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Democrat, New York (1969-1988)
The Honorable Mario Biaggi was sentenced to two-and-a-half years and fined $500,000 for accepting an illegal gratuity and obstructing justice in 1987.
But Biaggi denied any wrongdoing. "I haven't fallen. I've been smitten, but I haven't fallen. I don't believe in my heart I've done anything wrong." (Click here for other examples of "Lyin' Through Their Teeth").
Biaggi had accepted free vacations from former Brooklyn Democratic leader Mead Esposito in exchange for using his influence to help a ship-repair company that was a major client of Esposito's insurance agency.
The House Ethics Committee recommended that Biaggi be expelled--the most severe of penalties.
Then Biaggi was found guilty for a second time in one year of federal corruption charges, this time of 15 of 16 counts, in the Wedtech scandal. Sobbing and protesting his innocence, Biaggi was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for extorting payoffs from Wedtech Corporation.
On August 5, 1988, Biaggi surrendered his seat in Congress, denying he ever took a bribe, "not a single penny, trip, gift, or stock has ever been given in my name."
Sources: Howard Kurtz, "Rep. Biaggi Gets 2-1/2 Year Prison Term," Washington Post, Nov. 6, 1987, A1; George Lardner, Jr., "Biaggi Gets Eight-Year Sentence," Washington Post, Nov. 19, 1988.