Thursday, September 27, 2001

Prosecutor will remain on bribery case

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — A federal judge Wednesday rejected U.S. Rep. James Traficant's request to remove the lead prosecutor from the bribery case against him but left open the opportunity for Mr. Traficant to question the government's conduct at trial.

        Mr. Traficant, a Youngstown Democrat, has made several motions in the case alleging that the U.S. attorney's office bullied witnesses into saying they offered Mr. Traficant bribes in exchange for political favors.

        He asked for the removal of Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Morford, the lead prosecutor.

        Mr. Traficant is not a lawyer, but he is representing himself against 10 charges of bribery and racketeering.

        He faces trial Feb. 4 on charges that he accepted cash, meals and work on his farm in exchange for political favors.

        Mr. Traficant is serving his ninth two-year term and is up for re-election next year.


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