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Unpublished Paper
American Hustle: Abscam, Entrapment and The Senate Expulsion Trial of Harrison Williams
ExpressO (2014)
  • Henry P Biggs, PhD, Washington University in St Louis
Abstract

American Hustle: Abscam, Entrapment and The Senate Expulsion Trial of Harrison Williams

The recent success of the film American Hustle has renewed curiosity in the events surrounding the Abscam scandal and its subsequent trials. This article begins by detailing the Abscam proposition as well as its players, moving on to address the contours of the defense of entrapment those accused frequently invoked. The article then focuses on the analyses of specific Abscam cases that claimed this defense. Finally, the article considers the specific case of Harrison Williams, a senator from New Jersey and the highest official ensnared in Abscam, documenting both his trials in the courts as well as in the Senate. The article finds that Williams’ best opportunity to avoid expulsion was through a more focused commitment to the principle of the separation of powers, an argument he would only passingly avail himself of.

Keywords
  • Abscam,
  • Entrapment,
  • Criminal Law,
  • Politics,
  • Harrison Williams,
  • Expulsion,
  • Censure
Publication Date
January 1, 2014
Citation Information
Henry P Biggs. "American Hustle: Abscam, Entrapment and The Senate Expulsion Trial of Harrison Williams" ExpressO (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/henry_biggs/8/