This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, February 4, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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HANNITY: Still to come tonight, an exclusive interview with Dr. James Dobson. He's from Focus on the Family.

And why is Ralph Nader being critical of the war effort? He'll be here to tell us and talk about his new book.

But first: This week, Ohio Congressman James Traficant goes on trial in federal court in Cleveland on charges of bribery and corruption. Earlier, we had a chance to sit down with the congressman and talk about the tough road ahead of him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLMES: You are suing the government for $250 million. Tell us about it, and tell us why.

TRAFICANT: Number one, the judge, the local judge in the federal court, just dismissed the case today. I'll be reintroducing it. His wife was very active in the campaign against me the last time. But I've

Other guests and topics for February 4, 2002 included:
• Interview With Dr. James Dobson
• Interview With Ralph Nader
• Interview With Sam Brownback, Bill Nelson
Order  complete transcript

submitted reams and reams of evidence of prosecutorial misconduct. I will go on with it. I don't know if I'm going to end up in jail, but I assure you these prosecutors will go to jail, as well.

COLMES: All right, what -- let's talk about what the charges here. Now, you're claiming that you were mistreated in the past and this is a vendetta going back to...

TRAFICANT: It's not just about me.

COLMES: ... the early '80s, right?

TRAFICANT: Sean, it's not just about me. The judge ruled that I can't even bring up the vendetta. I can't bring up witnesses that said that, "Look, if you can give us something on Traficant, we'll build a monument to you." I have now a number of eight or nine tapes that show explicitly prosecutorial misconduct.

The judge in the case -- and she's a very nice lady, but quite frankly, we have government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats...

COLMES: Let's...

TRAFICANT: ... and even the judges are afraid of them.

COLMES: But let's be specific. You're...

TRAFICANT: And look, that doesn't endear me to judges...

COLMES: Congressman...

TRAFICANT: ... but everybody's afraid of this powerful government.

COLMES: You're talking about a case that -- what happened in the '80s. Let me throw up on the screen what the "National Journal" has said about this. It says, "While sheriff of surrounding Mahoning County in the early '80s," you "admitted to taking bribes and then successfully defended yourself in court, winning acquittal with the argument that your actions had been part of your own sting operation." Tell us about that.

TRAFICANT: Look, I'm not trying the '80 case, but I never accepted any bribes, and they never talked about the fact that organized crime controlled this valley for 50 years, with the presence of the FBI and the IRS both being on the payroll. And when Jim Traficant ran for sheriff, all of a sudden, everybody's names are made public, and now it looks like a choir session at the Mormon...

HANNITY: Hey...

TRAFICANT: ... Tabernacle Choir here.

HANNITY: Congressman...

TRAFICANT: So I don't even want to get back into that.

HANNITY: Congressman, welcome back to the program. Sean Hannity here.

TRAFICANT: Good to talk to you.

HANNITY: I've been doing a lot of reading about your case and a lot of investigating into your case, and I'm looking at -- at the government's case. I got to be honest. I think a lot of their evidence here is quite flimsy. You're being charged with, for example, receiving $200,000 in kickbacks from your office staff. One such person that they have as a witness against you is a man who has passed away by the name of Charles Onesti (ph). And he claimed and he told the FBI in tape-recorded interviews that he paid you $1,000 a month in kickbacks for more than 13 years.

Now, what's interesting about this, he is an admitted bag man for organized crime and was convicted of federal racketeering and perjury charges in March of 1998. Is this one of their big witnesses?

TRAFICANT: I have nothing to say bad about any family here. And understand why they're doing this.

HANNITY: But is that one of the...

TRAFICANT: The bottom line is...

HANNITY: ... big witnesses against you?

TRAFICANT: The bottom line is he recanted that confession. He was pressured on his deathbed that if he didn't agree to certain things, Army doctors were going to take him to a medical facility. He died two weeks later. Now the government is saying they're not going to use this tape as evidence. This has become a real fiasco, and it's part of the prosecutorial misconduct...

HANNITY: Well, if -- if this is a guy...

TRAFICANT: ... because they knew...

HANNITY: ... convicted of perjury...

TRAFICANT: Hear me. Hear me.

HANNITY: Yeah.

TRAFICANT: In the first trial, they said they found fifth-generation copies in a breadbox tape in Pittsburgh. This time, they have the fruit basket ploy, where they enter into the home of Charles Onesti, who's on his deathbed, turn off the tape. Before it's all over, they have some type of statement. They want him to sign an affidavit. His son says, "Look, if it's true, sign the affidavit. If it's not, don't sign the affidavit."

HANNITY: All right...

TRAFICANT: He didn't sign the affidavit. the bottom line is...

HANNITY: Right...

NELSON: Look, am I to practice necropsy? Am I to start communicating with the dead?

HANNITY: No, I...

TRAFICANT: This judge has gone out of her way...

HANNITY: I got to- but wait a minute. But if we're looking for beyond a reasonable doubt and creating that in the mind of a jury, I think the credibility of this man's certainly going to be shot, and there's no cross-examination possible.

TRAFICANT: Well...

HANNITY: Let me -- let me move on a second.

TRAFICANT: No, let me say this...

HANNITY: This is important. I want to get this out.

TRAFICANT: I have nothing bad to say about Chuck Onesti...

HANNITY: I understand.

TRAFICANT: ... and I understand what happened to him. He was on his deathbed. They wanted to take him and separate him from his family so he'd die somewhere in California in a medical facility. And under those circumstances, he'd have probably said anything. I like the family. Let them bring their case on. I am prepared to kick their ass! That's it!

COLMES: Congressman, the...

TRAFICANT: That's for the record.

COLMES: The Youngstown "Vindicator" and Cleveland "Plain Dealer" have said that they have investigators looking into whether you received illegal contributions, including a Corvette, work done on a barn owned by you by the Bucci brothers, who own a paving company in your district. And let me put up what the "Bulletin's Frontrunner" says on an FBI wiretap. It says, "A former Traficant aide is heard conspiring with a mobster to steer a million-dollar contract to the Bucci's company. Robert Bucci has since fled the country after allegedly transferring millions of dollars to an off-shore account in the Cayman Islands."

TRAFICANT: Let me tell you, I don't know what the Bucci brothers did. I already got an affidavit dealing with the Bucci brothers. I'm not concerned at all -- at all -- about that matter. Now, for me to talk about the specifics of this case is going to try and have this judge set a precedent to appoint some counsel. She's already putting pressure -- first the government wanted her to appoint counsel. Now they government's complaining that I'm getting some advice of my opinions from some lawyers. One young lawyer, who's planning to run for office, is being targeted already, who will be a witness in this case.

Look, here's the bottom line. The prosecution has a problem. The judge has now delayed the trial from Monday to Tuesday insofar as she has ruled on a speech and debate clause. By the nature of her ruling, she has, in fact, by judicial decree changed the Constitution as it relates to the separation of powers. This case is so awash with so many problems and machinations that they've got a real problem!

COLMES: Well...

TRAFICANT: Why does she change it from Monday to Tuesday? I am going to show up -- and here's what I'm telling you. They have what is called the "dream team." They're supposed to be the best in America! I'm just a son of a truck driver, but let me tell you what. They got a problem, and I'm making this statement to you here, Sean and Alan. When it's all over -- by the way, my finger went through a table saw. But anyway, it's still attached.

Here's what I want to say to you. They're going to go to jail. I am not afraid of them. Most of Congress is afraid of them. The judges are afraid of them. These bureaucrats are so powerful, people fear them. I'm afraid. I'm being honest. But I'm going to fight them if I die in that courtroom because I think the people in America run America, not these unelected bureaucrat bastards! And that's it! Right to the point!

HANNITY: Part two of that interview tomorrow night.

 

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