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Reporter receives letters from Traficant



Published: Tue, September 1, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

Traficant promised a second local reporter an interview.

STAFF REPORT

YOUNGSTOWN — Former congressman Jim Traficant told a WFMJ news reporter in a letter he believes the federal government tried to pressure a potential witness to testify against him at his 2002 trial.

Traficant, of Poland, convicted of 10 felony counts including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion, will be released sometime Wednesday from the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., where he spent most of his seven-year prison term.

Reporter Michelle Nicks received two letters from Traficant over the weekend. She wrote to Traficant asking to know three things: what will he do when he gets out, how has life been for him in prison and has he moved on from the case that put him there.

In those letters, Traficant said he’ll continue to maintain his innocence and adds that the government put pressure on a witness to testify against him at his trial.

Traficant writes, “There’s a very interesting matter in my case — no one picked up on it — a black man, Mr. Okolo from Baltimore, was pressured to lie about me and Richard Detore.”

The federal government charged Detore with channeling illegal gifts to Traficant. A jury acquitted him in 2003.

Nnamdi Okolo, a Nigerian national who was working in the United States, filed an affidavit saying the government tried to pressure him to testify against Traficant.

In his letter, Traficant says Okolo, “wouldn’t do it, so they wrecked his life.”

The “they” Traficant is referring to are presumably the U.S. attorneys who prosecuted the case.

Even though Traficant says the Okolo matter is something no one has picked up on, Okolo’s affidavit has been available for scrutiny since it was posted on the Internet in 2007.

What’s left unsaid in his letter is how or if Traficant intends to use it when he gets out.

Other tidbits in the letter:

UTraficant says he expects to do interviews for a few national shows. He says he does not want any media at the Minnesota facility when he leaves, saying he will ignore them if they are there.

UTraficant did promise Nicks he would do an interview with her when he gets back in town.

In a recent letter to Stan Boney, a WYTV news anchor, Traficant said he did “not plan to meet with any press when I get back! If, and when I do, I’ll give you the exclusive.”

See also:Celebration ‘is a slap in the face’"


Comments

1EliotNess_DC(86 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Traficant is referring to this:
http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library...
and to this:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,5...

Suggest removal:

2EliotNess_DC(86 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Okolo's affidavit has indeed been up on the Internet, but no reporter has ever interviewed either him or Detore.

There's a Pulitzer prize nomination in this story somewhere, because if Traficant, Detore, and Okolo are telling the truth then the ruthlessly ambitious Morford was the architect of the most serious American political crime since Watergate -- a takedown, by the Executive branch, of a sitting member of the Legislative branch.

This is serious history-making stuff.

Furthermore, unreported is the story of Morford's advancement of his own career by engineering of the bogus destruction of Richard Convertino's career in Detroit.

A criminal court jury not only quickly and unanimously acquitted Convertino and his State Department co-defendant ... they issued a public 'attaboy' to Convertino and Smith for their original successful prosecution of terrorists (which was undone by Morford and the DOJ).

Convertino's acquittal came shortly after Morford was elevated to the #2 spot at DOJ, and Mukasey quietly dumped him thereafter, despite nationwide publicity about what a Dudley DoRight Morford-the-Traficant-slayer was.

I'm sure that a herd of intrepid investigative reporters will now finally begin to get interested in the Detore, Okolo, and Convertino stories as they connect to the Traficant story.

Q: Where has the Press been all these years?
A: They bought into the perception of Traficant's guilt, just as they bought into the perception of Obama's virtue.

Traficant once said that some Congressmen were so dumb that they could throw themselves to the ground, and miss.

Likewise some reporters.

Others are straighforwardly malicious, like David Ashenfelter in Detroit who intentionally published the name of one of Convertino's 'confidential informants' in the war on terror -- despite pleas from Convertino and his www.whistleblowers.org attorney -- causing that informant and his family to have to flee the country. They have not been heard from since, and may be dead.

Suggest removal:

3najjjj(106 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Pulitzer Prize for the Trafficant story! That has to be the most hilarious thing I've heard relating to this useless story and politician yet. Well, I shouldn't say useless. I have to admit when I need a good laugh I come take a look at the Trafficant comments. Thanks for the laugh ElliotNess.

Suggest removal:


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