Sanitizing Mel Weinberg and the Horrors of Abscam

A thirty year-old scandal is suddenly new again, as a film is currently being produced in Hollywood about Abscam, the FBI sting operation that resulted in one senator and six members of the House of Representatives being convicted of bribery and conspiracy. A key figure in both the scandal and the proposed film is Mel Weinberg, with the apparent intent of portraying him as a likable conman. Back in 2006, I was the person who uncovered the 1980 John Murtha Abscam videotape. At the time, John Murtha (D-PA) was attempting to become House Majority leader, and after the release of the video, he was defeated in a landslide by Steny Hoyer (D-MD). It took me six weeks of pursuing leads until I was given the name of someone who likely had a copy of the tape: Mel Weinberg. After tracking down Weinberg the following week, he immediately agreed to make the Murtha tape public, and I hoped he was doing it for the right reasons. During the 1970's, Weinberg was both an FBI informant and con...(Read Full Article)