American Hustle, FBI sheiks and how Chris Smith got to Congress

The upcoming Hollywood movie American Hustle delves into the seedy side of politics, which, yes, means that it’s set in – of all places – New Jersey.

Set for release on Dec. 20th, the film features a dramatization of events around the FBI’s ABSCAM sting operation in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which ultimately toppled U.S. Senator Harrison A. Williams (D-NJ) on bribery charges.

U.S. Rep. Frank Thompson (D-NJ) was another political casualty, framed by an FBI agent posing as an Arab sheik.

The scandal-mangled Thompson lost his 1980 re-election bid to Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, the sitting dean of New Jersey’s Congressional Delegation.

American Hustle, FBI sheiks and how Chris Smith got to Congress