Congressman Traficant found guilty of bribery and corruption
Thursday, April 11, 2002
A jury in a Federal District Court in Ohio found Congressman James Traficant (OHIO CD 17) guilty of bribery and other corruption charges on Thursday 11 April 2002. The conviction has no effect on Traficant's ability to continue to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, though a number of Democrats in the House, including Party Floor Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Missouri), have called on the flamboyant maverick to resign. Sentencing is scheduled for 27 June.
Traficant's Congressional District was "mapped out" in the recent redistricting required by reapportionment per the 2000 Census (Ohio having lost a seat in the House through reapportionment). Congressman Traficant apparently still intends to run for re-election as an Independent candidate in Ohio's new CD 17. He could be facing Democrat incumbent Congressman Tom Sawyer in the 2002 General Election this 5 November.
House Rule XXIII: Code of Official Conduct
A Member, Delegate or Resident Commissioner who has been convicted by a court of record for the commission of a crime for which a sentence of two or more years' imprisonment may be imposed should [our emphasis] refrain from participation in the business of each committee of which he is a member and should [our emphasis] refrain from voting on any question at a meeting of the House, or of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, unless or until judicial or executive proceedings result in reinstatement of the presumption of his innocence or until he is reelected to the House after the date of such conviction.
The Green Papers Note: House Rule XXIII, Section 10 seems to to be, at best, advisory since it uses should as opposed to must. "A Member ... who has been convicted ... should refrain from participation ... in ... each committee and should refrain from voting ... ".