Theft takes place in Washington, DC. Howard Knox is a well-intentioned Congressman crusading for reform. He is scheduled to make a speech in which he will expose the corrupt activities of an industrial magnate and his congressional stooges. The wealthy capitalist in question, Anthony Starkweather, along with his son-in-law and political puppet, Senator Thomas Chalmers, will do everything in their power to foil Knox's great speech and publicly disgrace him. To complicate matters, Margaret Chalmers, wife of Senator Chalmers and daughter of Starkweather, forms a friendship with Knox and begins to sympathize with his cause.