|During 36 years on Capitol Hill, Rep. John Murtha was repeatedly listed among the most corrupt members of Congress by watchdog groups such as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). In 2009, CREW cited Murtha's ties to a lobbying firm and a defense contractor under Federal investigation, his ties to defense executives and former military personnel convicted of stealing from government contracts, his actions to benefit his brother's lobbying clients, and threats by his Chief of Staff to a political opponent.|
In 1980, John Murtha was videotaped by FBI agents posing as wealthy Arabs in a corruption sting operation. Although he turned down a cash offer, Murtha indicated that he was open to selling political favors in the future, saying "We do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested and maybe I won't." The FBI prepared to prosecute Murtha under Federal law, but he was named an "unindicted coconspirator" and given immunity after he agreed to testify against two of his fellow House members.
Murtha repeatedly lied about the extent of his involvement in Abscam to the media and to his colleagues. In late 2006, the full videotape of his dealings with the FBI's fictitious Arabs was made public for the first time, a revelation that kept Murtha from becoming the House Majority Leader, despite the backing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
[See "Abscam: the Untold Story" in the left sidebar for many more details]
At the time of his death in February 2010, Murtha was the target of yet another criminal investigation by the FBI, regarding a kickback scheme in which earmarked funds were steered to phony defense contractors and nonprofits to benefit Murtha's associates.