September 2nd, 2009
11:51 AM ET
7 years ago

Traficant released from prison

ROCHESTER, Minnesota (CNN) - Former Rep. James Traficant was released from federal prison Wednesday.

CNN affiliates KTTC and KAAL report that Traficant - sporting knee socks, shorts and a t-shirt, with his hair pulled back in a ponytail - left the Federal Medical Center prison facility in Rochester, Minnesota Wednesday morning in a cab.

Despite earlier reports that the nine-term Democratic congressman was headed for the local Greyhound station, the morning bus headed for his hometown area of Youngstown, Ohio left without him on board, and his name did not appear on the manifest.

Traficant served just over seven years in federal prison for charges that included obstruction of justice, tax evasion and bribery.

–CNN All Platform Journalist Chris Welch contributed to this story

(updated 12:30 pm with new information)

Filed under: James Traficant • Popular Posts
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. BrianMEMPHIS

    Why doesn't CNN put "Democrat" in the headline...we'll heck we all already know the answer to that.

    I say the Big O should appoint him to the admin. After living on the Government dole for these past years, he should be in a good position to advise the Prez to continue working towards the enslavement of America.

    September 2, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Ron In California

    If they would prosecute al the crooks in Congress, the chamber would be empty. By the way Congressman Jefferson of Louisana can take his spot. Traricante left the light on for him...

    September 2, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. dittohead using forty names

    Lets hope he learned something,and gets a new toupe while hes at it.There are only a few rightwing paid street teamers on here that use a ton of names to try and make us think their numbers are many than there really are,most of them need serious mental help in my opinion.

    September 2, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. RJ

    Mr Traficant...Mr Spitzer on line 1....he says he needs a campaign manager

    September 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. steve from canton

    Canton is too close to Youngstown. Please keep him in Minnesota for a while longer...OK?

    September 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Charles W. Skinner


    I yield back the balance of my time to Hewey, Dewey and Louie, the only three ethical businessmen in cartoons.

    September 2, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Wade

    "Traficat was one of the worst Republicans this country has seen"

    He is a Democrat, not a Republican.

    September 2, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. randy california

    I thought bribery, tax evasion, and obstruction were the job requirements for a politician. No matter what party they claim to represent.

    September 2, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. SocialReality

    Just wait until UBS turns over the names of swiss bank account holders to the IRS and they go public. You will see most of the names in congress on that list!!!

    September 2, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. randy

    That sucks he is leaving all of his democratic congressman and voters behind. He must be sad. Makes room for Rangle.

    September 2, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Nathan,

    Let's hope he learned how to do something with that hair of his. Before he went to prison his hair looked like a cheap toupee.

    September 2, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. MonRob

    Obama ...will give him a job.

    September 2, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. MT

    I bet he still gets his retirement and benefits. Where as you or I would have forfeited ours and/or had to pay our own legal fees.

    Everything seems to work out in the end for politicians while we tax payers just GET it our end

    September 2, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. dennis

    I live in Youngstown, Ohio. I'm not fan of Mr. Traficant, however, the man did his time – without special perks or cushy accommodations.

    I respect that.

    Like Huey Long, he did a lot of good before he did a lot of bad.

    September 2, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. John, Brooklyn, New York

    As a former Ohioan, I can testify that, despite his corruption, he was an extremely popular Congressman....even after the charges came to light. Don't be surprised if the good people of Youngstown decide to send him back to Washington!

    September 2, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Independent in NYC

    Good he got caught and went to jail. Now can we lock up some Bush administration officials, and that include Bush and Chenney if the evidence warrants.

    September 2, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Farrell in Houston

    Whether one is a Democrat or Republican, if you commit crime then you should do the time, no politician should be above the law and it's time to prove that to Bush/Cheney.

    September 2, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |

    Hey look, anothe DEMOCRATIC TAX CHEAT, He is on his way to work for Obama.

    September 2, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. TM in CO

    Oh look. Now there is room for Dick Cheney and good 'ole GW

    September 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. GOPers are complete LOSERS

    I bet he's a cheat and lier just like Palin, Sanford, Chenney and all the other losers cronies who work in the GOP party of no ideas and no solution accept deceiving the American public and making up false stories.

    September 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. panem et circenses, but CNN won't post

    Our next "Federal Ethics Czar" is ready for duty...

    September 2, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. a progressive liberal and proud of it

    Of course all of the Righties are jumping on the "ha-ha-neener-neener, Democrats" bandwagon about this. Yeah, he's a crook, yeah, he was/is a Democrat and yeah, he served his time.

    Any of you Righties who are dumb enough to believe that a Republican can't or hasn't or won't in the future be just a crooked are just plain . . . . well, dumb. There are crooks on both sides of the aisle folks . . . let's try not to forget that while we're sticking our tongues out at the other side!

    September 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. rdh

    Just because Traficant was a Democrat does not mean he was liberal. In fact anyone who has payed attention to his record would know that he voted with the Republicans more than the Democrats once the Republicans took control after the '94 election. The Democrats even stripped him of seniority and his committee seats before his conviction. Basically he was one of the last Democrats that was more conservative than a lot of Republicans, he just never switched parties because he knew he would never win an election as a republican.

    September 2, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Dave

    I am a conservative Republican and hope he gets elected back into Congress – he was entertaining to say the least and we need some levity in our elected leaders and he sure provided it

    September 2, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. fred

    Prison for tax evasion........................uh oh Tim Geithner.

    September 2, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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