Sunday, July 15, 2001

Records against congressman filed

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — Court documents filed in the bribery and racketeering case against U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. say the congressman pressured top government leaders including former Vice President Al Gore into helping people who did free work for him.

        Federal prosecutors filed more than 100 pages of documents Friday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

        Among them is a 1994 letter to Mr. Gore, which asks him to help a Youngstown company's venture in the Middle East.

        The letter was written on behalf of developer Bernard “Pete” Bucheit, whose company paid for a $26,000 addition to Mr. Traficant's horse farm in Poland, prosecutors say.

        Mr. Traficant was indicted on charges of bribery, tax evasion, obstruction of justice and racketeering. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denies any wrongdoing.

        Messages seeking comment left at Mr. Traficant's offices in Youngstown and Washington on Saturday were not returned. No phone number is listed for Mr. Bucheit.


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