Transcript: Traficant on Hannity & Colmes

This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, July 29, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY AND COLMES, I'm Sean Hannity. Last week, Ohio Congressman James Traficant was expelled from Congress, but not without a fight as we carried here on HANNITY AND COLMES. Now he says that he may run for reelection even if he goes for jail, and he said he may ran for president.

He joins us now. Mr. Traficant, how are you, sir. I guess you never liked it when I called you "Congressman" anyway.

JAMES TRAFICANT, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: No, I never did, Sean. And I want you to know that I'm doing this show for you, because I made this commitment to you.

HANNITY: Thank you.

TRAFICANT: And I turned down an awful lot of shows today to do that.

HANNITY: I know you have.

TRAFICANT: But you have a great show, I'm open to any question you have. And don't get me mad or I'll come to New York and grab you both.

HANNITY: Well, Alan is off tonight, so you have Susan to take on here. She's the Democrat; I'm the Republican. I think we on this program did an investigation last week, and we had two people from your trial. One was a juror, and I'm going to run the tape a little bit later to get you to respond, but just to let you know, one was a juror who based on information that was gotten from your hearings now feels he would not have convicted, but would have had reasonable doubt, and another is a guy that says that

the government tried to get him to lie against you.

For those reasons, I think those matters need to be resolved before you were kicked out of Congress.

TRAFICANT: Sean, I think the Congress of the United States had only one choice. They could only act on the evidence that was presented to them, and the evidence was clearly all against me. I was hardly allowed to bring any evidence to the trial in Cleveland or to Washington.

I think the Congress of the United States should demand an investigation into prosecutorial misconduct, as evidenced by your comments.

HANNITY: They are not going to do that. They're glad to get rid of you. You were never liked there. You are never going to be liked there. To help you out, that's not going to happen.

TRAFICANT: You know, I'm just a regular guy. I'm the son of a truck driver. I'm not a three-piece suit type guy, and I just say what's on my mind.

And I heard you talking about Democrats and Republicans. And I would just like to give you just about 30 seconds of my mind. The Democrats were in power for 50 years. I'm a Democrat, and my father would roll over in his grave, but the truth of the matter is, the Democrats gave us all these laws that screwed the country up. The Republicans are trying to reform them, and I think they are doing a damn decent job.

HANNITY: You don't really use a weed whacker on your hair, by the way, do you, like you said the other day?

TRAFICANT: Yes, I do. And I think...

HANNITY: You wear bell bottoms?

TRAFICANT: ... my wife beats me in my sleep, too, quite frankly.

HANNITY: That was a funny line the other night. Let me ask you one other question. Ted Kennedy, Chappaquiddick, you have other congressmen having sex with underage pages...

TRAFICANT: That's rape.

HANNITY: They are still in Congress, some of them.

TRAFICANT: That was rape.

ESTRICH: Congressman, why you?

TRAFICANT: And they were not expelled.

Number one, I'm the only American in the history of the United States to beat the Justice Department in the RICO case pro se. Number two, I exonerated John Demjanjuk, Ivan the Terrible, and he wasn't guilty. The Israeli Supreme Court taught us all a lesson in justice when they released him on a plane, and I literally brought him back. And a lot of the Jewish communities hated me and called me an anti-Semite, and in fact, did target me. And I think I've been the unfair target of these dynamics.

But I think most importantly, I investigated the connection between the local FBI and the Youngstown mob and found that they were on the payroll of each other, very similar to Boston. And boy, they just hate my guts. I hate their guts. And the IRS and the FBI can go to hell. And that's the way it is.

ESTRICH: But you were convicted this time, Congressman. I've watched your career over the years, and you know, you're not part of the gang and you're not the three-piece suit crowd. And the last time they went after you, a jury of your peers in your community refused to convict you. But this time they did. Why?

TRAFICANT: It wasn't a jury of my peers. You're right. The first jury was a jury of my peers. This time, they excluded all the jurors from this part of the state, and I was tried by a jury from another part of the state, which is part of the appeal.

But one of the things that bothers me is the only little bit of evidence that came out that Sean Hannity had alluded to was in Washington, and since then one juror says that he believes he would not have found me guilty. Another one who was released shortly before the trial ended because he had a family member died, felt I was innocent even before the closing arguments.

Let me tell you something. I was tried, prosecuted and convicted by a judge, and you were just talking about connections between Enron and powerful politicians, Lieberman, et cetera. Keep this in mind: The judge's husband is an attorney. In his law firm, took fees from the main witness in my trial. So this is one of the most convoluted, unbelievable cases in American history, and before it's over, it might surprise a lot of people.

ESTRICH: You're taking an appeal now, yes?

TRAFICANT: Well, number one, they're going to sentence me tomorrow, and I think she'll sentence me to jail, because they are afraid of my big mouth -- and 90 percent of the respondents after the Washington hearing support me, by the way. Second of all, they just had a poll here recently, and with the 10-count conviction I'm leading the second contender in the poll, two to one.

So even behind bars, I may be the first American in history to be elected to Congress. Wouldn't that be interesting.

HANNITY: Do they've bell bottoms in jail? You said you were bell bottoms. Do they have those in there?

TRAFICANT: Well, they'd have to be bell bottoms, but they'll be pinstripes. You know I'm a fashion leader. What am I going to do?

HANNITY: You've got a great sense of humor. We'll say that. We're going to talk about a serious question about are you ready for jail and some other matters, as we continue with Congressman James Traficant. He should get his sentence tomorrow.

And also, I have a little announcement about something that's good, and it's coming up later in the program. It's about yours truly, and I'll tell you about it straight ahead.


ESTRICH: Welcome back to HANNITY AND COLMES. I'm Susan Estrich, filling in for Alan Colmes. We're continuing now our conversation with James Traficant, the former congressman.

Congressman, it was the Democrats who tried to push you out yesterday.

TRAFICANT: Don't call me names. Don't call me names. Yes, I think the Republicans wanted to extend it for a month, and the Democrats killed that. And the Republicans, I think, sincerely wanted to look into the prosecutorial misconduct that Mr. Detour (ph) really was pressured by the

prosecutor. And I think before this is over, Susan, a new TV diva alongside of Sean Hannity, I think you're going to see a prosecutorial misconduct investigation into the activities in Cleveland, since we've now

discovered a few more affidavits and other people willing to come forward and pressured to lie.

ESTRICH: What are you going to say to the judge tomorrow?

TRAFICANT: I'm not going to say much. She doesn't like me. I'm not crazy about her. I expect to go to jail. But you know what? Too many Americans fear their government. Let me tell you what fear does. When people start to fear their government, that's dangerous, Susan, because people who fear their government learn to hate their government. And we better be very careful, and Congress better start to take the country back.

We have an aristocratic judiciary that's only concerned about the FBI and the IRS, because that's the only people they really can investigate them. They say Congress impeaches, but Congress doesn't investigate. So we've got the tail wagging the dog. This is a mess.

HANNITY: Congressman, tomorrow you may very well, if prosecutors get their way, you're going to be in jail for a long period of time. I've got to be honest. As somebody who has interviewed you a lot over the years...


HANNITY: No, I'm certainly serious here. I feel badly for you.

TRAFICANT: Hear me. If I were guilty of these crimes, I'd throw myself at the mercy of the court. I am prepared to go to jail for the rest of my life because I did not intend to, nor did I commit a crime. And I'm going to tell you something. The trouble with America today is we're afraid to stand up. We're afraid of our government. We're afraid of getting a letter from the IRS. I think it's time to tell them to go to hell and stand up.

And Jim Traficant, just the son of a truck driver, Sean, but you know what? Send me to jail. I'm prepared to go to jail. I'm not afraid to go to jail, and I'm proud. And there is a lot of Americans who have been to jail. A lot of Americans. Look at Salvatti (ph): 30 years and the FBI knew he was not the killer. They should be put in the electric chair for what they did to Salvatti (ph). Think about it.

HANNITY: All right, we've got to take another quick break.

TRAFICANT: Don't be taking so many breaks. I'm getting fed up with all this money you're making on my back. You and this new diva.

ESTRICH: I'm not making it.

TRAFICANT: You get a pretty face and you start making money.

ESTRICH: He's going to make more.

HANNITY: We have also a little announcement about me and -- we'll tell you about it when we get back. Final moments with James Traficant and our big announcement. And remember, you can log on to and become a Fox fan.


ESTRICH: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Susan Estrich, sitting in for Alan Colmes.

Congressman, it turns out that both Sean and I are big fans of yours. I think you've been treated a little unfairly as a blue-collar guy. We want to give you 30 seconds, that's all we've got left, take 30 seconds and say something to your fans here.

TRAFICANT: I want you to vote for me while I'm in jail. But here's what I heard. I can't see and I'm being beamed up, and I heard that, Susan, you had a low-cut red dress on and you're a beautiful blonde, and Sean Hannity is hitting on you.

HANNITY: I'm happily married, brother, not me. And she's a Democrat. I only date Republicans.

TRAFICANT: Now, listen, you little Democrat, don't be hitting on me either. I want the people to vote for me while I'm in jail and send a message to Washington that we're going to send the congressman down that's going to be more effective than 90 percent of those three-piece suits, while he is sitting with bell bottom pinstripes in jail.

HANNITY: Congressman, good luck tomorrow.

ESTRICH: Good luck tomorrow.

TRAFICANT: Thank you, Sean. Thank you, Susan. Thanks for interviewing me.

ESTRICH: All right. I've got something very exciting.

HANNITY: You got the announcement? All right.

ESTRICH: Well, anybody who needs some fabulous reading material.

HANNITY: That's right.

ESTRICH: Look at this. Can everybody close in on this?

HANNITY: There it is.

ESTRICH: There it is.

HANNITY: That's my first book. It has -- it comes out in bookstores in three weeks. It's called "Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism." And people can get it at, now if they want and preorder it, but it's out in three weeks. And I lay out the case why conservatives have had and have today a superior agenda as it relates on intelligence, the military, immigration, school choice, moral issues of the day -- you disagree.

ESTRICH: I may not agree with it, but you look awfully nice on the cover.

HANNITY: That's nice. Thank you.

ESTRICH: And there are some great quotes on the back. Listen: "Sean Hannity writes with a vigor and clarity that inspires. To start this one, you'll soon be turning the pages like mad."

HANNITY: Rush Limbaugh.

ESTRICH: Who's he?

HANNITY: He's a good friend.

ESTRICH: Anyway, congratulations. Last time I was here we talked about you working on a book, and you've worked unbelievably hard.


ESTRICH: And writing a book (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a great triumph.

HANNITY: Well, this is the first copy. It actually came out today, and we got it.

ESTRICH: It's so exciting.

HANNITY: And it's very, very exciting.

ESTRICH: Congratulations.

HANNITY: Thank you.

ESTRICH: I think it's going to be -- what did you get, on Amazon today, you're already what, number 28?

HANNITY: I just heard we were like 28 on So...

ESTRICH: In one day?

HANNITY: In one day.

ESTRICH: Why don't liberals buy books?

HANNITY: It would be empty in the middle. There's nothing worth oh, I'm kidding.

ESTRICH: Congratulations. It's wonderful.

HANNITY: Thank you. So excited.

ESTRICH: It's a great triumph.

HANNITY: I'm going to get Susan a copy. But anyway, you can get it at Amazon if you want, and stay tuned for the Hannitizing of American book tour, which is coming up, but it will be on bookstore shelves in three weeks.

And that's all the time we have left this evening. But of course, we still have time to give you the answer to the HANNITY & COLMES question of the day. "How many coal miners have died on the job over the past century in the United States?" The answer, more than 100,000. Very sad.

We're glad about what happened over the weekend, and we wish the families of these nine miners all the best.

Remember for all news all day, please stay with the Fox News Channel. This is the network America trusts for fair and balanced news. Stay tuned. Greta is there in Pennsylvania tonight. That's all coming up next. We'll be back tomorrow night. More lively debate. More HANNITY & COLMES.

Thanks for being with us. See you tomorrow.


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