Episode 195: Joe Bushner – Congressman James Traficant, Bribery and Corruption

Retired agent Joseph Bushner served with the FBI for 22 years. During his Bureau career, he investigated major public corruption, organized crime and white collar matters, to include corporate fraud, health care fraud and financial institution fraud while working in the Youngstown Resident Agency (RA) out of the Cleveland Field Office and in the Philadelphia Division. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Joe Bushner reviews his investigation of Congressman James Traficant, indicted on 10 charges, including bribery, racketeering and tax evasion. This was the second time Traficant was charged with being corrupt. Although not a lawyer, Traficant, a colorful public official known for his outrageous behavior and  language, represented himself during both federal trials. The first trial, when he was a county Sheriff,  resulted in an acquittal. Joe Bushner’s case resulted in a conviction and an eight-year prison sentence.

Joe Bushner, a captain in the United States Marine Corps before joining the FBI, has trained and supervised agents and law enforcement partners in tactics and close quarter battle, to include active shooter response techniques and protocols. As a firearms and tactical instructor, Joe worked with local law enforcement partners to develop tactical response procedures to address the post-Columbine active shooter threat.  As a SWAT operator with the FBI Cleveland SWAT Team, Joe responded to the Case Western Reserve University active shooter event on May 9, 2003. Joe and his fellow SWAT operators cleared the Peter B. Lewis building of students and faculty and safely apprehended the assailant. Joe has provided numerous training sessions to businesses, schools and churches regarding the active shooter threat.

Before he retired from the FBI, Joe Bushner was an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) in the Philadelphia Division where he was directly responsible for well over 200 special agents and task force officers working organized crime, violent crimes against children, human trafficking, violent incident crime and drug and gang cases. Currently, he serves as the president of Entrust Advisors, LLC, a firm dedicated to excellence in active shooter and crisis management training, as well as investigations, cyber and physical security. You can learn more about Joe Bushner and his firm on his website at phillyinvestigators.com.

Special Agent (Retired)

Joseph Bushner

9/1997 – 12/ 2019









“His defense was that he was running a one man sting operation. So his whole thing was, ‘Yes, I was there, and I was talking about money. I was trying to root out corruption in Mahoning Valley.’” —Retired Agent Joe Bushner

The following are links to news articles about Congressman James Traficant:

Dayton Daily News – 4/12/2002:   Traficant Guilty of Taking Bribes;  Traficant Guilty – Cont.

CNN – 3-25-2013:  James Traficant Fast Facts

VIDEO – YouTube:  Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of James Traficant

The Washington Post – 9/27/2009:  James A. Traficant Jr., colorful Ohio congressman expelled by House, dies at 73

Although not a lawyer, Traficant represented himself during both federal trials.












Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

1 Comment

  1. Julia DiamondMarch 6, 2020

    The whole time I’m wondering, why hasn’t this guy got a presidential pardon? Oh, well, maybe a posthumous one…. I really enjoyed this episode. Cant wait for Bushner to come back and teach us some behavioural observations. Thanks!


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