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Sat May 12, 2018, 09:15 AM

 

Remember ABSCAM? Seven members of Congress bagged in one FBI operation

There was a comment a while back asking if the speech and debate clause of the Constitution prohibited the criminal investigation of members of Congress for activities involving their official activities.

The speech and debate clause provides that members of Congress:

...shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their attendance at the Session of their Respective Houses, and in going to and from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

For those that missed it, ABSCAM was a pretty ballsy sting operation originally set up by the FBI to investigate official corruption connected with the Atlantic City casino business, but expanded into some amazing fictional scenarios set up to offer bribes to members of Congress. They had people pose as front men for a fake company that was claimed to be owned by wealthy Saudi Arabians.

If you don't remember it, or weren't around at the time, take a look at how they brought these guys down:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscam#Convictions

Richard Kelly's appeal was something of an amusement:

In 1982 the conviction of Richard Kelly was overturned on the grounds of entrapment. Kelly, the sole Republican, said that he was only pretending to be involved with the bribery from Abdul Enterprises. He claimed that he was conducting his own operation dealing with corruption and that the FBI was ruining his own investigation. However, an appeals court upheld the conviction and Kelly served 13 months in prison.

What was hilarious about the "entrapment" claim was that it boiled down to saying, "Well of course if you offer a bribe to a Congressman, he'll take it!"

Watch how NBC broke the story:



The videos of the meetings were great stuff too.

This guy thinks he's going to outwit the FBI:







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Reply Remember ABSCAM? Seven members of Congress bagged in one FBI operation (Original post)
jberryhill May 2018 OP
malthaussen May 2018 #1
jberryhill May 2018 #2
malthaussen May 2018 #4
jberryhill May 2018 #5
malthaussen May 2018 #6
John1956PA May 2018 #3

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2018, 09:56 AM

1. Yes, I remember ABSCAM...

... wow, that goes back a few years.

I sometimes wonder if the various Trump investigations are not ramifying like the Incredible Blob, or spreading like an epidemic. More and more stuff is coming to the surface. I thought when Mr Trump decided to run that he should consider what would happen when he was placed under a 24/7 microscope. (Or proctoscope, as Mr Nixon had it) He apparently just thought of how much he wanted more attention.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #1)

Sat May 12, 2018, 10:01 AM

2. This is gold

 


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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Sat May 12, 2018, 10:09 AM

4. But remember, he wriggled out...

... guy's got an airport named after him now.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #4)

Sat May 12, 2018, 10:12 AM

5. Well, he was trying to get money for businesses in his district

 

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Sat May 12, 2018, 10:15 AM

6. Yep, that's what they said.

Hey, he's an Eagle scout. No impropriety here.

-- Mal

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2018, 10:04 AM

3. One congressman took the $. When arrested, he said he had done so to conduct his own investigation.

That congressman must have been Kelly as referred to in your OP.

At a subsequent press conference, a reporter asked him if he planned on mounting an insanity defense. The congressman replied (apparently snarkily) that such a defense might be a good idea.

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