List of federal political scandals in the United States

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This article provides a list of political scandals of the United States, sorted from most recent date to least recent.

Contents

Scope and organization of political scandals[edit]

The article is organized by presidential terms and then divided into scandals of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. Members of both parties are listed under the term of the president in office at the time the scandal took place.

Scandals; There is no hard and fast rule defining scandals. Scandal is defined as "loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety." In politics scandal should be kept separate from 'controversy,' (which implies two differing points of view) and 'unpopularity.' Many decisions are controversial, many decisions are unpopular—that alone does not make them scandals.

A good rule of thumb is whether or not an action is, or appears to be, illegal. Since everyone, particularly a politician, is expected to be a law abiding citizen, breaking the law is, by definition, a scandal. Misunderstandings, breaches of ethics, unproven crimes or cover-ups may or may not result in scandals depending on who is bringing the charges, the amount of publicity garnered, and the seriousness of the crime, if any. The finding of a court with jurisdiction is the sole method used to determine a violation of law.

There is no hard line to distinguish major scandals from minor scandals, but rather scandals tend to be defined by the public itself and the media's desire to feed that particular frenzy. Thus, small but salacious scandals, such as Larry Craig's (Republican from Idaho) arrest for lewd behavior can eclipse more serious scandals such as suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus in time of war.

What is also not so clear, is how far down the ladder of obscurity a scandal should go. During the Truman (D) administration, 196 local IRS staffers were found to be corrupt, but they were so far removed from Washington, Truman or any of his appointees, that it could hardly be called a 'Truman scandal.'

Also not included in this article are pervasive systemic scandals, such as the role of money in normal politics, which purchases access and influence. Neither are 'revolving door' stories, which is the practice of hiring government officials to promote or lobby for companies they were recently paid to regulate. Though some rules now apply, to a great extent this is legal in the United States.

Politicians are those who make their living primarily in politics, their staffs and appointees. By definition, political scandals should involve politicians and not private citizens. Private citizens should be included only when they are closely linked to elected or appointed politicians such as party officials. Kenneth Lay of Enron is a good example of such a citizen. This list also does not include crimes that occur outside the politician's tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office.

To keep the article a manageable size, Senators and Congressmen who are rebuked, admonished, condemned, suspended, found in contempt, found to have acted improperly, used poor judgement or were reprimanded by Congress are not included unless the scandal is exceptional or leads to expulsion.

At the bottom of the article are links to related articles which deal with politicians who are actually convicted of crimes, as well as differentiating between federal, state and local scandals and two separate articles are devoted to sex crimes and scandals.

Federal government scandals[edit]

2009–present Barack Obama Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  1. Joseph H. Grant, commissioner of the IRS Tax-exempt and Government entities division, resigned on May 16.[13]
  2. Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Office of Exempt Organizations, stated she had not done anything wrong and then took the Fifth before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.[14] She retired after an internal investigation found that she neglected her duties and was going to call for her ouster.[15]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Rick Renzi (R-AZ) on June 12, 2013 was found guilty of 17 counts against him, which included wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators.[16]
  • Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) was arrested on December 23, 2012 and later pled guilty to drinking and driving in a Virginia court. The court fined him 250 dollars. He was sentenced to 180 days in prison, but served no time.[17][18][19]
  • Trey Radel (R-FL) was arrested on October 29, 2013 in Washington, D.C. for possession of cocaine after purchasing the drug from an undercover law enforcement officer. As a first time offender, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor in a Washington, D.C. court, and was sentenced to one year probation and fined $250. Radel took a leave of absence from office to undergo substance abuse treatment following his conviction. Following treatment, he initially returned to office with the intent of finishing his term, but eventually resigned on January 27, 2014.[20][21][22]
  • Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pled guilty to one felony count of fraud for using $750,000 of campaign money to buy personal items such as stuffed animals, elk heads and fur capes. His wife, Sandi Jackson, who is a Chicago City Alderman, pled guilty to filing false income tax statements at the same time.[23]
  • Laura Richardson (D-CA) was found guilty on seven counts of violating US House rules by improperly using her staff to campaign for her, destroying the evidence and tampering with witness testimony. The House Ethics Committee ordered Richardson to pay a fine of $10,000. (2012)[24][25]
  • John Ensign (R-NV) resigned his Senate seat on May 3, 2011, just before the Senate Ethics Committee could examine possible fiscal violations in connection with his extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton. (2011)[26][27][28][29] (see Federal sex scandals) In May 2012, aide Doug Hampton (R) in what became the John Ensign scandal reached a plea deal with prosecutors, the details of which have not yet been released.[30]
  • Michael Grimm (R-NY) has been indicted for campaign finance violations. He has not been proven guilty. [31]
  • Annette Bosworth (R) was arrested and charged by the Attorney General of SD with six counts of perjury and six counts of filing false documents related to election campaign laws. The arrest warrant was served a day after Bosworth lost the Republican primary for the US Senate with just 6 percent of the vote. [32]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • G. Thomas Porteous Federal Judge for Eastern Louisiana was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of bribery and perjury in March 2010. He was convicted by the US Senate and removed from office. He had been appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton. (2010)[33][34][35]
  • Samuel B. Kent Federal District Judge of Galveston, Texas, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by Republican George H. W. Bush in 1990. (2009)[36][37]

2001–2009 George W. Bush Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  1. Maj. Gen. George Weightman, was fired for failures linked to the scandal.(2007) [39]
  2. Maj. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley resigned for failures linked to the scandal.[40]
  • PRISM (surveillance program) was signed into law on Sept. 11, 2007, by President George W. Bush after he signed the Protect America Act allowing the National Security Agency to start a massive domestic surveillance program known as PRISM on Sept. 11, 2007.[41] “I put that program in place to protect the country”, he said.[42]
  • Felipe Sixto was appointed by President George W. Bush to be his Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs as well as Duty Director at the Office of Public Liaison. He resigned a few weeks later on March 20, 2008 because of his misuse of grant money from the U.S. Agency for International Development when he had worked for the Center for a Free Cuba.[43] He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing almost $600,000 for personal use.[44]
  • Timothy Goeglein, Special Assistant to President Bush resigned when it was discovered that more than 20 of his columns had been plagiarized from an Indiana newspaper. (2008)[45]
  • Scott Bloch was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the United States Office of Special Counsel. On April 27, 2010 Bloch pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of Congress for "willfully and unlawfully withholding pertinent information from a House committee investigating his decision to have several government computers wiped ...."[46] On February 2, Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson ruled that Bloch faces a mandatory sentence of at least one month in prison.[47][48]
  1. Michael A. Battle Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys in the Justice Department.[61]
  2. Bradley Schlozman Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys who replaced Battle[62]
  3. Michael Elston Chief of Staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty[63]
  4. Paul McNulty Deputy Attorney General to William Mercer[64]
  5. William W. Mercer Associate Attorney General to Alberto Gonzales[65]
  6. Kyle Sampson Chief of Staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales[61]
  7. Alberto Gonzales Attorney General of the United States[66]
  8. Monica Goodling Liaison between President Bush and the Justice Department[67]
  9. Joshua Bolten Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush was found in Contempt of Congress[68]
  10. Sara M. Taylor Aide to Presidential Advisor Karl Rove[69]
  11. Karl Rove Advisor to President Bush[70]
  12. Harriet Miers Legal Counsel to President Bush, was found in Contempt of Congress[68]
  • Bush White House e-mail controversy – During the Lawyergate investigation it was discovered that the Bush administration used Republican National Committee (RNC) web servers for millions of emails which were then destroyed, lost or deleted in possible violation of the Presidential Records Act and the Hatch Act. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Andrew Card, Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings all used RNC webservers for the majority of their emails. Of 88 officials investigated, 51 showed no emails at all.[71] As many as 5 million e-mails requested by Congressional investigators were therefore unavailable, lost, or deleted.[72]
  • Lurita Alexis Doan Resigned as head of the General Services Administration. She was under scrutiny for conflict of interest and violations of the Hatch Act.[73] Among other things she asked GSA employees how they could "help Republican candidates".[74]
  • John Korsmo chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board pled guilty to lying to congress and sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation and fined $5,000. (2005)[75]
  • Darleen A. Druyun was Principal Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force nominated by George W. Bush.[76] She pled guilty to inflating the price of contracts to favor her future employer, Boeing. In October 2004, she was sentenced to nine months in jail for corruption, fined $5,000, given three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service. She began her prison term on January 5, 2005.[77] CBS News called it "the biggest Pentagon scandal in 20 years" and said that she pleaded guilty to a felony.[78]
  • Philip Cooney Bush appointee to chair the Council on Environmental Quality was accused of editing government climate reports to emphasize doubts about global warming.[79] Two days later, Cooney announced his resignation[80] and later conceded his role in altering reports. Stating "My sole loyalty was to the President and advancing the policies of his administration," .[81][82]
  • Jack Abramoff Scandal in which the prominent lobbyist with close ties to Republican administration officials and legislators offered bribes as part of his lobbying efforts. Abramoff was sentenced to 4 years in prison.[83][84] See Legislative scandals.
  1. David Safavian GSA (General Services Administration) Chief of Staff,[85] found guilty of blocking justice and lying,[86] and sentenced to 18 months[87]
  2. Roger Stillwell Staff in the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush (R). Pleaded guilty and received two years suspended sentence. [39]
  3. Susan B. Ralston Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned October 6, 2006, after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff.[88]
  4. J. Steven Griles former Deputy to the Secretary of the Interior pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 10 months.[89]
  5. Italia Federici staff to the Secretary of the Interior, and President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, pled guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to four years probation.[90][91][92]
  6. Jared Carpenter Vice-President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, was discovered during the Abramoff investigation and pled guilty to income tax evasion. He got 45 days, plus 4 years probation.[93]
  7. Mark Zachares staff in the Department of Labor, bribed by Abramoff, guilty of conspiracy to defraud.[84]
  8. Robert E. Coughlin Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division of the Justice Department pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. (2008)[94]
  1. suspend sections of the ABM Treaty without informing Congress[118]
  2. bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allowing warrentless wiretapping of US Citizens within the United States by the National Security Agency.[118]
  3. state that the First Amendment and Fourth Amendments and the Takings Clause do not apply to the president in time of war as defined in the USA PATRIOT Act[118]
  4. allow Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (torture) because provisions of the War Crimes Act, the Third Geneva Convention, and the Torture convention do not apply.[118]
Many of his memos have since been repudiated and reversed.[118][119] Later review by the Justice Department reported that Yoo and Jay Bybee used "poor judgement" in the memos, but no charges were filed.[120]
  • Carl Truscott Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms appointed in 2004 but was soon under investigation for his management style and allegations of lavish spending and misuse of resources, including requiring a large number of agents as personal security, allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars of expensive upgrades to the ATF HQ building, adding a new garage to his house, detailing 20 agents to help with his nephew’s high school project and other examples of poor financial judgment. Truscott resigned as the ATF Director on August 4, 2006. [121][122]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • James W. Treffinger (R-NJ) the US senatorial candidate pled guilty in 2003 to corruption and fraud as Chief Executive of Essex County and ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution and serve 13 months in jail. [123]
  • Ted Stevens Senator (R-AK) was convicted of seven counts of bribery and tax evasion October 27, 2008. He then lost re-election. Newly appointed US Attorney General Eric Holder dismissed the charges "in the interest of justice" stating that the Justice Department had illegally withheld evidence from defense counsel.[124]
  • Charles Rangel (D-NY) failed to report $75,000 income from the rental of his villa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and was forced to pay $11,000 in back taxes.(September 2008)[125]
  • Rick Renzi (R-AZ) Announced he would not seek another term.[126]* He was later sentenced to three years in prison after conviction on federal corruption charges of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering and racketeering related to a 2005 money-laundering scheme that netted the Flagstaff Republican more than $700,000. (2005) [127]
  • Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned on September 29, 2006 after sending sexually explicit messages to former Congressional pages.[128]
  • Frank Ballance (D-NC) admitted to a federal charge of money laundering and mail fraud in October 2005 and sentenced to 4 years in prison.[129]
  • Tom DeLay (R-TX) and House Majority Leader served from 1985 to 2006 when he resigned his position to undergo trial for conspiring to launder corporate money into political donations and money laundering during the 2002 elections. On November 24, 2010, DeLay was found guilty[130] and was sentenced to three years in prison and 10 years' probation respectively. [131] On September 19, 2013, the conviction was overturned.[132]
  • Jack Abramoff Scandal, (R) lobbyist found guilty of conspiracy, tax evasion and corruption of public officials in three different courts in a wide ranging investigation. Currently serving 70 months and fined $24.7 million.[133] See Scandals, Executive Branch. The following were also implicated:
  1. Tom DeLay (R-TX) The House Majority Leader was reprimanded twice by the House Ethics Committee and his aides indicted (2004–2005); eventually DeLay himself was investigated in October 2005 in connection with the Abramoff scandal, but not indicted. DeLay resigned from the House 9 June 2006.[134] Delay was found to have illegally channeled funds from Americans for a Republican Majority to Republican state legislator campaigns. He was convicted of two counts of money laundering and conspiracy in 2010.[135]
  2. Michael Scanlon (R) former staff to Tom DeLay: working for Abramoff, pled guilty to bribery.[83][84]
  3. Tony Rudy (R) former staff to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.[84]
  4. James W. Ellis executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering.[136]
  5. John Colyandro executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering[136]
  6. Bob Ney (R-OH) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements as a result of his receiving trips from Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors. Ney received 30 months in prison.[84][137]
  7. Neil Volz former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in 2006 charges stemming from his work for Bob Ney. In 2007 he was sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $2,000.[138]
  8. William Heaton, former chief of staff for Bob Ney (R), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge involving a golf trip to Scotland, expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping Abramoff's clients.[139]
  9. John Albaugh, former chief of staff to Ernest Istook (R-OK), pled guilty to accepting bribes connected to the Federal Highway Bill. Istook was not charged. (2008)[140]
  10. James Hirni, former staff to Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), was charged with wire fraud for giving a staffer for Don Young (R) of Alaska a bribe in exchange for amendments to the Federal Highway Bill. (2008)[141]
  11. Kevin A. Ring (R) former staff to John Doolittle (R-CA) was convicted of five charges of corruption.[142][143]
  • John Doolittle (R-CA) both he and his wife were under investigation (January 2008). Under this cloud, Doolittle decided not to run for re-election in November 2008. The Justice Department announced in June 2010 they had terminated the investigation and found no wrongdoing.[144]
  • Randy Cunningham (R-CA) pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005, to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in what came to be called the Cunningham scandal. Sentenced to over eight years.[145]
  • Kyle Foggo Executive director of the CIA was convicted of honest services fraud in the awarding of a government contract and sentenced to 37 months in the federal prison at Pine Knot, Kentucky. On September 29, 2008, Foggo pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment, admitting that while CIA executive director he acted to steer a CIA contract to the firm of his lifelong friend, Brent R. Wilkes.[95]
  • Tan Nguyen (R-CA) congressional candidate for the 47th District was convicted of voter intimidation. He lost the election and was sentenced to one year in prison and six months in a halfway house. (2006)[146]
  • Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) struck a U.S. Capitol Police officer in the chest after he attempted to stop her from going around a security checkpoint. McKinney apologized on the floor of the House and no charges were filed (March 29, 2006)[147]
  • William J. Jefferson (D-LA) in August 2005 the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from Jefferson's home freezer. He was re-elected anyway, but lost in 2008. Jefferson was convicted of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years on November 13, 2009, and his chief of staff Brett Pfeffer was sentenced to 84 months in a related case.[148][149]
  • Bill Janklow (R-SD) convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years (2003)[150]
  • Robert Torricelli Senator (D-NJ) after 14 years in the House and one term in the Senate, Torricelli declined to run again when accused of taking illegal contributions from Korean businessman David Chang. (2002)[151]
  • Jim Traficant (D-OH) found guilty on 10 felony counts of financial corruption, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison and expelled from the House (2002)[152]

1993–2001 Bill Clinton Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Ronald Blackley, Chief of Staff to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, was sentenced to 27 months for perjury. Secretary Espy was found innocent on all counts.[153]
  • Bill Clinton President (D) Impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying under oath about sexual relations with intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate and remained in office for the rest of his term. Clinton subsequently was cited for contempt of court and agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license (1998).[154] On October 1, 2001, Bill Clinton was barred from practicing law before the Supreme Court of the United States (2001)[155]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Barbara-Rose Collins (D-MI) found to have committed 11 violations of law and house rules stemming from use of campaign funds for personal use.[156]
  • Wes Cooley (R-OR), Cooley was convicted of having lied on the 1994 voter information pamphlet about his service in the Army. He was fined and sentenced to two years probation (1997)[157]
  • Austin Murphy (D-PA) convicted of engaging in voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home.[158]
  • Newt Gingrich (R-GA), the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was accused of financial improprieties concerning a book deal which led to a reprimand by the House and $300,000 in sanctions[159] leading to his eventual resignation from office. (1997)[160]
  • Walter R. Tucker III (D-CA) resigned from the House before conviction on charges of extortion and income tax fraud while he was mayor of Compton, California. Sentenced to 27 months in prison.(1996)[161]
  • Nicholas Mavroules (D-MA) pleaded guilty to bribery charges.[162]
  • Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) On August 3, 1993, Congressman Smith pled guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of filing false campaign reports. He was sentenced to three months in prison.[163]
  • House banking scandal[164] The House of Representatives Bank found that 450 members had overdrawn their checking accounts, but had not been penalized. Six were convicted of charges, most only tangentially related to the House Bank itself. Twenty two more of the most prolific over-drafters were singled out by the House Ethics Committee. (1992)[165]
  1. Buzz Lukens (R-OH) convicted of bribery and conspiracy.[166]
  2. Carl C. Perkins (D-KY) pled guilty to a check kiting scheme involving several financial institutions (including the House Bank).[166]
  3. Carroll Hubbard (D-KY)convicted of illegally funneling money to his wife's 1992 campaign to succeed him in congress.[167]
  4. Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH) was charged with seven felonies, but pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge not related to the House Bank.[166]
  5. Walter Fauntroy (D-DC) convicted of filing false disclosure forms in order to hide unauthorized income.[166]
  6. Jack Russ House Sergeant-at-Arms, convicted of three counts.[166]
  1. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) Rostenkowski was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison, in 1995.[169]
  2. Joe Kolter (D-PA) Convicted of one count of conspiracy[170] and sentenced to 6 months in prison.[171]
  3. Robert V. Rota Postmaster, convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of embezzlement.[168]
  • Jay Kim (R-CA) accepted $250,000 in illegal 1992 campaign contributions and was sentenced to two months house arrest (1992)[172]

1989–1993 George H. W. Bush Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • George H. W. Bush (R) President. during his election campaign, Bush denied any knowledge of the Iran Contra Affair by saying he was "out of the loop." But his own diaries of that time stated "I'm one of the few people that know fully the details ..." He repeatedly refused to disclose this to investigators and won the election. (1988)[173]
  • Catalina Vasquez Villalpando, (R) Treasurer of the United States. Pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. The only US Treasurer ever sent to prison. (1992)[174]
  • Iran-Contra Affair pardons. On December 24, 1992, George H. W. Bush (R) granted clemency to five convicted government officials and Caspar Weinberger, whose trial had not yet begun. This action prevented any further investigation into the matter.[175]
  1. Caspar Weinberger Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan[176]
  2. Robert C. McFarlane National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan[176]
  3. Elliott Abrams Assistant Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan[176]
  4. Clair George CIA Chief of Covert Ops[176]
  5. Alan D. Fiers Chief of the CIA's Central American Task Force[176]
  6. Duane Clarridge CIA Operations Officer[176]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Albert Bustamante (D-TX) convicted of accepting bribes.[177]
  • Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to federal election officials[178] and served three months in jail, fined $5,000, 2 years probation and back taxes of $40,000[179]
  • David Durenberger Senator (R-MN) denounced by Senate for unethical financial transactions and then disbarred (1990). He pled guilty to misuse of public funds and given one year probation (1995)[180]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • Clarence Thomas (R) The Supreme Court nominee was accused of sexual harassment by former employee Anita Hill, but was approved anyway.[181]
  • Walter Nixon US Judge. Was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for perjury on November 3, 1989.[182]

1981–1989 Ronald Reagan Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  1. Samuel Pierce Secretary of Housing and Urban Development because he made "full and public written acceptance of responsibility" was not charged.[183]
  2. James G. Watt Secretary of Interior, 1981–1983, charged with 25 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, sentenced to five years probation, fined $5,000 and 500 hours of community service[184]
  3. Deborah Gore Dean (R) Executive Assistant to (Samuel Pierce, Secretary of HUD 1981–1987, and not charged). Dean was convicted of 12 counts of perjury, conspiracy, bribery. Sentenced to 21 months in prison. (1987)[185]
  4. Phillip D. Winn Assistant Secretary of HUD, 1981–1982, pled guilty to bribery in 1994.[185]
  5. Thomas Demery, Assistant Secretary of HUD, pled guilty to bribery and obstruction.[185]
  6. Joseph A. Strauss, Special Assistant to the Secretary of HUD, convicted of accepting payments to favor Puerto Rican land developers in receiving HUD funding.[186]
  7. Silvio D. DeBartolomeis convicted of perjury and bribery.[187]
  • Wedtech scandal Wedtech Corporation convicted of bribery for Defense Department contracts
  1. Edwin Meese Attorney General, resigned but never convicted.[188]
  2. Lyn Nofziger White House Press Secretary, whose conviction of lobbying was overturned.[189]
  3. Mario Biaggi (D-NY) sentenced to 2½ years.[190]
  4. Robert García (D-NY) sentenced to 2½ years.[191]
  • Iran-Contra Affair (1985–1986); A plan conceived by CIA head William Casey and Oliver North of the National Security Council to sell TOW missiles to Iran for the return of US hostages and then use part of the money received to fund Contra rebels trying to overthrow the left wing government of Nicaragua, which was in direct violation of Congress' Boland Amendment.[193] Ronald Reagan appeared on TV stating there was no "arms for hostages" deal, but was later forced to admit, also on TV, that yes, there indeed had been:
  1. Caspar Weinberger Secretary of Defense, was indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on June 16, 1992. [40]. Weinberger received a pardon from George H. W. Bush on December 24, 1992, before he was tried.[194]
  2. William Casey Head of the CIA. Thought to have conceived the plan, was stricken ill hours before he would testify. Reporter Bob Woodward records that Casey knew of and approved the plan.[195]
  3. Robert C. McFarlane National Security Adviser, convicted of withholding evidence, but after aplea bargain was given only 2 years probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush[196]
  4. Elliott Abrams Asst Sec of State, convicted of withholding evidence, but after a plea bargain was given only 2 years probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush[197] http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/summpros.htm.
  5. Alan D. Fiers Chief of the CIA's Central American Task Force, convicted of withholding evidence and sentenced to one year probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush[193]
  6. Clair George Chief of Covert Ops-CIA, convicted on 2 charges of perjury, but pardoned by President George H. W. Bush before sentencing.[198]
  7. Oliver North convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents, but the ruling was overturned since he had been granted immunity.[199]
  8. Fawn Hall, Oliver North's secretary was given immunity from prosecution on charges of conspiracy and destroying documents in exchange for her testimony.[200]
  9. John Poindexter National Security Advisor (R) convicted of 5 counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence. The Supreme Court overturned this ruling.[201]
  10. Duane Clarridge An ex-CIA senior official, he was indicted in November 1991 on 7 counts of perjury and false statements relating to a November 1985 shipment to Iran. Pardoned before trial by President George H. W. Bush.[202][203]
  11. Richard V. Secord Ex-major general in the Air Force who organized the Iran arms sales and Contra aid. He pleaded guilty in November 1989 to making false statements to Congress. Sentenced to two years of probation.[204][205]
  12. Albert Hakim A businessman, pled guilty in November 1989 to supplementing the salary of Oliver North by buying him a $13,800 fence. Hakim was given two years of probation and a $5,000 fine, while his company, Lake Resources Inc. was ordered to dissolve.[204][206]
  13. Thomas G. Clines Once an intelligence official who became an arms dealer, he was convicted in September 1990 on four income tax counts, including underreporting of income to the IRS and lying about not having foreign accounts. Sentenced to 16 months of prison and fined $40,000.[204][207]
  14. Carl R. Channell A fund-raiser for conservative causes, he pleaded guilty in April 1987 to defrauding the IRS via a tax-exempt organization to fund the Contras.[208] Sentenced to two years probation.[204]
  15. Richard R. Miller Associate to Carl R. Channell, he pleaded guilty in May 1987 to defrauding the IRS via a tax-exempt organization led by Channell. More precisely, he pled guilty to lying to the IRS about the deductibility of donations to the organization. Some of the donations were used to fund the Contras.[209] Sentenced to two years of probation and 120 of community service.[204]
  16. Joseph F. Fernandez CIA Station Chief of Costa Rica. Indicted on five counts in 1988.[210] The case was dismissed when Attorney General Dick Thornburgh refused to declassify information needed for his defense in 1990.[211]
  • Inslaw Affair (1985–1994+); a protracted legal case that alleged that top-level officials of President Ronald Reagan's (R) Department of Justice were involved in software piracy of the Promis program from Inslaw Inc. forcing it into bankruptcy.[212] Attorney General Edwin Meese (R) and his successor Attorney General Dick Thornburgh (R) were both found to have blocked the investigation of the matter.[213] They were succeeded by Attorney General William P. Barr (R), who also refused to investigate and no charges were ever filed.[212]
  1. D. Lowell Jensen, Deputy Attorney General was held in Contempt of Congress.[214]
  2. C. Madison Brewer A high ranking Justice Department official was held in Contempt of Congress.[214]
  • Michael Deaver Deputy Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan 1981–85, pleaded guilty to perjury related to lobbying activities and was sentenced to 3 years probation and fined $100,000[215]
  • Sewergate A scandal in which funds from the EPA were selectively used for projects which would aid politicians friendly to the Reagan administration.
  1. Anne Gorsuch Burford Head of the EPA. Cut the EPA staff by 22% and refused to turn over documents to Congress citing "Executive Privilege",[216] whereupon she was found in Contempt and resigned with twenty of her top employees.(1980)[217]
  2. Rita Lavelle An EPA Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency misused "superfund" monies and was convicted of perjury. She served six months in prison, was fined $10,000 and given five years probation.[218]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • David Durenberger Senator (R-MN), denounced by the Senate for unethical financial transactions (1990) and then disbarred as an attorney.[220] In 1995 he pled guilty to 5 misdemeanor counts of misuse of public funds and was given one years probation.[221]
  • Jesse Helms Senator (R-NC), His campaign was found guilty of "voter caging" when 125,000 postcards were sent to mainly black neighborhoods and the results used to challenge their residency and therefore their right to vote. (1990)[222]
  • Barney Frank Congressman (D-MA), lived with convicted felon Steve Gobie who ran a gay prostitution operation from Frank's apartment without his knowledge. Frank was Admonished by Congress for using his congressional privilege to eliminate 33 parking tickets attributed to Gobie.(1987)[223]
  • Donald E. "Buz" Lukens (R-OH), Convicted of two counts of bribery and conspiracy. (1996)[224] See also Sex scandals.
  • Anthony Lee Coelho (D-CA) Resigned rather than face inquiries from both the Justice Department and the House Ethics Committee about an allegedly unethical "junk bond" deal, which netted him $6,000. He was never charged with any crime (1989)[225]
  • Jim Wright (D-TX) House Speaker, resigned after an ethics investigation led by Newt Gingrich alleged improper receipt of $145,000 in gifts (1989)[226]
  • Keating Five (1980–1989) The failure of Lincoln Savings and Loan led to Charles Keating donating to the campaigns of five Senators for help. Keating served 42 months in prison.[227] The five were investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee which found that:
  1. Alan Cranston Senator (D-CA) reprimanded[228]
  2. Dennis DeConcini Senator (D-AZ) acted improperly[229]
  3. Don Riegle Senator (D-MI) acted improperly[229]
  4. John Glenn Senator (D-OH) used poor judgment[229]
  5. John McCain Senator (R-AZ) used poor judgment[229]
  • Abscam FBI sting involving fake 'Arabs' trying to bribe 31 congressmen.(1980)[230] The following six Congressmen were convicted:
  1. Harrison A. Williams Senator (D-NJ) Convicted on 9 counts of bribery and conspiracy. Sentenced to 3 years in prison.[231]
  2. John Jenrette Representative (D-SC) sentenced to two years in prison for bribery and conspiracy.[232]
  3. Richard Kelly (R-FL) Accepted $25K and then claimed he was conducting his own investigation into corruption. Served 13 months.[233]
  4. Raymond Lederer (D-PA) "I can give you me" he said after accepting $50K. Sentenced to 3 years.[234]
  5. Michael Myers (D-PA) Accepted $50K saying, "...money talks and bullshit walks." Sentenced to 3 years and was expelled from the House.[235]
  6. Frank Thompson (D-NJ) Sentenced to 3 years.[236]
  7. John M. Murphy (D-NY) Served 20 months of a 3-year sentence.[237]
  8. Also arrested were NJ State Senator Angelo Errichetti (D)[238] and members of the Philadelphia City Council. See Local scandals.
  • Mario Biaggi (D-NY), Convicted of obstruction of justice and accepting illegal gratuities he was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and fined $500K for his role in the Wedtech scandal, see above. Just before expulsion from the House, he resigned. The next year he was convicted of another 15 counts of obstruction and bribery. (1988)[239]
  • Pat Swindall (R-GA) convicted of 6 counts of perjury. (1989)[240][241]
  • George V. Hansen (R-ID) censured for failing to file out disclosure forms. Spent 15 months in prison.[242]
  • James Traficant (D-OH), convicted of ten felony counts including bribery, racketeering and tax evasion and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was expelled from the House July 24, 2002.[243]
  • Frederick W. Richmond (D-NY),Convicted of tax evasion and possession of marijuana. Served 9 months(1982)[244] See Federal sex scandals.
  • Dan Flood (D-PA) censured for bribery. After a trial ended in a deadlocked jury, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year's probation.[245][246]
  • Joshua Eilberg (D-PA) pleaded guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. In addition, he convinced president Carter to fire the U.S. Attorney investigating his case.[247]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Federal District court judge impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate of soliciting a bribe (1989).[248] Subsequently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1992)[249]
  • Harry Claiborne (D-NE), Federal District court Judge impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate on two counts of tax evasion. He served over one year in prison.[250]

1977–1981 James E. Carter Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

Legislative branch[edit]

  • Daniel J. Flood (D-PA) During the 96th United States Congress, Flood was censured for bribery. The allegations led to his resignation on January 31, 1980.(1980)[254]
  • Fred Richmond (D-NY) – Convicted of tax fraud and possession of marijuana. Served 9 months in prison. Charges of soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy were dropped after he submitted to counseling. (1978)[255]
  • Charles Diggs (D-MI), convicted on 29 charges of mail fraud and filing false payroll forms which formed a kickback scheme with his staff. Sentenced to 3 years (1978)[256]
  • Herman Talmadge Senator (D-GA), On October 11, 1979, Talmadge was denounced by the Senate for "improper financial conduct". He failed to be re-elected. (1979)[257]
  • Michael Myers (D-PA) Received suspended six-month jail term after pleading no contest to disorderly conduct charged stemming from an incident at a Virginia bar in which he allegedly attacked a hotel security guard and a cashier.[258]
  • Charles H. Wilson (D-CA) censured after he converted $25,000 in campaign funds to his own use and accepted $10,500 from a man with a direct interest in legislation before Congress. This was a later non-Park incident.[259]
  • John Connally (R-TX), Milk Money scandal. Accused of accepting a $10K bribe. He was acquitted. (1975)[260]
  • Richard Tonry (D-LA) pleaded guilty to receiving illegal campaign contributions.[261]
  • Koreagate scandal involving alleged bribery of more than 30 members of Congress by the South Korean government represented by Tongsun Park. Several other Koreans and Congressmen were allegedly involved, but not charged or reprimanded.[262] The most notable are:
  1. Richard T. Hanna (D-CA) pleaded guilty[263] and sentenced to 6–30 months in federal prison.[264] Wound up serving a year in prison.[265]
  2. Otto E. Passman (D-LA) was accused of bribery and other charges,[266] but found innocent.[267]
  3. John J. McFall, Edward Roybal, and Charles H. Wilson, all (D-CA). Roybal was censured and Wilson was reprimanded,[268] while McFall was reprimanded,[269]

1974–1977 Gerald Ford Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Nixon pardon: The pardon by President Gerald Ford (R) of former President Richard Nixon (R), (who had nominated Ford his vice-president), just before Nixon could be tried by the Congress for conspiracy and impeached for his role in the Watergate scandal. (1974)[270]
  • Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture When asked privately why the party of Lincoln was not able to attract more blacks. Butz replied: "I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit." Butz resigned soon after. (1976) [41][271]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Andrew J. Hinshaw (R-CA) Congressman convicted of accepting bribes while Assessor of Orange County. He served one year in prison. (1977)[272]
  • Wayne L. Hays (D-OH), resigned from Congress after hiring and promoting his mistress, Elizabeth Ray See sex scandals. (1976)[273]
  • Henry Helstoski (D-NJ) Indicted on charges of accepting bribes to aid immigrants but the case was dismissed by the Supreme Court. (1976)[274]
  • James F. Hastings (R-NY), convicted of kickbacks and mail fraud. Took money from his employees for personal use. Served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary (1976)[275]
  • Robert L. F. Sikes (D-FL) reprimanded for conflict of interest in failing to disclose stock holdings.[259]
  • John V. Dowdy (D-TX), Served 6 months in prison for perjury. (1973)[276]
  • Bertram Podell (D-NY), pleaded guilty to conspiracy and conflict of interest. He was fined $5,000 and served four months in prison (1974)[277]
  • Frank Brasco (D-NY) Sentenced to three months in jail and fined $10,000 for conspiracy to accept bribes from a reputed Mafia figure who sought truck leasing contracts from the Post Office and loans to buy trucks.[247]
  • Frank Clark (D-PA) Paid congressional salaries to 13 Pennsylvania residents who performed no official duties.[247]
  • Wilbur Mills (D-AR) Stepped down as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee after his affair with Argentinian stripper Fanne Fox was made public in 1974. [278]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • Otto Kerner, Jr. (D) Resigned as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit after conviction for bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion while Governor of Illinois. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison and fined $50,000. (1974)[279]

1969–1974 Richard M. Nixon Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Spiro Agnew Vice-President (R-MD) to Richard Nixon was convicted of tax fraud stemming from bribery charges in Maryland and forced to resign.[280] Gerald R. Ford (R-MI)(1973) was nominated by Nixon and replaced Agnew as Vice President (the first person appointed to the Vice Presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment.)
  • Bebe Rebozo (R)[281] investigated for accepting large contribution to Nixon campaign. No charges were filed (1973)[282]
  • Watergate (1972–1974) President Richard Nixon(R) ordered the burglary and 'bugging' of the Democratic Party National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. The cover up by Nixon and his staff resulted in 69 government officials being charged and 48 convicted or pleading guilty. Eventually, Nixon resigned his office rather than face impeachment.[283] Those involved include:
  1. John N. Mitchell, Attorney General of the United States, convicted of perjury. Served 19 months of a one- to four-year sentence.[284]
  2. Richard Kleindienst, Attorney General, convicted of "refusing to answer questions" given one month in jail.[285]
  3. Jeb Stuart Magruder, Head of Committee to Re-elect the President, pleaded guilty to 1 count of conspiracy, August 1973[286]
  4. Frederick C. LaRue, Advisor to John Mitchell, convicted of obstruction of justice.[286]
  5. H. R. Haldeman, Chief of Staff for Nixon, convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury.[287]
  6. John Ehrlichman, Counsel to Nixon, convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury.[288]
  7. Egil Krogh, aide to John Ehrlichman, sentenced to six months.[286]
  8. John W. Dean III, counsel to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice.[286]
  9. Dwight L. Chapin, deputy assistant to Nixon, convicted of perjury.[286]
  10. Herbert W. Kalmbach, personal attorney to Nixon, convicted of illegal campaigning.[286]
  11. Charles W. Colson, special counsel to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice.[285]
  12. Herbert L. Porter, aide to the Committee to Re-elect the President. Convicted of perjury.[286]
  13. G. Gordon Liddy, Special Investigations Group, convicted of burglary.[286]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Ted Kennedy Senator (D-MA) drove his car into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, a small island off of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, passenger Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended sentence of two months.[289] (1969)
  • Cornelius Gallagher (D-NJ) pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and served two years in prison.[290]
  • J. Irving Whalley (R-PA) Received suspended three-year sentence and fined $11,000 in 1973 for using mails to deposit staff salary kickbacks and threatening an employee to prevent her from giving information to the FBI.[247]
  • Martin B. McKneally (R-NY) Placed on one-year probation and fined $5,000 in 1971 for failing to file income tax return. He had not paid taxes for many years prior.[291]
  • Richard T. Hanna (D-CA), convicted in an influence-buying scandal. (1974)[292]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • Harold Carswell Judge (R): Was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court (1970) by Richard Nixon, but was not confirmed. Civil-rights advocates questioned his civil rights record, citing his voiced support for racial segregation during his unsuccessful election bid in 1948. Various feminists, including Betty Friedan, testified before the Senate, opposed his nomination and contributed to his defeat.[293] Roman Hruska (Republican, Nebraska) stated:"Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."[285][294]

1963–1969 Lyndon B. Johnson Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Bobby Baker, (D) Secretary to the Majority Leader of the Senate (the vice-president then serving) and adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson: resigned after charges of favoritism. (1963)[295]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Thomas J. Dodd, Senator (D-CT): Censured by the Senate for financial misconduct (1967)[296]
  • Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (D-NY): was expelled from Congress but won the special election as his own replacement (1967)[297]
  • Daniel Brewster (D-MD) Senator pleaded no contest to accepting an illegal gratuity in 1975 and fined $10,000.[298][299] Brewster was convicted in 1972 of accepting $14,500 from a lobbyist,[300] and got a six-year term in 1973 over the conviction,[301] but the conviction was overturned on grounds of unclear jury instructions.[302]
  • Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) On August 3, 1993, Congressman Smith pled guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of filing false campaign reports. He was sentenced to three months in prison.[163]
  • James Fred Hastings (R-NY) was a delegate to the 1968 Republican National Convention and the 1972 Republican National Convention. He was elected to Congress in 1968 and served from January 3, 1969, until he resigned on January 20, 1976 after being convicted of kickbacks and mail fraud. He served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary (1976).[303]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • Abe Fortas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (D): resigned when he was discovered to be a paid consultant to a convicted criminal. No charges were ever filed. (1969)[304]

1961–1963 John F. Kennedy Administration[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Thomas F. Johnson (D-MD) In 1962, he was indicted on charges of members of Maryland's S&L industry bribing him and lost his seat. Later was convicted of conspiracy and conflict of interest in 1968, served 312 months of a 6-month sentence and was fined $5,000.[305]
  • Frank Boykin (D-AL) Was placed on six months' probation in 1963 following conviction in a case involving a conflict of interest and conspiracy to defraud the government. His prison sentence was suspended on age and health grounds and was fined $40,000 total. He was pardoned by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.[306][307]

1953–1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Richard Nixon (R): Eisenhower's V-P nominee delivers "Checkers Speech", to deflect scandal about $18,000 in gifts, maintaining the only personal gift he had received was a dog (1952)[308]
  • (Llewelyn) Sherman A. Adams, Chief of Staff to President Dwight Eisenhower. Cited for Contempt of Congress and forced to resign because he refused to answer questions about an oriental rug and vicuna coat given to his wife.(1958)[309]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • McCarthyism: A broad political and cultural purge against people suspected of sympathy with communism, starting near the end of World War II and reaching its climax in the investigations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. The Senate passed a resolution of condemnation against McCarthy in 1954 after an embarrassing investigation of the United States Army, ending his career, but anti-communist purges continued for several years.[310][311]
  • Thomas J. Lane (D-MA) convicted for evading taxes on his congressional income. Served 4 months in prison, but was re-elected three more times[312] before his 1962 defeat due to re-districting. (1956)[313]
  • Ernest K. Bramblett (R-CA) Received a suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine in 1955 for making false statements in connection with payroll padding and kickbacks from congressional employees.[314]
  • Douglas Stringfellow (R-UT) Abandoned his 1954 re-election bid after admitting to embellishing his war record. Stringfellow falsely claimed to have been awarded a Silver Star and feigned paraplegia.[315]

1945–1953 Harry S. Truman Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • A Justice Department investigation of the Internal Revenue Service led to the firing or resignation of 166 lower level employees causing President Harry Truman (D) to be stained with charges of corruption (1950)[316]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Walter E. Brehm (R-OH) convicted of accepting contributions illegally from one of his employees. Received a 15 month suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine.[317]
  • J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ): a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), was convicted of salary fraud and given an 18-month sentence and a fine, resigning from Congress in 1950. He was imprisoned in Danbury Prison with two of the Hollywood Ten he had helped put there. After serving his 18 months he was pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952,[318]
  • Andrew J. May (D-KY) Convicted of accepting bribes in 1947 from a war munitions manufacturer. Was sentenced to 9 months in prison, after which he was pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952.[319]
  • James Michael Curley (D-MA) was sentenced to 6–18 months on mail fraud and spent five months in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Truman (1947)[320]

1933–1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Francis Henry Shoemaker (Farmer-Labor-MN) was sentenced to a year and a day in the penetentiary for sending scurrilous and defamatory materials through the mail. (1933)[321]
  • Marion Zioncheck (D-WA) Killed after he jumped or was possibly pushed out a window in Seattle, WA while still in office. He was known to have been feuding with J. Edgar Hoover. (1936)[322]
  • John H. Hoeppel (D-CA), convicted of trying to sell an appointment to the West Point Military Academy. (1936)[323]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • Halsted Ritter (R) U.S. District Judge of Florida, impeached for secretly taking a $4,500 fee from a former law partner. Convicted of bringing the judiciary into disrepute (accepting free meals and lodging during receivership proceedings.) Removed from office. (1936)[324]

1929–1933 Herbert Hoover Administration[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Hiram Bingham Senator (R-CT) Censured for hiring a lobbyist employed by a manufacturing organization to work on his staff. (1929)[325]
  • Harry E. Rowbottom (R-IN) was convicted in Federal court of accepting bribes from persons who sought post office appointments. he was given one year in Leavenworth.[326]

1923–1929 Calvin Coolidge Administration[edit]

  • George English (D) U.S. District Judge of Illinois, impeached for taking an interest-free loan from a bank of which he was director. Resigned before his Senate trial. (1926)[327]
  • John W. Langley (R-KY) Resigned from the US Congress in January 1926, after losing an appeal to set aside his conviction of violating the Volstead Act (Prohibition). He’d also been caught trying to bribe a Prohibition officer. He was sentenced to two years after which, his wife ran for Congress in his place and won two full terms.[328][329]

1921–1923 Warren G. Harding Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Warren G. Harding (R-OH) President 1921–1923. His administration was marred by scandals stemming from men in his administration who followed him from Ohio who came to be known as the Ohio Gang.[330] They include;
  1. Albert Fall. Secretary of the Interior who was bribed by Harry F. Sinclair for control of the Teapot Dome federal oil reserves in Wyoming. He was the first U.S. cabinet member to ever be convicted; he served two years in prison. (1922)[331]
  2. Edwin C. Denby, Secretary of the Navy: resigned for his part in the Teapot Dome oil reserve scandal.[332]
  3. Harry M. Daugherty, Attorney General: resigned on March 28, 1924, because of an investigation about a bootlegging kickback scheme by his chief aide Jess Smith. Found not guilty. (1924)[333]
  4. Jess Smith aide to Attorney General Daugherty who destroyed incriminating papers and then committed suicide.[333]
  5. Charles R. Forbes appointed by Harding as the first director of the new Bureau of Veterans Affairs. After constructing and modernizing VA hospitals, he was convicted of bribery and corruption and sentenced to two years in jail.[334]
  6. Charles Cramer Forbes' general counsel, committed suicide. (1923)[335]
  7. Thomas W. Miller, Head of the Office of Alien Property: convicted of fraud by selling valuable German patents seized after World War I for far below market price as well as bribery. Served 18 months.[336]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Thomas L. Blanton (D-TX) censured for inserting obscene material into the congressional record. According to Franklin Wheeler Mondell (R-WY) the letter was said to contain language that was "unspeakable, vile, foul, filthy, profane, blasphemous and obscene". A motion to expel him failed by 8 votes.(1921)[337]

1913–1921 Woodrow Wilson Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

1909–1913 William Howard Taft Administration[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • William Lorimer Senator (R-IL), The 'blond boss of Chicago' was expelled from the U.S. Senate in 1912 for accepting bribes.[339]
  • Benjamin R. Tillman Senator (D-SC) and John McLaurin, Senator (D-SC) were both censured for fighting in the Senate chamber.[340]
  • Ralph Cameron Senator (R-AZ) attempted to control access to the Grand Canyon by buying mining rights to adjacent lands. (1912)[341]

Judicial branch[edit]

  • Robert Archbald(R) U.S. Commerce Court Judge of Pennsylvania, for corrupt alliances with coal mine workers and railroad officials. Convicted and removed from office. (1912)[342]

1901–1909 Theodore Roosevelt Administration[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

1897 - 1901 William McKinley Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Oregon US Federal District Attorney John Hicklin Hall (R) was appointed by President William McKinley. In 1903, Hall was ordered to investigate land fraud in what became known as the Oregon land fraud scandal and was put on trial for failing to prosecute land companies engaging in fraudulent activities, and for using his knowledge of illegal activities to blackmail his political opponents. On February 8, 1908, a jury found Hall guilty of the charges.(1907)[346] He was later pardoned by President William Howard Taft.[347]

1881-1885 Chester A. Arthur Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

1881-1881 James A. Garfield Administration[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

1877-1881 Rutherford B. Hayes Administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

1869–1877 Ulysses S. Grant Administration[edit]

Executive branch[edit]

  1. Orville E. Babcock (R) personal secretary to Ulysses S. Grant who was indicted in the Whiskey Ring scandal and 10 days later in the Safe Burglary Conspiracy. He was acquitted both times.[351]
  2. John J. McDonald (R) Supervisor of the Internal Revenue Service. Convicted and sentenced to three years.[351]
  3. W.O. Avery Chief Clerk of the Treasury Department. Convicted.[351]

Legislative branch[edit]

  1. Oakes Ames (R-MA) bribed Congress with Union Pacific stock.[357]
  2. James Brooks (D-NY) also implicated; both were censured for their involvement. (1872)[358]

Judicial branch[edit]

1865–1869 Andrew Johnson administration[edit]

Executive branch[edit]

1861–1865 Abraham Lincoln administrations[edit]

Executive branch[edit]

  • Simon Cameron (R): Lincoln's Secretary of War resigned in 1862 due to corruption charges. His behavior was so notorious that Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, when discussing Cameron's honesty with Lincoln, told him that "I don't think that he would steal a red hot stove". When Cameron demanded Stevens retract this statement, Stevens told Lincoln "I believe I told you he would not steal a red-hot stove. I will now take that back." (1860–1862)[362]

1857–1861 James Buchanan administration[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

1849–1850 Zachary Taylor administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

1829–1836 Andrew Jackson administrations[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Samuel Swartwout was appointed by President Andrew Jackson to the New York City Collector's Office. At the end of his term he had embezzled $1.225 million in customs receipts and used the money to purchase land. He fled to Europe to avoid prosecution.[367]

Legislative Branch[edit]

  • Robert Potter: Congressman from North Carolina who resigned from Congress after castrating two men he believed were having an affair with his wife. (1831)[368] Later, in North Carolina, he was expelled from its legislature for cheating at cards or for pulling a gun and a knife during a card game. (1835)[368]

1817–1824 James Monroe administrations[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

1801–1808 Thomas Jefferson administrations[edit]

Executive branch[edit]

  • General James Wilkinson: was appointed to be Governor of the upper Louisiana Purchase. He then conspired with Spain to get Kentucky to secede from the Union in order to allow shipping on the Mississippi to reach New Orleans. (1787–1811)[370]
  • Aaron Burr: New Empire (Southwest) Burr conspiracy (1804–1807) In which Burr allegedly tried to seize a large part of the Louisiana Purchase and establish his own country. He was arrested for treason, but was acquitted for lack of evidence. (1807)[371]
  • Aaron Burr: duel with Alexander Hamilton (1804). See also Burr's "New Empire" conspiracy[372]

Judicial Branch[edit]

  • Samuel Chase Supreme Court Justice appointed by George Washington impeached for political favoritism and acquitted in 1805.[373]
  • John Pickering, Federal Judge appointed by George Washington was impeached and convicted in absentia by the U.S. Senate for drunkenness and use of profanity on the bench in spite of the fact neither act was a high crime or misdemeanor. (1804)[374]

1797–1800 John Adams administration[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • XYZ Affair: French seizure of over 300 US ships and demands for bribes and apologies, led to a Quasi-War causing the US Congress to issue the famous phrase, "Millions for defense, sir, but not one cent for tribute!" Real war was averted by treaty. (1798–1800)[375]
  • Matthew Lyon (Democratic-Republican KY). First Congressman recommended for censure for spitting on Ralph Griswold (Federalist-CT). The censure failed to pass.[376] Also found guilty of violating John Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts and sentenced to four months in jail, during which he was re-elected (1798)[377]

1789–1796 George Washington administrations[edit]

Legislative Branch[edit]

1777–1788[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

  • Conway Cabal: movement or conspiracy to remove George Washington as commander of the Continental Army by Thomas Conway and Horatio Gates (1777–1778)[379]
  • Silas Deane: accused of mismanagement and treason while ambassador to France. Intending to clear himself of the charges he died suddenly, and the charges were eventually reversed or dropped. (1777)[380]

See also[edit]

Federal politicians:

State and local politics:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Associated Press. "VA chief: 18 vets left off waiting list have died". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin. "A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital's secret list". CNN. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Obama vows action on any VA 'misconduct'". BBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki resigns after report". BBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  5. ^ John Parkinson and Chris Good (June 28, 2012). "House Holds Eric Holder in Contempt". ABC News. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ {{May 27, 2012, "Labor Board Member Resigns Over Leak to GOP Allies" by Steven Greenhouse, [1]}}
  7. ^ "GSA Statement on Resignation of Martha Johnson, Ouster of Bob Peck". Washington DC: Citybizlist.com. April 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  8. ^ {{April 3, 2012, "GSA chief gone, but fallout continues in wake of lavish convention expense" by Paul Courson [2]}}
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ "Former GSA head faults regional commissioners in spending scandal". FederalNewsRadio.com. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  11. ^ "White House calls for IRS investigation | The Ticket - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  12. ^ Acting director of IRS forced to resign amid furor over targeting of conservative groups by Zachary A. Goldfarb and Juliet Eilperin, May 15, 2013 [4]
  13. ^ Second IRS official resigns after scandal by Aamer Madhani and Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, May 16, 2013 [5]
  14. ^ I.R.S. Suspends Official at Center of Storm by JONATHAN WEISMAN, May 23, 2013, [6]
  15. ^ Lois Lerner, IRS official in tea party scandal, forced out for ‘neglect of duties’ by STEPHEN DINAN, September 23, 2013 [7]
  16. ^ "Former GOP Rep Convicted On Corruption Charges". Huffington Post. June 11, 2013. 
  17. ^ http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/01/04/179031/idaho-sen-mike-crapo-pleads-guilty.html#.UgXE2WQae0w
  18. ^ http://guardianlv.com/2013/01/idaho-senator-joe-crapo-convicted-in-a-virginia-court/
  19. ^ Horowitz, Jason (January 5, 2013). "Sen. Mike Crapo pleads guilty to drunken driving". The Washington Post. 
  20. ^ November 19, 2013, Florida Rep. Trey Radel Charged With Cocaine Possession by Scott Neuman [8]
  21. ^ [9]
  22. ^ abc.news, November 11, 2013, ‘Florida Rep. Trey Radel to Take Leave of Absence After Cocaine Charge by MIKE LEVINE and MARYALICE PARKS [10]
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References[edit]