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.[Beginning, 11:44:00][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..."CRIDEN: Exactly.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?
MOROSO: 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 here 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.
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