The Full Transcript From January 7, 1980
Published 9/29/2006 12:06:09 AM
Editor's Note: This is a transcript of the full Abscam investigation video of Congressman John Murtha's January 7, 1980 meeting with undercover FBI agents. The agents are posing as representatives of wealthy Arab sheiks willing to pay to obtain asylum in the United States. The times listed below follow the timestamp on the screen.
Warning: This transcript contains adult language.
[Initial entry, 09:04:54-09:06:02: Amoroso preps the video.]
VOICE OFF SCREEN: Go ahead, Tony.
AMOROSO: This is Special Agent Anthony Amoroso, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation. Today's date is January 7, 1980. Location: a townhouse, in Washington, D.C. In a short while, I am expecting a meeting between myself, Mel Weinberg, Howard Criden, and U.S. Congressman John Murtha. In front of me is $50,000 in five packets. Each packet contains $10,000 in $100 bills. I am placing this money in the desk drawer directly in front of me. This money will remain in such position until the termination of my meeting, which is to take place later on this morning.
[Clockwise around the room: FBI Agent Tony Amoroso undercover as "Tony DeVito," Philadelphia attorney Howard Criden, Congressman John P. Murtha, and Mel Weinberg, the "sting man."]
[11:44:00 - 11:51:27: Conversation about finding developments for his district, cheap hotel recommendations, and mining.]
AMOROSO [11:51:27]: Sounds like this would be a good way of, if we invest of helping you out in a position that we want you to take with us, by saying, "Hey, this is why I'm standing up for these people..."
AMOROSO: "Is that there's investment"
CRIDEN: That's exactly what we're talking about.
MURTHA: That's exactly what I have to have. In other words, I've gotta have a key to be able. I've been so involved in these things that I -- and I've talked to Howard in some length about this -- you've gotta have a key. And the key is, as long as it's in my district, I don't give a shit what extent we have to go to or what length, and everybody else feels the same way. So we gotta have something in the district...
[11:52:00 - 11:52:58 -- Explaining why the sheiks want out of their country and into the United States. Began their inquiry and then the Shah was overthrown. The Middle East blew up.]
AMOROSO [11:52:58]: So these fellas wanna get out. Okay? And they figure, as soon as the time is right, they're gonna have to get out. And I've explained to Howard that we're not gonna have, just to make you understand this, okay? Because I think if the case is different than what I say, then I think you have the option of doing a couple of things. And I'd like to just get into this whole thing. These guys are...there's not gonna be a hue and cry as there is with the Shah... that, uh, you know a fella on television waving an artificial leg...and the kid with no arms and what not...we're only talking about as far as I'm concerned and I'm told is that, these guys, the only problem they're gonna have is that people will probably yell and scream, "Hey they ran away with half the country's financial assets." You know, it's going to be a monetary thing. It's not going to be that, you know...
CRIDEN: They tortured anybody.
AMOROSO: They tortured anybody -- they committed atrocities...
MURTHA: You won't have any problem getting them in. You don't need anybody to get people like that in.
AMOROSO [11:54:12]: Well, I disagree with you. And that's, hey, that's why we're willing to pay. And this is the reason that, like I say, if this thing is any different than what I'm saying right now, okay, I think -- and...
MURTHA: How many people you talking about?
AMOROSO: We're talking about fifty thousand...fifty thousand is for one guy. Just for the one guy. Okay? The other guy, he'll be fifty thousand. Okay? That's what we're talking about. Now, if the thing is any different than what I state, I think, and you can hold me to it, you have the option of doing two things: one, either saying, "Hey, no good," okay, or, two, saying, "It's gonna cause all this kinda trouble, it's gotta cost more." Okay? Now that I think is a fair way of expressing this thing.
CRIDEN: That's [unintelligible] you're gonna have to see me about.
MURTHA: I honestly don't think you have any problem...I mean I'm going to lay it out to you.
AMOROSO: You're the man that's gonna have to introduce some kind of legislation to keep this guy in.
CRIDEN: You may not have to -- that you have to leave to us.
AMOROSO: Well, I have to know what he's gonna do, because I have to go back and tell these people.
MURTHA: I think, I think you're absolutely right... I think that in order to introduce legislation, you have to have a real tie to the district. One of the things is a lot of guys have gotten into a lot of trouble with is that type of thing. I haven't seen any problem with anybody coming into the country at all who's got money...the only guys having trouble coming into the country are the ones that don't have money.
And I'm going to be quite honest with you...I'm mean, you know, I've got as much influence in that goddamn Congress, with the leadership and the White House, as anyone in Congress.
AMOROSO: Well, that's what Howard told us...
MURTHA [11:56:07]: That's true, there's no question about it...and I haven't been here a long time but I know the right people and I know the system and I went to the ballgame with the president -- in other words there were three of us -- me, Tip [O'Neill, speaker of the House], and that's it -- so I've got as much influence, and I know as much about the goddamn workings as any -- you're not going to have any trouble. And there's no use me telling you are going to have any trouble -- and I'm not going to be flippant about the son of a bitch -- you're not going to have any trouble. Now, to introduce legislation would be the last thing that you'd want done -- in other words what should be done, and I mentioned this to Howard before, should look into this thing to see exactly what the circumstances are about the situation -- now that I know a little more about it I can tell you, in a week or so, I can tell you exactly what. I have a guy who has more influence in immigration than anybody in Congress. He and I are like that. [holds up his right hand with his fingers apparently crossed]. He can tell me in five minutes if there's gonna be a problem. If anything can be done, if anything can't be done....and, uh, I honestly don't think you got a problem, I honestly think that, uh....
WEINBERG: John, what we want we're buying insurance from this...this is what he thinks. He wants to know...
MURTHA: You can buy insurance if you want to. But I'm gonna tell you somethin'. To me, insurance is investing in my goddamn district... and doing this goddamn, you know this, this is, to me, a big goddamn insurance policy is doing business in my district. And I'm gonnna tell you something, there's an article in the [Philadelphia] Bulletin the other day, you might have seen it Howard, "Jack Murtha Deals in the District," and that's right. You know, and I want, I want this guy to spend money in my district. I want this connection in my goddamn district. I'm delighted to do business with him, and do every goddamn thing I can within bounds, you know, so I don't get myself in jail, in order to get him into the country and whatever needs to be done. But I've I gotta know uh...the details, and when I say the details I've got to know when he wants to come, I've got to know how many in the family, I've got to know, you know, a lot of goddamn things. Then I can check into it, I can tell you exactly if you're throwing your goddamn self away. Or you're...uh --
AMOROSO: [11:58:33] Well lemme, uh, uh, I'm gonna be blunt now. Lemme ask you. Are you telling me as far as you're concerned -- you don't want any money? On this thing? Or you just want it to be worked as far as...
MURTHA: That's right.
AMOROSO: ...about putting this thing into your district and that's all you want out of it?
MURTHA: I'll tell you exactly what I'd like. I'd like to be able to tell you that there's some places I'd like you to invest some money, in banks, on my district, uh and I'd say some, you know, some substantial deposits, you know...
AMOROSO: Well we just put a million dollars in one of the banks down in New Jersey, you know...
CRIDEN: I think we ought to do the original thing because we got some other commitments to some other people...
MURTHA: [11:59:16] Now, that's up to you.
AMOROSO: Well it's not up to me, I, I, I...
MURTHA: Let me tell you what I see. Howard, his deal with you guys, or two other guys [Thompson and Murphy], I'm dealing. I'll tell you how I feel about my part of it. My part is that you don't need to spend a goddamn cent on this thing. That's my feeling. Howard feels differently about it. These other two guys have as much influence with the administration and in Congress as anybody. There's no question about it. There's no question about these other two guys being long-term members, being chairmen of the right committees. They're the right people. But -- you gotta look at it realistically, you gotta know all the facts before you can do anything at all. Now, as I told Howard, I want to deal with you guys awhile before I made any transactions at all, period. In other words I want to say, "Look put some money in these guys," and I, just let me know, so I can say, you know, these guys are gonna do business in our district. Then there's a couple businesses that I'm not personally involved in but would be very helpful for the district, that I could make a big play of, be very helpful to me. After we've done some business, then I might change my mind. But right now, that's all I'm interested in. [12:00:40] Period. And I'm gonna tell you this. If anybody can do it... and I'm not bullshitting you fellas, I can get it done my way. There's no question about it. I can get it done. And the thing you gotta remember is, what happened to [South Korean agent Tongsun?] Park and those guys, you can't start going to people that you don't know, that don't level with you, that bullshit you, that don't look into it. For instance, I may tell you in a week after I look into it can't be done. It cannot be done. And I'll tell you. I won't bullshit you. When I make a deal, it's a goddamn deal. That's all there is to it. And, uh, you know, after it's done, you may tell me, well you've already done it, there's no reason for me to deal with ya. Howard tells me that you're not that kinda people, that, you uh, you know, that you deal, you know...
AMOROSO: I've never backed out of a deal. That's why when I said to go a little while ago, I said to you, and when I knew you were coming over and I assume that uh, I was going to give you the money and I told you if the deal had any variance from what I originally said I expect that you would have the option of saying, "Hey, that's not what the deal that you told me about" and that you had the option of saying, "Hey, forget about it," or "It's going to cost more," because that's what I tell these people, I said look, you give me the story and you tell me and if it's different let me know now because I'll have to tell these people and give them the option. So I feel I'm obligated to you to tell you...
MURTHA [cross-talk]: That's right. And I appreciate that.
AMOROSO: "Hey, this is the way it is," if it changes then you have the option to say, "hey, forget it" or "it's more money."
MURTHA: I'll deal through Howard...eh, uh...in this thing. And I'll be very straightforward about it. And you know the problem is I have a hard time, you know, when I start pressing these things not pressing harder than I should some times, and you know what I've got to know exactly what you guys have in mind. Exactly. In other words when, how many, when you say one does that mean one and a family?
WEINBERG: Just one. One sheik [mispronounced].
AMOROSO: Just a sheik [mispronounced]. That's all we were talking about, ok?
MURTHA: And I've gotta, I've gotta, you've gotta put his name, you've gotta give me his name so I can check and see if there are any political problems.
AMOROSO: That would have been the thing. We would have come up with the whole thing, everything, you know, that you need.
HOWARD [12:03:04]: You're not ready for that, are ya, at this time?
AMOROSO: No, we're not ready for that at this time.
MURTHA: When does this guy want to come?
WEINBERG: Well, actually he doesn't know himself.
AMOROSO: He doesn't know himself.
MURTHA: How old is he?
AMOROSO: This -- forty three.
MURTHA: Well, you know, I don't know enough about this.
WEINBERG: The situation changes day-to-day.
MURTHA: Listen, I, it's a volatile son of a bitch.
AMOROSO: What these guys are doing is they want to hedge their bets, they want to be in a position where all of a sudden if something goes wrong, they say hey, they call up and say, Tony --
MURTHA: Let's be honest about it. This poor son of a bitch could be killed tomorrow, and you know I could be in it, and forget about it and so forth. Or, but when I make a fuckin' deal I want to make sure that I know exactly what I'm doing and either I can do something for you or I cannot do something for you. And what I'm sayin' is, a few investments in my district, a few, you know, is big to me, to this guy apparently is not too big, to a couple banks there which would get their attention. And investment in a business where you could legitimately say to me -- when I say legitimately, I'm talking about so these bastards up here can't say to me, well, why, in eight years from now, that's possible, we'd never hear a thing for eight years, but all at once, ah, some dumb bastard would, ah, go start talking eight years from now, ah, about the whole thing and say, "Jesus Christ, ah, this happened," then he, then he, in order to get immunity so he doesn't go to jail, he starts talking and fingering people and then the son of a bitch all falls apart.
AMOROSO [12:04:43]: Right. Well that's why I like the idea of helping by investing within your district which gives you -- in other words if you were to stand up on the floor I guess and introduce a bill on the floor to keep this guy in this country, at least then you've gotta [unintelligible], and somebody says to you want this guy here, and you say well it's obvious I want this guy here because he put money in my district.
MURTHA [12:05:11]: Well you go one step farther. The people in the district would be very supportive of that. Because, you know, once this, we would go farther. We would make it known that this guy's putting money in the district and providing jobs, you see. We'll play this son of a bitch the whole way, you know once we see that -- if that's the way to play it. Now, I'm going to tell you honestly in a week -- I don't know that if it'll even take me a week -- how difficult this is. You know, I may be able to tell you today, I just happen to talk to this other fellow today. And uh, he may be able to tell me today whether this is possible at all or whether this is impossible. Now, introducing legislation is only legitimate if the guy's in your district. Because otherwise you've got a real problem. And, uh...
AMOROSO: Well that'd be no problem if he moved into your district.
MIURTHA: That's right.
AMOROSO: I mean, he could buy something there...you're talking about a residence of some sort...
MURTHA: No, I'm talking about a business commitment.
HOWARD: A business commitment.
AMOROSO: A business commitment.
MURTHA [12:06:07]: A business commitment that makes it imperative for me to help him. Just, let me tell you something. I'm sure if -- and there's a lot of things I've done up here, with environmental regulations, with all kinds of waivers of laws and regulations. If it weren't for being in the district, people would say... "Well that son of a bitch, I'm gonna tell you something....This guy is, uh, you know, on the take." Well once they say that, what happens? Then they start going around looking for the goddamn money. So I want to avoid that by having some tie to the district. That's all. That's the secret to the whole thing.
WEINBERG: You give us your banks where you want the money deposited.
MURTHA: How much money are we talking about?
AMOROSO: Well, you tell me, how many do you want?
MURTHA: Well let me find out what is a reasonable figure that will get their attention, because there's a couple of banks have really done me some favors in the past, that I'd like to put some money in. And one guy in particular, a savings bank, solid -- all three of them of course solid banks. Maybe I only want to go to one, I don't know, I have to think about this a little bit, and I'll get back to you with what I think would make an impression. You know I'm not gonna go out of hand, but I want to let these guys know that uh that I did it and that they'll be appreciative of it and it will be helpful to me.
AMOROSO: I understand, one hand washing the other. And you're trying to help them out. You just let me know. We're going to be here all week. And you think about it. Let me know --
MURTHA: Let me go back to the other thing. Let me go to the investment in the district. What are you talking about there as far as money goes? What kind of money do you have available to you to invest in the district?
AMOROSO: Well, I hate to just talk numbers, because the numbers -- I can talk astronomical numbers and -- see, you don't know me, so I give you a number, you might say, well, this guy's bullshitting me.
MURTHA: Tony, that's why I want to do business, before. You know I wanna do business. I want to see what the hell we're talking about. We're talking about -- he's [Criden] checked ya out, he says you're absolutely [unintelligible], he's given me some figures that... You know, we deal with billions of dollars -- and so when you're talking about millions...it really...but what I'm interested in is employment and investment that gives him a legitimate in. And, maybe, uh, maybe I'm selling this whole thing short, maybe it's going to be much more complicated than I think. I think there's no problem with all of this. I think with a tie to the district, that there's no problem at all getting this thing taken care of.
WEINBERG [12:08:41]: Let me ask you one other thing, congressman...and I don't mean to insult you...
WEINBERG: What guarantee do we got then, that you'll get him in?
MURTHA: Only my word, that's all. And, uh, you know I...I...I... hope that I made myself clear, that, you know, when I say I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna do it. That's all there is to it.
[12:09:02-12:12:45: Discussion of coal mines in Murtha's district.]
MURTHA [12:12:45]: How about me doin' this. Alright, first of all, let me check and see if your problem can be solved and see what I can suggest on how it can be solved and I'll get back to Howard about it. And I'll do that right away. You know I'll give you alternatives 'bout what I think can be done. Second of all...
AMOROSO: You can call, in fact you know what, you can call us right here, we'll be here all week, you'll get a number, you can call us direct...
MURTHA: The second thing is, uh...uh....the bank, uh....or the banks. Probably be two maybe at the most. The third is, I'll give you maybe a list of businesses that I think would be the appropriate businesses that would be very helpful to me if you could see your way clear any one of those... you know, that you might -- this then would make a tie, which we'd have to make a little bit of a fuss about, maybe the guy doesn't wanna do this, but you have to remember this, you have to look down the road -- public relations. Here's, maybe it's you two guys, I don't know, whoever it is somebody's going to have to take credit in addition to Jack Murtha, and it's got to be legitimate credit for saving this particular business whatever the hell that business happens to be.
AMOROSO: I don't think that's a problem. We can put someone in that position. We could maybe put Howard there, or somebody -- that's the technical end of it that can be worked out.
MURTHA [12:14:13]: The thing is, what I'm trying to do is establish the very thing that you talked about. That tie to the district, that's all I need, from then on -- I'm gonna be there 20 years in that goddamn Congress. I don't want to screw it up by some little goddamn thing along the way that, if I wanted to make a lot of money I would have been outside making a lot of money. And you, I know what I can do and what I can't do...I won't bullshit you, that's for sure....you got two good people, and I just want to know -- well, I know the facts.
AMOROSO: Well you know the facts now, and as the facts stand, I think you can get some kinda commitment or get some kinda evaluation.
MURTHA: I'll tell you exactly whether this can be done, and how long it would take. And that's what you want to know. What I can do, I can even tell you what I can do.
CRIDEN [12:15:15]: [Steps out of the room, apparently with Weinberg.]
AMOROSO: Let me ask you now we're here together. I was under the impression, okay, and I told Howard we were willing to pay. And, okay, [opens the drawer and shows money] I went out and got the fifty thousand. From what you're telling me, you're telling me that's not what, you know, that that's not what you...
MURTHA: I'm not interested.
MURTHA: At this point.
MURTHA: You know, we do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested, maybe I won't, you know.
AMOROSO: Okay, hey like I say, if the way you're wanting to do business is by us investing, or putting some money in a bank that you either owe a favor or they owe you a favor, or if we put the money in they'll do something for you, if that's the way you want the favor, that's fine. Okay? What I told Howard, when I mentioned it to Howard, I said to him, "Look, it's worth fifty thousand." I said, if, as honest as I am with you, and I told him I says, "If...the thing were to change, if for some reason it changes, whoever the guy is has got the option, either he says, 'Hey, that's not what you told me, based on that, I can't do anything for you,' or..."
MURTHA: I wouldn't do business any other way.
AMOROSO: Or, like I said, the guy could say, "Hey, for that kind of a thing, or that kinda heat I'm gonna get, you gotta give me a bigger figure." And I can understand.
MURTHA [12:16:50]: See, here's the problem now, Tony, if you get into heat with politicians there's no amount of money that can help. This is -- and I'm gonna tell you very frankly, I'm on the Ethics Committee and I see it. I see the thing falling apart. The thing that worried me the most is going through one, two, three, four people. No matter what they think it is, and I know how they fall apart, and you do too, you know how the son of a bitch falls apart... and I know also that, you know, after a while you learn whether you can do business or not...and, uh, right now what I'm interested in, let me put it this way, right now I'm interested in those other things. Now I'm not saying that some day -- you've made an offer. It may be that I'll change my mind some day...at this point, that's all I'm interested in.
AMOROSO [12:17:42]: Hey, listen, if that's what you want, that's fine. Okay, because, let me say this...I can take, we just did it for somebody else in South Jersey, I went in and put a million dollars -- I think eight hundred thousand in a CD and I got two hundred thousand dollars in --
MURTHA: Let me ask you a question. In small bank, whose assets may be sixty million, what's a good figure that gets their attention?
AMOROSO: Oh, I think a million dollars...
MURTHA: That gets their attention...in other words If I called the president and said to him -- and this guy, I've been in business myself, loaned me a lot of money – really been good to me, I mean good to me, and you think, uh this guy, little bank, any goddamn thing ever wanted, whatever [snaps his fingers]...they were there. I've always wanted to do him a favor -- you know it's that kind of a goddamn thing. And this is just almost aside from getting the people working in the district.
[knock on the door] AMOROSO: For every dollar... yeah?
WEINBERG [off screen]: Criden wants to see you a sec.
AMOROSO: For every dollar invested, okay, into a bank, they've got the borrowing power of four. [12:18:50: Amoroso stands up and walks out. Weinberg rejoins the conversation. Amoroso and Criden now out of the room.]
MURTHA: That's interesting.
WEINBERG: Well that's why they want the money.
MURTHA: Yeah, well you see that's -- what's your name?
MURTHAT: Mel, that's why, lemme tell you something, that's why they've got the money. And that's why I'm... that would be a real favor to them, as I told Tony, I think we can do business in this regard completely...
WEINBERG: You know how the Arabs do business, they like to make sure they've got insurance. Money don't mean shit to them.
MURTHA: Mel, I understand, and I know it doesn't mean shit to them. But on the other hand, as I look into this thing, it may be that that's the only way I can do business, by being completely dependent on... you know, I need the goddamn money like anybody else does. But, you know, this thing may be so sticky that I know that I know that it's gonna take a lot of goddamn work, and if it's going to take work, the only thing that can justify it is...is that goddamn investment in my district.
WEINBERG: I was a little upset that you knew about the other two congressmen. He just told me, I didn't get any news -- Murphy and Thompson...
MURTHA: You see that again I don't like, though. Because you see when you -- you just -- that's why I want to do business this way, after we've done business for a while...maybe I'll...
WEINBERG: I didn't know that, see, I was surprised that uh -- I just pulled him out for that, he shouldn't have done that -- but he says you're a friend of Murphy and Thompson.
MURTHA: Yea that's right, a friend of both of them. And both of them are solid. And you don't have to worry about them, let me tell you, those two guys.
WEINBERG: Murphy's a hell of a guy, I like Murphy.
MURTHA: Murphy's a great guy, he'll do anything -- he's got more balls -- but you gotta know what a guy can do and what a guy can't do. And in this case, Murphy, Murphy, you've got the right guy, no question. In the Congress you couldn't have three better guys. No what you don't wanna do is reach too far, Mel --
WEINBERG: We're not reaching --
MURTHA: Because you get involved with too many goddamn guys and I tell ya -- listen to me...
WEINBERG: Let me put your mind at ease. Thompson was a fella and Murphy was a...they said there was another fella coming. That's it, we're leaving it in their hands...
MURTHA: And don't let these fuckin names float around...don't let it fucking float around between here, and here and the other countries...
WEINBERG: You don't have to worry about our end...
MURTHA: Now that I'm talking about, Mel, is these, these, they're watch these bastards all the time anyway, you know these guys come and they watch who they meet with and so forth --
WEINBERG: That's why I called him out, because I was upset that he did mention you know, but he said they are your close friends and they're the ones that recommended you.
MURTHA: Well that's right. [Congressman] Frank [Thompson] came to me and talked to me about it and the first time I met Howard today, I know his law partner very well. But uh, I know -- I know, see, the one thing is in this thing, we can do this probably, but I've got to be completely to the point where I can disclaim anything and that's why I'm so careful about making any deals, and I know what you're saying -- you got fifty thousand -- that doesn't mean nothing to those goddamn Arabs, I know that, but that's not the point. The point is I've got to be able to pursue this maybe farther then they can, these other two guys. And if I want to do that, I've gotta have, first of all, business in the district, and second of all...
WEINBERG: That we'll take care of. I think Murphy and Thompson vouched for us, we're stand-up guys. We're more nervous than you, 'cause remember, we work for these people we're making damn good salaries and we don't want to blow our job either...
MURTHA [12:22:38]: Well, Mel, lemme tell you something. You came to the right guys in order to get it done. And I think the way I'd handle it, you know, Murphy, and the other guy, they got, all three [Murtha, Murphy, and Thompson] of us got things we can each do. Each of us got different responsibility in a different area. But I want to do business with you. I mean I want to get the goddamn jobs in the area, you know, a few bank deposits in my area. Nothing I'd like better. Later on, after we've dealt a while, we might change our mind -- we might want to do more business. But right now, I think I can do more this way than any other way. I think I can do more by being completely independent, if you understand what I mean. And listen, it's hard for me, shit it's hard for me to say, just the hell with it. But I think this is the way I can do the best, the most good.
WEINBERG: Get them squared away there.
MURTHA: Now, these other guys are expecting, no question about it, they're expecting some, uh...
WEINBERG [12:23:45]: Well that's no problem as long as you tell Tony. You wanna go one-on-one with Tony, that's up to you.
MURTHA: Well I'm just telling you, they're expecting...
WEINBERG: Why don't you tell, lemme get Tony in here, you tell him that, alright? And tell him what you want to take from them. That's all.
MURTHA: Well I am not gonna get involved. Let Howard handle that part of it. Howard is your intermediary. And now if you guys don't trust Howard...you know that's...that's...
WEINBERG: Well Tony's in charge, I'm their financial advisor... I'm the guy that [inaudible]...Like I say, let me tell you somethin' 'bout Tony. Tony is a great guy. You explain to him, I'll stay out with Howie...
MURTHA: Let me put it this way, these other two guys [Thompson and Murphy] said to me, they said they were making a deal that was this, this, and this. And I said, fellas, and I tried to explain to Howard this morning, I said, Howard I'm just not interested in dealing that way until I've had some, some dealings... I wanna do some, they won't be interested, they wanna...
WEINBERG: I don't blame you for being nervous.
MURTHA: I'm telling you, Howard -- it's not even a matter of being nervous. If I want to get it done, I can't pursue it the same way, because in politics... it's too easy to -- as long as you've got nothing to worry about -- you can go forward, you can make speeches on the floor and anything else...then afterwards it's a different story.
WEINBERG: John, let me explain it to you. I get Tony in here. You sit down, explain what they are expecting, you know what they're expecting and get it worked out. Tony is an easy guy, he's a great guy and we'll stay out -- because too many people in here...what you do one-on-one is hearsay.
MURTHA: Eh, let me tell ya, do it they other way around... Howard --
WEINBERG: Well I think Tony -- let me put it to you this way. We trust Howard, alright? We know Howard likes to make money, alright?
MURTHA: It's business. That makes sense, right? That's his business...
WEINBERG: Well we've got, let Tony -- look, one thing we don't lie to them, we work with them, we're honest with them, alright, and we don't want to get caught in a lousy goddamn thing that we get in trouble. Alright? 'Cause like I said we make good money with them, we don't want to blow our job, something stupid. You explain to Tony, one on one, we'll stay one. One on one's hearsay.
MURTHA: Well, I'm not acting for that, you see...
WEINBERG: You explain to Tony and get it straightened out and...
MURTHA: [12:26:07] All I'll tell Tony, Mel, is that, as Howard explained it to Toppy, when I was there is what...
WEINBERG: Who's Toppy?
MURTHA: That's Thompson. That's what I assumed that he understood from the whole thing. But whatever you guys work out with them [Thompson and Murphy] is entirely... what I'm saying, my deal is one thing. And you've heard my deal. My deal is the jobs and the other thing and of course having some tie to the district. That's my deal. And whatever you guys work out with them, that's your deal.
WEINBERG: You explain to Tony. Like I said, we'll stay out of the room. I think that's best. This way just the two of you knows. Hearsay. Let's be a little cautious, alright? Better be cautious than sorry.
MURTHA: Yep, that's true, that's right.
[12:27:00-12:28:38: More talk on mines.]
MURTHA: Oh, that guy's [Murphy] got balls. He's got balls. Let me tell you something. He's got more balls than anyone guy in Congress...doesn't give a shit.
WEINBERG: You gotta admire him for it though.
MURTHA: Listen, I admire him, and he gets things done too. Let me tell you something -- he gets up and talks for Somoza, people that are unpopular, he went to school with Somoza at West Point, so he doesn't give a shit. And I have it a little different. He doesn't expect to be in leadership, I have to be more careful. That's what it amounts to. I expect to be in the fucking leadership of the House. And you have anything said against you then you've got a problem. So you've got to be able to justify it. And I'm just avoiding having any problems, what it amounts to. And I'm delighted to do business with you. Shit I do business like this all the time to get companies into the area to get business into the area. Nobody's quite as generous as you guys have been, but, ah, I understand it.
WEINBERG: Well congressman, the Arabs realize that it's going to be over for them there and they don't wanna have what happened to the Shah.
MURTHA: And I'm gonna tell you, you know it would scare this shit out of me if I had all that money and didn't have any place to go or had to go to some second-rate place like Panama -- a goddamn island off Panama -- can you imagine the Shah with all his money had to go to Panama?
WEINBERG: He had the wrong team behind him -- [inaudible]
MURTHA: Yep. Yep. That's right.
WEINBERG: And he's not even safe there.
MURTHA: That's right. Some son of a bitch is liable to drop in and try to shoot him.
WEINBERG: They'll bleed him dry before he's finished there.
MURTHA: That's right. Well I've got to get back.
WEINBERG: Let me get Tony, yea? [12:30:29, Weinberg walks out. Tape stops temporarily.]
[12:32:50, Tape begins again. Amoroso and Weinberg are already in the room. Criden and Murtha walk in.]
CRIDEN: John says that it is okay for you to give me what's in that drawer.
MURTHA: Is that all right, Tony, let me make it very clear. The other two guys [Thompson and Murphy] do expect to be taken care of, as Howard. And you're gonna have to deal through Howard. Me, you've got my deal. You know, so that's, that's, my deal is, is...
CRIDEN: We have a deal.
AMOROSO: Wait a minute, hold it, you know...I'm giving you...
CRIDEN: You're giving... [points with both hands to himself].
AMOROSO: ...I'm giving you [points to Murtha]...see he's, you know, we're going round and around about this whole thing --
CRIDEN: You're giving me, and I'm going to do what's right with everybody...
AMOROSO: No, I don't....this is, uh...now I understand this has just come out between all these little conversations that...uh, Thompson --
CRIDEN: Two other guys. Right. You don't have to mention anything.
AMOROSO: Why not?
CRIDEN: We know who they are. He knows who they are...Jack and the other fella that you just mentioned.
AMOROSO: Yea, alright.
AMOROSO: Alright, why am I giving the money to...
CRIDEN: You're not, you're not. You're doing, you're... That's -- I don't know that that's really important to you -- as long as he's [pointing to Murtha]...
AMOROSO: Yes, it is, it is, because I'm supposed to be, I'm here to do business with him.
CRIDEN: You are...you have made an arrangement.
AMOROSO: Not with them...
CRIDEN: You have made an arrangement. But they have been instrumental in an introduction.
AMOROSO: They have been instrumental in an introduction? Howard, I don't like this.
CRIDEN: Okay. Then forget it.
AMOROSO: Okay. I don't like this.
[Murtha stands up, buttons his coat]
AMOROSO: I think -- I'll tell you what you do.
MURTHA: We're going home.
AMOROSO: I know that.
MURTHA: You deal with Howard. Howard you do what you want to do. I'd be glad to look into -- to...
AMOROSO: You give me the names of the banks that you want this thing put into. That's what you want.
MURTHA: I told you my deal...and I...these other two guys...uh...and I told you before I don't think you're going to have any problem taking care of your situation...
CRIDEN: Alright. Okay. I respect your position...in that you told me what you wanted me to do for you, okay. You give me the names, and I'll, in order to prove that I can do what I say I can do. You give me the names of the banks, okay, and tell me what kind of figure you're talking about putting in there, then let me put the money in there, then we'll talk.
MURTHA: What we'll talk about though is getting jobs for the district, and okay, fair enough...
AMOROSO: Okay, that's no problem...like you said you've got that fella who is in Chapter Thirteen [bankruptcy]. Alright? Let me know what it would take to get him outta that.
[Murtha sits back down.]
MURTHA [12:35:37]: Well, what I'll give you is a number of companies that could provide jobs that will give me a link to the district.
AMOROSO: Fine, let's work on that basis. Howard, if you want to come back later --
CRIDEN: Okay. Let me just stay one minute. What time do you have to leave?
[Murtha stands up.]
MURTHA: I'm ready...anytime....
WEINBERG: Let me ask you a question. If you gotta get Murphy and Thompson, alright, and Murphy comes in...
AMOROSO: That's what I told him...
CRIDEN: I told him, I told Tony, that if you raise that subject with Murphy, okay, he is going to deny, he don't want to get involved in the situation. You're going to blow the whole shipping situation over this crappy piece of shit, okay. Now my problem is that they both know that I brought him out to the house and they both know what the situation has been in the past, okay? It's going to look as if somebody...
AMOROSO: It's not gonna look that way. You tell Thompson exactly what happened...
CRIDEN: I'm gonna tell him, but he ain't going to believe me.
AMOROSO: He will because he did the same damn thing. You ask him to call me. I'll be here all week.
CRIDEN: That ain't going to help, he ain't gonna call you.
AMOROSO: Why not? He came back a second time, didn't he?
CRIDEN: I understand. What's your reluctance, Tony?
AMOROSO [12:37:00]: Because I don't wanna give...I'm not gonna throw twenty-five grand a piece for them.
CRIDEN: You're not. He's going to get his [gesturing toward where Murtha exited].
AMOROSO: He's not telling me that.
CRIDEN: He ain't gonna say that to you.
AMOROSO: Howard, the case is over. You decide now what you want to do because I don't like the way this is going.
CRIDEN: What did we do wrong?
AMOROSO: What did we do wrong? I had a man here that you said was gonna come in here, he wanted the fifty thousand, he was gonna tell me what he was gonna do, he was gonna take the fifty thousand.
CRIDEN: The man told you that.
AMOROSO: No, he told me he didn't want the 50,000. He told me he wanted two favors, okay? I says, okay, fine.
CRIDEN: No wait a minute. We went through this before. You understand how -- now, Thompson was gun shy...
AMOROSO: He came back and told me.
AMOROSO: He told me, he got it, and left. Anything happen?
CRIDEN: No. No.
AMOROSO: Okay. I rest my case.
CRIDEN [12:37:44]: But wait a minute. You're not trying to tell me that he doesn't know about the money because you already mentioned it to him three times. So that if he takes it he knows that I ain't gonna keep it--
AMOROSO: Hey, Howard, do me favor. Let's... you go ahead and tell Thompson what I said, and Murphy. Alright and as far as you're concerned, Thursday, when you come back with Murphy, I'll take care of you as far as this is concerned. I don't know if you're gonna have a problem with them as far as what they were supposed to get. You let them tell me! You let them say, I'll tell them.
MURTHA: Let's go, Howard!
CRIDEN: Okay, John. [Walks off screen]. Let's go. Bruce. Let's go, pal. How long you going to be here? [yelling back into the office]
AMOROSO: A week! [Lights a cigar.]