Blunt-spoken Rep. Michael O. Myers (D-Penn) reportedly told undercover Abscam agents that cash-on-the-line was the best way of doing business in official Washington, and he offered to introduce them to other members of Congress who felt the same way.
Several sources who have viewed videotapes of the hour-long meeting between the Philadelphia congressman and FBI agents posing as representatives of a mythical sheik seeking asylum in the United States have provided Newsday with details of the conversations. The meeting at which $50,000 allegedly was passed took place last August in a hotel room near John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
According to these sources, Myers, who was indicted along with three others by a federal grand jury Tuesday, peppered his conversation with boasts of his ability to get things done in Washington. He warned the agents that they needed someone influential in Congress to help the sheik find a haven in the United States because the sheik would be a controversial figure.
And he promised to introduce a bill to keep the sheik here, after the bill was introduced, Myers said, he would use committee hearings to delay opposition until it disappeared.
The voluble Myers, sources said, claimed that he controlled the votes of the three other members of Congress from Philadelphia and two other congressmen from southeastern Pennsylvania for a bloc of six. He said he could deliver several other members of Congress to do business with the Abscam agents and confided that he could produce officials from the Department of State to help keep the sheik in the United States.
The sources said undercover FBI agent Anthony Amoroso then told Myers that the sheik was willing to spend plenty of money to get what he wanted.
Myers reportedly replied: "Tony . . . let me say this to you. You're going about this the right way . . . I'm going to tell you something real simple and short. Money talks in this business and bull -- walks. And it works the same way down in Washington."