Quotes From Corruption Trial Of U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Quotes From Corruption Trial Of U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.

"Beam me up!" Traficant in his opening statement expressing his disbelief of the government's allegations.

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"You are, in fact, now, in my opinion, part of a RICO -- a continuing enterprise to in fact screw a targeted member of Congress," Traficant response to U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells refusing to dismiss the charges against him.

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"We were basically going to sue a congressman, or for $13,000, we were going to own him," contractor Anthony Bucci, testifying that he agreed to waive Traficant's $13,000 debt for construction work in exchange for the congressman's assistance in Washington.

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"I opened an envelope and said, 'Oh my God, look at this,'" Grace Yavorsky Kavulic, recounting the first time she received thousands in cash and a deposit slip for Traficant's personal bank account.

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"Why are we proceeding? I have to go to the bathroom!" Traficant complaining to the judge about an extended discussion of legal matters.

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"Put a sock in it," Prosecutor Craig Morford responding to Traficant allegation of witness intimidation by the FBI.

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"This is not a sandbox," Wells, interrupting an argument between Morford and Traficant.

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"I don't believe that any IRS agent is an expert ... They are thieves that prey upon the American people," Traficant said in objecting to expert testimony by an Internal Revenue Service agent.

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"They have the testicles of an ant," Traficant referring to the prosecution. Wells ordered him to sit down and then lectured him.

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"He can't use his public office as a trough to feed his personal appetite," Morford said during closing arguments.

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"I never do anything without a reason. The courtroom is a theater," Traficant explaining to reporters why he shouted at a witness.

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"My memory is fine. You are picking minutiae out of life," response of witness John J. Cafaro to his inability to answer Traficant questions about the color of a building where they met in November 1998, and the number of doors in the building.

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"I'm not taping you," Traficant said to a potential witness, from a transcript of a conversation he taped, then submitted as evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.

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"You're someone who is prone to coming up and giving someone a hug, and later on giving somebody a slap on the back," FBI Agent Joseph Bushner explaining to Traficant why the FBI decided not to ask any of his friends to wear a hidden microphone.

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"Did I ever hug you?" Traficant asked nearly every witness after Bushner's testimony.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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