Sam Giancana was going to help John F. Kennedy against Nixon and so were Giancana’s buddy Frank Sinatra and practically all of Hollywood. Giancana said he was going to fix the election in Illinois so Kennedy would win that state. Jimmy couldn’t believe his ears. Jimmy tried to talk him out of it. Jimmy told him nobody could control Bobby because he was mental. Jimmy said people went to the old man during the McClellan Committee hearings and he couldn’t do anything about either one of his millionaire kids.
Giancana told Jimmy that Kennedy was going to help them get Castro out of Cuba so they could get their casinos back. Jimmy said that they were crazy to trust those Kennedy boys after what they did in the McClellan hearings.
Jimmy said Nixon was still going to beat Kennedy and Nixon would help them in Cuba.
Giancana said the whole thing happened in Cuba under Eisenhower and Nixon, so what good were the Republicans?
It was something to listen to this. It was only a couple of years after Apalachin let everybody know there was such a thing as this La Cosa Nostra. And here they were talking about whether the Chicago outfit should or should not fix a presidential election. Growing up wherever you grew up you knew the local elections were fixed. You knew the local Philly elections or whatever were fixed, but this was something, and this high-level talk was all going on right in front of me.
I knew how important Cuba was to my friends in the East and all their friends in the country. Russell had taken me with him to Cuba just when Castro was starting to kick everybody out and confiscate their casinos and racetracks and houses and bank accounts and everything else they owned in Cuba. I never saw Russell madder than on that trip to Cuba, and I wasn’t even on the last trip he made where he was even madder because his friend Santo Trafficante from Florida had been arrested by the Communists and was being held in jail. I heard a rumor that Sam Giancana had to send Jack Ruby to Cuba to spread some money around to get Santo out.
Later that same year John F. Kennedy was elected president by a thin margin. The first thing he did was appoint his brother attorney general of the United States. This put Bobby in charge of the Justice Department, all of the United States attorneys, and of the FBI and the FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover. And the first thing Bobby Kennedy did was turn against the very men who helped elect his brother. For the first time in American history an attorney general committed his office to the eradication of organized crime. Toward that end, Bobby Kennedy formed a squad of lawyers and investigators within the Justice Department, and he put in charge of that squad his old right-hand man during the McClellan Committee hearings, Walter Sheridan. Bobby Kennedy chose the members of the squad himself. He gave the squad a very limited job to do and gave the squad a very subtle name: “The Get Hoffa Squad.” Everything, and I mean everything, came as a result of that.
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