Tuesday, August 8, 2000
Congressman: Reno a traitor
Traficant accuses U.S. attorney general of high treason,
ties to organized crime
by Jon E. Dougherty
A U.S. congressman accused Attorney General Janet Reno of a
range of illegalities, sexual improprieties and ties to the mob
-- as well as treason -- on a national television news show
Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, who is currently under
investigation by the FBI for his own alleged ties to organized
crime, made the explosive charges on Fox News Channel's
Hannity and Colmes program Monday.
Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio
Accusing Reno of "treason" for her failure to appoint a special
counsel to look into charges that China stole reams of
sensitive nuclear weapons data from the United States,
Traficant said he has "sworn affidavits" from unidentified
sources claiming Reno has also had lesbian affairs, has
frequented call girls and has engaged in substance abuse.
The fiery Ohio congressman told viewers that sources close to
him "had videotaped evidence" of sexual improprieties as well
as the testimony "of five police officers" who have "stopped
Reno for substance abuse."
But Traficant was most adamant about his charges that Reno may
have committed acts of treason against the United States.
"I'm accusing the attorney general of treason," he proclaimed.
"She has set herself above the national security of this
nation, and I'm going to attempt to get all the information
out" to the general public.
Traficant, who himself is under investigation by the FBI for
alleged mob connections, denied that his charges were made to
deflect attention from himself.
"Do you want Janet Reno to sue you?" asked show host Alan Colmes
at one point.
"Go ahead, Ms. Reno, sue me," Traficant shot back. "Let's get
this into a trial. Let's get it all out in the open."
On the crucial issue of suspected Chinese theft of U.S. nuclear
weapons secrets, Traficant said the nation hasn't "had so much
as a high school debate on the issue."
When questioned about the veracity of the affidavits, Traficant
said he "didn't know" whether they were completely true or not,
but added they were "important enough" to examine.
He also said the "entire Justice Department" has become little
more than a vetting agency charged with concealing sensitive
and potentially damaging information about alleged illegalities
within the Clinton administration and, specifically, the
"I also want to know -- is Ms. Reno subject to blackmail over
this information, and does [President] Clinton have this
information?" Traficant said. "Did the FBI ever look into these
charges? What do they know?"
The Ohio congressman said he believed that because of the
charges he outlined and those contained in the affidavits he
claimed to have, Reno has failed to conduct serious
investigations into Chinese nuclear weapons theft, as well as a
range of other Clinton administration scandals.
"She's too compromised," he said, adding that she had been
"fast-tracked into her attorney general's position" to start
Traficant said Reno's alleged improprieties occurred while she
was a Dade County (Miami, Fla.) state prosecutor and municipal
"None of this is about Democrats and Republicans," Traficant
said. "It's about getting the truth to come out."
The Justice Department was not available for comment at press
Meanwhile, FBI investigators are examining Traficant's own
alleged ties to organized crime, something he says is
politically motivated and unfounded.
The investigation stems from alleged decades-old ties between
Traficant and mob figures from Youngstown, Ohio, where the
congressman was once a county sheriff who, the FBI said, was
elected with money donated from reputed organized crime
Traficant was arrested by the FBI in 1982, but at a trial in
which he defended himself, the soon-to-be U.S. congressman beat
the charges that he was tied to the mob, but later, in 1987,
was charged and convicted of tax fraud in a case connected with
the 1982 charges.
Other reputed mob figures with alleged ties to Traficant have
already been indicted by the FBI.
And, in an earlier appearance July 26 on Hannity and Colmes,
Traficant accused former Federal Bureau of Investigation
division chief Stanley Peterson of being on the payroll of the
mafia -- a charge he had previously made only in the House
chamber, where he was protected against being charged with
"I have irrefutable evidence that the FBI was on the payroll of
organized crime in my valley," he said. "And the FBI and the
Justice Department never investigated Stanley Peterson. Now, I
could be sued -- I'm on Hannity and Colmes. He (Peterson) was
the chief of the division of the FBI in Youngstown, on the
payroll of the mob, was appointed chief of police at the
direction of the mob. They never had an investigation, and
there are agents there right now who are on the payroll of the
mob, and the Justice Department did nothing about it."
Traficant has also said he expects "any day now" to be indicted
by the FBI, though no charges have yet been filed against him.
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