gain. You could hire your congressional staff, but the salaries that the taxpayers granted to you to pay that congressional staff were to support the staff in fulfilling your responsibilities as a Congressman.
Staff salaries are not to be kicked back to line your own pockets and feed your own greed. As a congressman, you earned most recently $150,000 a year.
TRAFICANT: The IRS took it all.
JUDGE WELLS: You had the American people paying for members of your congressional staff to spend their days, as they put it, going south; going out on your farm and doing chores would be one way of putting it.
TRAFICANT: I object to that.
JUDGE WELLS: Making improvements. You were allocated public funds for office space, but you had the American people paying for a law office for people who were spending their days practicing law full-time while receiving salaries that the public was providing to you to staff your congressional staff.
TRAFICANT: I object to --
JUDGE WELLS: You ran your office, your congressional office, as what we call a racketeering enterprise. You sought bribes from businessmen, you sought that in exchange for government favors that you owed people as a matter of your position.
TRAFICANT: I object to that.
JUDGE WELLS: And then when inquiries started, you added a new kind of role as the investigation became apparent to you, and you cast yourself as the number one victim of persecution in America. To deflect attention from what was going on and what you assumed was going to be revealed, you took on this role and tried to use it as a cover for your own self-serving and really flagrant abuses of an office of public trust.
TRAFICANT: I object to that.
JUDGE WELLS: Every opportunity, you proclaimed you are the number one victim in the entire country. Really. You were howling that you were going to fight like a junkyard dog in the eye of a hurricane.
TRAFICANT: I'm not done.
JUDGE WELLS: Well, I know, and you did fight that way, to protect a junkyard full of deceit and corruption and greed, you fought like a junkyard dog.
TRAFICANT: I object to that.
JUDGE WELLS: You call this courtroom your theater, you bragged that you had not read and would not read a single word of the charges against you or of the evidence that the government was seeking to use against you.
TRAFICANT: I knew they had none.
JUDGE WELLS: You wrote your own script. You refused, although we repeatedly advised you to do it and encouraged you to do it, to seek -- you refused to even listen to legal guidance.
TRAFICANT: Most counselors are afraid of the prosecution and sell their clients out.
JUDGE WELLS: And outside of the courtroom you carried on this drumbeat cadence, "Everyone is after me. Poor Jim Traficant, the number one target in the United States."
TRAFICANT: I am, and I was by the Justice Department.
JUDGE WELLS: But none of this calculated misconduct in or outside of the court altered my duty, it didn't alter the duty of the 12 men and women and the alternates who came here with a responsibility to provide for you and for the government a fair trial.
TRAFICANT: Then why did you tie my hands behind my back? Answer me that question, for the record.
JUDGE WELLS: Congressman, sit down.
TRAFICANT: That's a tough question, isn't it?
JUDGE WELLS: Sit down. It was our responsibility, the jury's responsibility, and my responsibility, to provide you a full and fair trial, and --
TRAFICANT: You did not.
JUDGE WELLS: -- and that exactly is what you got.
TRAFICANT: You did not.
JUDGE WELLS: Your judge and jury, the men and women in this courthouse, labored week after week to meet our responsibilities to you and to the United States. They're not easy responsibilities to meet, but our Constitutional system of justice is a lot bigger than any of us, and it's certainly bigger than any of us sitting in this room. This system has proven over several hundred years to be flexible enough, to be strong enough, to be powerful enough to support judges and juries in their duties and responsibilities. These are citizens who are called to jury duty --
TRAFICANT: None of them knew me.
JUDGE WELLS: -- and their responsibilities are awesome.
TRAFICANT: You even had an unfair jury before me, and you know it.
JUDGE WELLS: To shield your own self-serving conduct and greed, you sought to rationalize corruption as nothing more than all your colleagues do, and you smeared the entire calling of public service with the shame of your own crimes. That's a problem --
TRAFICANT: I object to that.
JUDGE WELLS: -- you absolutely refuse to acknowledge.
TRAFICANT: I object to that, and I object to your harsh remarks your demeaning remarks, which are evidence of what you did in front of the jury, as well, that tainted the case against me, for the record.
JUDGE WELLS: Using the national media and the local media, you mocked and defiled the individuals and the institutions of Congress and of the executive branch of the government. You attacked all federal judges as mere tools of the prosecution and law enforcement agencies, and you never for a moment took any responsibility for yourself or your own actions.
TRAFICANT: I committed no crimes.
JUDGE WELLS: You apparently think you are above the law.
TRAFICANT: I do not.
JUDGE WELLS: You seem to think that all the good things you did, and there are good things you did, somehow immunize you and excuse you from the reach of the criminal law.
TRAFICANT: Look. I do not believe I'm above the law, and I regret that you've said that, and it shows your demeanor and predisposition. And I object to you categorizing me that way, for the record. Now, if you want to sentence me, sentence me, but I'm tired of the diatribes.
JUDGE WELLS: I am sentencing you right now.
TRAFICANT: Well, come to it.
JUDGE WELLS: It's very difficult for the reporter to get your words because you talk on top of me. We're getting there. Instead of working from your privileged position of power and influence to overcome our government's deficiencies and to treat its ills, you tell the American people and the world that Americans are afraid of their government, that their government is oppressive, their government is corrupt.
JUDGE WELLS: It is against the people. Well, America isn't perfect, and everybody knows that.
TRAFICANT: America is in trouble because of courts like this.
JUDGE WELLS: Everybody knows that America has difficulties. But you have descended into ranting and raving and bullying and spewing your venom against the government and all the men and women who serve it, and that's all at the people's expense. We are not talking about --
TRAFICANT: That's not true.
JUDGE WELLS: -- your personal style. American justice has a very wide tolerance for style. It's been proven for 200 years. Style is not an issue. But your deceit and your distortion and your intimidation are your defenses, and they are your weapons of choice.
TRAFICANT: I object to those statements.
JUDGE WELLS: The truth, sir, is rarely in you. You practice intimidation, you practice distortion.
TRAFICANT: You've intimidated me.
JUDGE WELLS: And that is not without consequence.
TRAFICANT: And you intimidated me to present to the jury a nondefense.
JUDGE WELLS: You are a man of influence, you are a man with a kind of cunning charisma. You can be engaging. People listen to you. But when as a congressman of the United States you threaten to violate court orders, to break out of prison, to make a neck tie out of federal officials who helped convict you --
TRAFICANT: Come on now.
JUDGE WELLS: When from the floor of Congress --
TRAFICANT: I think you are going a little far.
JUDGE WELLS: -- you bragged, you threatened this Portage County deputy sheriff and the Brimfield police officer for doing their duty last week --
TRAFICANT: That's a lie. I was not on the floor of Congress.
JUDGE WELLS: You said it again today.
TRAFICANT: I said it today, but I didn't say it on the floor of Congress.
JUDGE WELLS: "I will tear their throats out."
TRAFICANT: Get your facts right. That's one of your problems.
JUDGE WELLS: Time and time again you have threatened law enforcement officers, federal, state and local, and those are matters of consequence.
TRAFICANT: Not all. There are some very good ones.
JUDGE WELLS: Your drumbeat is the drumbeat of a big lie. It's an old tactic, it is a very simple tactic. If you repeat a lie enough times over and over again, some people are going to believe it.
TRAFICANT: Is that why you've been saying lies for 11 weeks?
JUDGE WELLS: And that's the drumbeat of the demagogue.
TRAFICANT: Is that why you've been saying that for 11 weeks and tied my hands behind my back? Is that why your husband gained money from the Cafaros and you still let him testify? Huh? Is that why your husband and his firm received over a million dollars from the Cafaros, and you heard my case?
JUDGE WELLS: Oh, that is so outrageous.
TRAFICANT: Send me the records.
JUDGE WELLS: Congressman, I've ruled on that motion.
TRAFICANT: Yeah, I know. You ruled in your favor.
JUDGE WELLS: Sit down. Sit down --
JUDGE WELLS: -- Mr.Traficant. Do it now.
TRAFICANT: I'm getting something out of my pocket.
JUDGE WELLS: All of your lewd and rude and obscene bullying stuff gets you attention. It may be you beg for the attention. I don't know. You seem to need the attention.
TRAFICANT: Is that why you're putting me in jail, because of the way I act?
TRAFICANT: I thought we were here
about crimes.
TRAFICANT: Yeah? Well name one, who wasn't coerced or suborning of perjury. Name one. Because I will find a person that will prove to you that that happened before it's over, from a jail cell, if I have to, because I'm not going to be pushed around. That's it.
TRAFICANT: I know I'm not helping myself here.
JUDGE WELLS: Listen, I don't know what you're doing. We're trying --
TRAFICANT: And I don't give a damn. But I think Americans shouldn't be pushed around, and you pushed me around. They pushed me around.
JUDGE WELLS: Congressman, sit down. Sit down.
TRAFICANT: Why don't you tell the truth then about your husband?
JUDGE WELLS: Sit down. Some people believe you across this country because you've got shock and entertainment value, some people believe you because they have their own selfish and even hostile reasons to exploit the kind of treacherous howling that you do when you complain about being a victim. But the honorable and conscientious men and women who sat in this courtroom for 10 weeks doing their civic duty, and the alternates who sat with them, were not fooled. You didn't distract them from the testimony of 55 witnesses for the government, of 29 witnesses of your own. You didn't distract them from volumes of physical evidence, burned envelopes, and the stacks of cash. The jurors in their 10-count verdict in this case stripped from you your pretensions of honor and integrity, and I've got to say it is too bad that you never served in the military for the United States, because there you might have learned something about duty and honor and, yes, even reverence toward this democracy, which is the greatest of all democracies, the United States.
TRAFICANT: I object to your remarks.
JUDGE WELLS: There are things wrong with it.
TRAFICANT: I object to your demeaning remarks.
JUDGE WELLS: But you had the possibility of making changes, were privileged --
TRAFICANT: I did make changes.
JUDGE WELLS: -- instead of flagrantly violating the law.
TRAFICANT: I made great changes.
JUDGE WELLS: You did make some good changes.
TRAFICANT: Great changes.
JUDGE WELLS: But you flagrantly violated the law of the land in ways that go right to the core of your office. It was a high office, you held it on behalf of the people. You shamelessly abused the public trust. You also tarnished the U.S. Congress. You sullied the reputations and the beliefs of countless decent people. You show open contempt and disloyalty to the individuals and the institutions that you were sworn to serve. And you did all of that from the position of United States congressman. Therefore pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, it is the judgment of this court that you, James A. Traficant Jr., are hereby committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 96 months: For Counts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7, 60 months, concurrent with 24 months for Count 5, concurrent with 36 months in Counts 8 and 9, concurrent with 96 months in Counts 6 and 10.
TRAFICANT: What does all that mean?
JUDGE WELLS: After considering the relevant factors, Judge Wells finds that the defendant has failed to meet his burden of showing that he can't afford to pay a fine. I'm going to structure the fine. You will be ordered to pay a fine, it's $150,000, which reflects the monthly cost of your incarceration of $1,848 for 96 months, but it gets capped at $150,000. So it goes through most of your term, but you'll get some relief at the end. You shall pay any financial penalty that's imposed by this judgment and that remains unpaid at the commencement of your term of supervised release. You're ordered to forfeit, you've already been given notice of this, $96,000 forthwith pursuant to the jury's findings in this case and court orders. You shall pay $19,580.96 in unpaid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
TRAFICANT: For what?
JUDGE WELLS: You should have read your report more carefully.
TRAFICANT: I read it.
JUDGE WELLS: Upon release from imprisonment, you will be placed on supervised release for a term of three years for Counts 1 through 4 and 6 through 10 concurrent with one year in Count 5. It's further ordered that you shall pay the United States a special assessment of $1,000, which is due immediately. While you are under supervision you shall not commit another federal, state or local crime. You shall comply with the standard conditions that have been adopted by this Court, and with the following additional conditions: You shall not possess a firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921, nor shall you possess any dangerous weapons.
TRAFICANT: My wife has a gun, your honor.
JUDGE WELLS: Well, if you're living in a house there can't be a gun present in the house.
TRAFICANT: You mean my wife can't have a gun to protect herself?
JUDGE WELLS: We're just going along with the law.
TRAFICANT: I want to know that, for the record.
JUDGE WELLS: The law in the United States would not permit you to be living in a house where there's a firearm. You make your own decisions.
TRAFICANT: Well, tell that to my wife.
JUDGE WELLS: Drug testing is waived in this case. You shall provide the probation officer with access to any and all requested financial information. Now, you have the right to appeal your convictions and your sentence. You should discuss any possible grounds for appeal with your appellate attorney.
You should do that quickly because with few exceptions, any notice of appeal has to be filed in the District Court within 10 days of judgment being entered in your case. If you're unable to pay the cost of an appeal, you may apply for leave to appeal with no cost to you. If you so request, the clerk of court will prepare and file a notice of appeal on your behalf. Now we have the issue that you began to address which has to do with appellate bond, and there had been a motion filed on your behalf on that. There was a motion filed on July 12th for a stay of judgment and bail pending appeal. Do you have a response to that motion?
MATTHEW KALL (ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY): Yes, your honor. We filed a written response, and just to add to that, as this court is aware of, in any criminal case, not just this case, there's a presumption that a criminal defendant will be remanded to the custody of the Marshal's Service at the time of sentencing. To overcome that presumption, it's the defendant's obligation to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he's not a flight risk and that he does not pose a danger to any member of the community. In addition to being entitled to a bond pending appeal which has been asked for, the defendant also must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the appeal would not be for purposes of delay, and that it raises a substantial question of law or fact that is likely to result in reversal, new trial, or a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment. It's our position that the defendant has not proven these three things by clear and convincing evidence. First, as we noted in our response to the motion for bond pending appeal, and as this Court has discussed today, the defendant has violated the terms of his bond quite recently by crossing state lines. Moreover, as we noted, the defendant during the trial stated to this court that he would flee and you would have to send the marshals out after him if he was not happy with Judge Wells's ruling. Specifically, he said, and I quote, "You'll have to send a marshal for me, because I'm not coming back to your courtroom. You can put that on the record," unquote. That's at page 5,902 of the trial transcript. In addition, Judge Wells has imposed a substantial sentence today of eight years and a substantial fine that gives him additional incentive to flee. Moreover, he's failed to cooperate with the probation department; therefore, his financial situation is currently unknown. Therefore, it's our position that he has not proven by clear and convincing evidence that he does not pose a flight risk. As far as the issue of being a threat to the community, we submitted an affidavit for Mr. Sugar in which he indicated the Defendant Traficant approached him, asked him to lie and fabricate evidence, and when Mr. Sugar refused to do it, Defendant Traficant became very belligerent. We've stood here in the courtroom today and heard him shout at the top of his lungs that he wants to rip the neck of FBI agents. It's our position that he has not proven by clear and convincing evidence that he does not pose a threat to any member of the community. Add this fact: At the time of his arraignment, the government asked he be ordered to surrender his firearms. The magistrate declined to impose that, and he admitted he has possession of several hunting rifles, which he says today are still in his house. So you have a situation where there's a defendant who has already stated if he is not happy with Judge Wells's rulings he's going to require Judge Wells to send the marshals out after him, and he's armed. He's accused the FBI of numerous things, including intimidating witnesses and stealing generators, and orchestrating DUI traffic stops at 2:30 in the morning, that he wants to rip people's necks out. It's our position that all these things show that he poses a possible threat to the community, and he has not overcome the statutory presumption. As to the issue of bond pending appeal, he's asking this court to allow him to remain free for the two to three years it would take for this appeal to work its way through the system. To prove this, according to the Sixth Circuit in the Pollard case, he must raise an issue that is so integral to the merits of conviction that it's more probable than not that a reversal, a new trial, or a sentence without a term of imprisonment would be the result. The issue must be a close call, one that could go either way on appeal. And the defendant has raised ... none of the issues that he raised in his motion for bond pending appeal are issues that this court hasn't been over numerous times. Most of those issues are time barred and would not result in a new trial even if they were to go in his favor on appeal because they address one count or another count. Certainly the issues such as the jury selection plan are clearly time barred, and also, based on the precedence that this court cited in its numerous orders, have no merit. These are not close calls on appeal. Therefore, it's our position that the defendant has not overcome the statutory presumption and that he should be taken into custody at this time by clear and convincing evidence.
JUDGE WELLS: Thank you.
TRAFICANT: Does that mean they want me to go right to jail?
TRAFICANT: I think there's some distinction now, we have to look at U.S.C. 3143(b), United States versus Powell. And I don't think we need not show that we'll win, I think we have to show that reversal is possible. First of all, I'm not a risk of flight.
When he said I went across state lines, it was a half mile, and I returned home. I think they left that out. By the way, Mr. Sugar's statement through his attorney and whatever he signed, there's an affidavit from a Marine by the name of Rick Berger who heard what he said, and Manganarro gave a tape of what Sugar said. Number two: I have substantial ties to the Mahoning Valley, including at this particular time. I'm a valuable individual, still serving my valley. Number three: I am dedicated to fight this case to the end and predict I will win when it's over. Number four: My family, my friends, I think they understand what happened, and I believe that they will lose faith in the government, that it would take me after this to put me directly into jail, thinking that everybody has something to hide around here. Now, the colorful statements that they're referring to about me making flight, I have cameras in my face all the time. You ran for office once. There's things you say that can be taken in every different way. I have displayed absolutely no reason, measure, thought, intent, that I will leave our great country, but I think there are substantial issues in this case. Number one, I'm still not sure about the double jeopardy clause, Congress taking action before the sentencing on the expulsion. Since the Congress clearly wanted to delay the vote on expulsion until sentencing, this might open an issue substantively of double jeopardy, regardless of any lower court at this point. Second of all, the jury pool. In 1967, the Congress passed a jury service and selection plan. That stated clearly that a member shall be tried by a jury of their peers. Now, Judge Wells did, in fact, create in the Northern District a jury service selection plan. That was enacted after the Traficant indictment; affirmed, rather, by the Sixth Circuit after. But let me say this about that: I've not made this argument yet. Have we come now to the Sixth Amendment in America where we shall have jury by peers or jury by lottery? And I think there's a great Sixth Amendment argument to be made, and the Congress is, in fact, reviewing this matter. Third of all, the error in the Detore matter, clearly Detore's testimony was unavailable to me. Detore, through his attorney, would not allow him to testify. He has testified before Congress. Second of all, most of the exculpatory evidence I got relative to Jay Harney and the demand note that Cafaro wanted from Lange and the pressure for Detore to lie outside the courtroom, outside the door, that Mr. Cafaro was bribing Traficant, did not come until after the trial or I would not have, as a gentleman, really, submitted a subpoena to the attorney who asked I submit it to him rather than to his client, and I did. And I made a mistake, I'll admit that, take credit for. I think the vendetta defense is eligible. Clearly now we have found what they considered to be the conflicting statements of Mr. Sugar. Now you have a Marine of impeccable history and background who gave an affidavit where he overheard a conversation quite different from what the government is stating, and Mr. Manganarro, who gave a tape and you would not allow to testify, let alone the tape be played, about Mr. Sugar. Fourth of all, every issue that deals with this, you know, talks about Congress: I'm not a member of Congress now. I'm just a man who is now fighting for my life on appeal. And I believe I have the right, and I am of limited finances, quite frankly, and I will do it myself, but I am telling you this: That I think their would be some surprised people before it's over. The only thing I will say is that I think I would not be surprised on appeal not only to have a reversal, but I predict there will be an investigation into the misconduct that occurred in this case at all levels. And I'm not asking to be out for no two or three years, I never requested that, but I believe I should have time now because of the circumstances that exist, even those that have been now admitted by a member of the bar himself, Mr. Colucci, who was told by Mr. Broad that Mr. Morford wanted him to lie about Traficant. Mr. Sugar told me, Mr. Berger heard it, told Mr. Manganarro and a man named Joe Sabo that he was asked to lie or he was going to go to jail and his wife and son was going to be indicted. Mr. Cafaro said he's going to be indicted, his daughter was going to be in trouble. Look, with these types of extenuating circumstances, certainly with Detore coming before the Congress without immunity subject to harm, if he was present before your case, I believe there should be a reasonable amount of time for me to put my house in order, my affairs in order. I've just been expelled from the Congress. I probably have more documents in my 18 years than you probably have in your tenure now on the bench that I now have to sort through, go through with the clerk and staff and remove my items, and it will take me some time. When I talked about my wife having a gun, I've had serious threats. The FBI had written me and notified me there were threats on my life. My wife has a revolver. I don't have a revolver and I have no guns. I have no guns in my possession. And I believe there should be a reasonable amount of time. And I will say this regardless of the speeches that have been made here, and you demeaned me pretty good. I mean, you made me feel so low I could walk under a closed door with a top hat on. In fact, you broke my heart. I've done a lot of good things, and you just tore it all out in about three minutes from your powerful seat. You go ahead and put me in jail right now. This isn't about a threat. The American people not only fear their government, fear leads to hate. You don't know the people around the country that have gone through experiences with the FBI and the IRS, and they're sick of them. And I think you have given other people who have committed murder, other people who were known gangsters, allowed to keep their property, this Northern District, that is, and you've given them a reasonable appeal bond. In closing, I just want to say one last thing to you: As you demeaned me, and I probably won't see you again, and I will not hold you personal for those comments, because I understand government, politics, and the juxtaposition of those intertwined, but when you take the word of J.J. Cafaro over Chief Justice Lambros's clerk Percy Squire, then God save America, believe me. Now, I love America, I love American institutions, but I do hate the FBI and the Justice Department and the IRS. I hate the hell out of you. And if I am re-elected from a jail cell, I believe I'll abolish the IRS, and there will be a commission that will oversee the FBI so you won't investigate yourselves at Waco and Ruby Ridge. And quite frankly, I expect to be re-elected. I want you to place me in Ohio to make sure there's no constitutional grounds that might keep me off the ballot. And maybe we'll all learn a lesson about what people think, not what Judge Wells thinks, attorneys think, and prosecutors think. Having said that, I committed no crimes. I regret nothing that I said. I do regret one thing: That I have been so damn mad in this whole process that I've said and done things that I perhaps shouldn't have. Some of those I directed at you. I want to apologize for them. I shouldn't have done that. That didn't help me. In fact, that's probably the reason I got convicted, not from the facts.
And Craig, I want to tell you, I believe you would make a great U.S. attorney, but I believe in my heart you suborned perjury and you pressured those people, and you're the one who should be ashamed of yourself, not me. And I lost faith in you, because quite frankly, I was the only Ohioan that supported you for U.S. attorney before you started coming after me. With that, I close my remarks.
JUDGE WELLS: Thank you. One of the remarks you made early on was referred to by the government when they commented on this about not coming back and sending a marshal, I think you said "send a marshal force for me."
Back on the 15th, you made the statements about breaking out of prison, about making a neck tie out of some of the bureaucrats, trying to break the neck of an FBI agent on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. On the 24th of July you bragged of threatening to tear the throats out of these law enforcement folks who were just out doing their work. The travel outside of the Northern District of Ohio, I have no idea what in the world you were doing, but you know very well that you were under orders that prevented you from going out of the Northern District except to Washington. It was a violation of your bond.
You take it all very lightly, but we don't.
There is a statutory presumption that you should go to prison. In light of your conduct -- and the court will make the finding that you have not demonstrated by any clear and convincing evidence that you are not likely to pose a danger to any person in the community or not likely to flee.
In light of this conduct, no bond pending appeal is appropriate in your case. So we're going to ask you now to go and serve your sentence, and I am going to remand you to the custody of the United States Marshal.
TRAFICANT: Your honor, might I ask for time, a reasonable period of time to report?
JUDGE WELLS: No. You're remanded now, sir.
This honorable court is adjourned.

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