List of federal political scandals in the United States

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

Contents

Scope and organization of political scandals

This article is organized by presidential terms in reverse order, recent to older, and then divided into scandals of the federal executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Members of both parties are listed under the term of the president in office at the time the scandal took place, even though they may not be connected with the presiding president.

Politician (a person who is professionally involved in politics) includes not only those elected, but also party officials, candidates for office, their staffs and appointees. Please note that every president directly selects, appoints or hires several thousand people. Each of them selects thousands more. Private citizens should only be mentioned when they are closely linked to the scandal or politician, such as Jack Abramoff. This list also does not include crimes that occur outside the politician's tenure (such as before or after his tenure) unless they specifically stem from acts made while in office and discovered later.

Scandal is defined as "loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety". Scandals are separate from 'controversies', (which implies two differing points of view) and 'unpopularity'. Many decisions are controversial, many decisions are unpopular, that alone does not make them scandals. Breaking the law is a scandal. The finding of a court is the sole method used to determine a violation of law, but it is not the sole method of determining a scandal. Also included as scandals are politicians who resign, quit, run, or commit suicide while being investigated or threatened with investigation.

Notoriety is a major determinant of a scandal, that is, the amount of press dedicated to it. Misunderstandings, breaches of ethics, unproven crimes or cover-ups may or may not result in inclusion depending on the standing of the accused, the amount of publicity generated, and the seriousness of the crime, if any. Drunk driving may be a conviction, but is usually too minor and too common to mention unless there are multiple convictions and/or jail time.

Given the political nature of congress in which the leading party has determining power, politicians who are rebuked, admonished, condemned, suspended, reprimanded, found in contempt, found to have acted improperly or used poor judgement, are not included unless the scandal is exceptional or leads to expulsion or conviction.

Federal government scandals

Donald Trump administration (2017–present)

  • As of November 2019, President Donald Trump (R), his children, the 2016 Trump election campaign, the Trump Inaugural Committee and/or the White House were being investigated by 10 federal criminal, eight state and local, and 11 congressional investigations, according to the New York Times. This doesn't include investigations into administration officials or closed investigations led by Special Counsel for the Department of Justice Robert Mueller.[1] The Mueller investigation resulted in 34 indictments, and seven convictions or guilty pleas.[2] While adhering to Justice Department policy barring the indictment of a sitting president, the Special Counsel did pass on to Congress "numerous instances in which President Trump may have obstructed justice." [3]

Executive branch

  • Scott Pruitt (R), Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned citing increasing numbers of investigations into his administration. The EPA's own Chief Ethics Official had been pushing for independent studies into Pruitt's actions and 13 other separate investigations were under way, including alleged corruption for personal gain, salary increases without White House approval, use of government staff on personal projects and unnecessary spending on offices and security. He resigned July 5, 2018[4][5][6]
  1. Albert Kelly (R) EPA Superfund Task Force Director and top aide to EPA Chief Scott Pruitt (R) resigned amid scrutiny of his previous actions as leader of a bank in Oklahoma which led to $125,000 fine and lifetime ban from banking. (2018)[7][8][9]
  2. Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta EPA Security Administrator resigned after allegations of lavish spending and improper contracts (2018)[10]
  3. Samantha Dravis (R) EPA Associate Administrator and Senior Counsel in the Office of Policy resigned abruptly after allegations of being a no show employee. (2018)[11][12][13]
  • George Papadopoulos (R) Foreign policy advisor pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents relating to contacts he had with agents of the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign. He was sentenced to 14 days in prison, 12 months probation, and 200 hours community service.(2017)[14][15][16][17][18]
  • Michael Flynn National Security Advisor, was forced to resign on February 13, 2017, over conversations he had with Russian envoys about sanctions during the transition. On December 1, 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI as a plea bargain. (2017)[19][20]
  • William C. Bradford resigned from the United States Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy amid reports that he had made racial slurs directed at Barack Obama on Disqus and Twitter. Bradford had claimed that some of the comments were the result of identity theft and not his. (2017)[21]
  • Tom Price (R) Health and Human Services Secretary, was forced to resign on September 29, 2017, after it was discovered that he spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on private flights.[22]
  • Brenda Fitzgerald (R) Director of the Centers for Disease Control was forced to resign on January 31, 2018, after it was discovered that she bought stock in tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death in the US, creating a conflict of interest.[23]
  • Taylor Weyeneth (R) Deputy CoS at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy resigned when it was revealed the 24 year old had no qualifications for the position and no related work history other than working on President Trump's campaign (2018).[24][25]
  • David Sorensen (R) White House speechwriter, resigned after his ex-wife Jessica Corbett came forward with abuse allegations. (2018)[26][27]
  • Vivieca Wright Simpson, Chief of Staff to Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (I) resigned after an inspector general report charged that she altered an email to make it appear Shulkin was getting an award during a trip to Europe in order to gain approval to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Shulkin's wife to accompany him.[28] Six weeks later, Trump fired Shulkin via Twitter.[29]
  • Rob Porter (R) White House Staff Secretary (R) resigned from the position on February 7, 2018, following public allegations of spousal abuse from his two ex-wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby.[30][31] The allegations were supported by photographs of a black eye and a restraining order.[32][33]
  • Tony Tooke Chief of the US Forest Service, resigned after a series of sexual harassment and retaliation accusations. (2018)[34]
  • Rick Gates (R) 2016 Deputy Campaign Chairman to President Donald Trump (R) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to investigators concerning his work lobbying with Ukraine as well as tax and bank fraud (2018)[35][36]
  • Michael Cohen (lawyer) (R) Personal Attorney to President Donald Trump (R) and vice – president to the Trump organization, pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and illegal campaign contributions. He also helped arrange non-disclosure agreements to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal who allegedly had affairs with Trump. Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax evasion and making false statement.(2018)[37][38][39][40][41][42]
  • Paul Manafort (R) Campaign Manager for President Donald Trump (R), was charged with 18 counts of tax and bank fraud which involved keeping $65 million in foreign bank accounts and spending $15 million on himself. He was found guilty on 8 counts.,[43][44][45] March 18, 2019: Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison.,[46] March 13, 2019: Manafort was sentenced to another 43 months, for charges of federal conspiracy and obstruction.[47]
  • Ryan Zinke (R) Secretary of the Interior, after the Interior Department inspector general referred one of several investigations about Zinke to the Justice Department. He was being investigated for his conduct in office and questionable real estate dealings in Montana when he resigned in December 2018.[48]
  • Roger Stone (R) Trump Campaign Adviser, was indicted in January 2019, on "one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering" during the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Trump election campaign.[49] Stone was found guilty by the jury of nine women and three men deliberated for seven hours over two days before convicting Mr. Stone on all seven counts.[50][51]
  • Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta resigned on July 12, 2019, "after defending himself in a contentious news conference over his role as a U.S. attorney,"[52] in 2008, in dismissing federal charges against Jeffrey Epstein, "that allowed the financier to plead guilty to lesser offenses in a sex-crimes case involving underage girls."[52][53] Epstein "committed suicide" on August 10, 2019, in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York City.[54] After Price, Pruitt, Shulkin and Zinke, Acosta became the fifth Trump Cabinet member to resign or be fired amid a scandal.[52]
  • Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer was terminated on November 24th, 2019 under currently unclear conditions, but is assumed to have something to do with the fact that he would not retain the rank of pardoned war criminal Eddie Gallagher.[55]

Legislative branch

  • U.S. Representative Katie Hill (D-CA) resigned following the start of a House Ethics Committee investigation involving Hill's alleged improper relationship with a subordinate. After the investigation's announcement, Hill also admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a separate campaign staffer.[56][57][58][59]
  • U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and wife were indicted in federal court on dozens of charges, including wire fraud and using campaign funds for personal use. (2018)[60][61] He pleaded guilty on December 3, 2019.[62]
  • U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) was arrested by the FBI and charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, seven counts of securities fraud, and lying to the FBI, for tipping off his son and his daughter-in-laws' father with insider trading information.(2018)[63][64] On October 1, 2019, he announced that he would resign his seat, just prior to an expected change of plea to guilty.[65]
  • US Senator Al Franken (D-MN) resigned on January 2, 2018, after several accusations of sexual misconduct.[66]
  • Clint Reed (R) CoS for US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was fired for allegations of "improper conduct" and threats to withhold employment benefits from an unnamed subordinate. (2018)[67][68]
  • U.S. Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) orchestrated a scheme to steal money from charitable foundations and the individuals who ran them. The funds were used to finance Stockman's campaigns and personal expenses. He was convicted on 23 felony counts of perjury, fraud and money laundering and sentenced to 10 years.(2018)[69][70][71]
  1. Jason T. Posey (R) Director of Special Projects and Campaign Treasurer for Stephen E. Stockman at the personal direction and supervision of Stockman, Posey took almost one million dollars from various sources and illegally funneled it into Stockman's 2014 Senate campaign. He pled guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conduit contributions. (2013)[72][73]
  2. Thomas Dodd (R) Special Assistant to Steve Stockman pled guilty to two conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. (2013)[72][73][74]
  • U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) resigned in the wake of reports he used public funds to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit and had created an intensely hostile work environment for women in his congressional office.[75][76][77]
  • U.S. Representative Pat Meehan (R-PA) resigned following the revelation that he used taxpayers' money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by a female staff member.[78]
  • US Representative Corrine Brown (D-FL) was found guilty of fraud for using $800K from a fake charity for her own personal use. She was sentenced to 5 years. (2018)[79][80][81]
  1. Ronnie Simmons (D) CoS to U.S. Representative Corrine Brown (D-FL) pled guilty to fraud.(2017)[82][83]
  • US Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) from the 8th District abruptly resigned when confronted about sexual misconduct with his staff (2017).[84]
  • US Representative Timothy F. Murphy (R-PA), the married, anti-abortion congressman resigned just before an investigation could begin concerning his allegedly urging his mistress to seek an abortion. (2017)[85][86]
  • US Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) body slammed reporter Ben Jacobs. Gianforte was then found guilty of assault and sentenced to 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management, a 180-day deferred sentence, a $385 fine and court fee. As part of his settlement with Jacobs, Gianforte donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.[87] (2017)[88][89][90][91][92][93]
  • US Representative John Conyers (D-MI) resigned on December 5, 2017, after sources revealed he had paid a $27,000 settlement to one of his staffers who had accused him of sexual assault. Conyers resigned after congressional investigations were initiated against Conyers.[94][95]
  • Staff Fred W. Pagan (R) to US Senator Thad Cochran(R-MS) pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine and GBL with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. (2016)[96][97][98][99]

Judicial branch

  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, appointed by Ronald Reagan, retired following allegations of sexual misconduct from several women, including former clerks.[100]

Barack Obama administration (2009–2017)

Executive branch

  1. 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.[112] She retired in 2013 after an internal IRS investigation found that she had neglected her duties and was going to call for her ouster.[113]
  2. Joseph H. Grant, Commissioner of the IRS Tax-exempt and Government Entities division, resigned on May 16, 2013.[114]

Legislative branch

  • Chaka Fattah (D-PA) from Pennsylvania's 2nd district was found guilty on all 23 charges he faced, which included racketeering, money laundering and fraud.[122][123] He was sentenced to 10 years and resigned from Congress on June 23, 2016.[124][125]
  • Anthony Weiner (D-NY) from New York's 9th congressional district resigned from Congress in June 2011 when the first of what would become multiple sexting scandals were made public.[126]
  • David Wu (D-OR) for Oregon's 1st congressional district announced he would resign from Congress, four days after a report that a young woman called his office complaining of an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the congressman.[127]
  • Chris Lee (R-NY) for New York's 26th congressional district resigned after he solicited a woman on Craigslist and emailed a shirtless photo of himself. (2011)[128]
  • Dennis Hastert (R-IL) pleaded guilty to charges that he violated banking rules and lied to the FBI in a scheme to pay $3.5 million in hush money to conceal sexual misconduct with an underage boy from his days as a high school wrestling coach, from 1965 to 1981. (2015)[129][130][131]
  • Aaron Schock (R-IL) resigned from office after evidence surfaced that he used campaign funds for travel, redecorated his office with taxpayer funds to resemble the sets of the Downton Abbey TV series, and otherwise spent campaign and/or taxpayer money on other questionable personal uses. (2015)[132]
    • Benjamin Cole (R) Schock's senior adviser, had resigned earlier after he allegedly condemned "hood rats" and "black miscreants" in internet posts. Schock's office stated, "I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff."[133]
  • Brett O'Donnell, Communications Director for Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), plead guilty to lying to investigators from the House Office of Congressional Ethics about working for Rodgers while being paid with campaign money, thus becoming the first person ever to be convicted of lying to the House OCE.[134]
  • Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) resigned his Congressional seat. Four of his staff were convicted by the state of Michigan of falsifying signatures on McCotter's reelection petitions for the 2012 elections. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) blamed McCotter for running a slipshod, leaderless operation. "The congressman has resigned in disgrace", Schuette said, though McCotter was not charged.[135]
  1. Paul Seewald worked for McCotter as his District Director of the Michigan's 11th congressional district. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator. He was sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service, and ordered to pay court costs and fees.[136]
  2. Don Yowchuang worked for McCotter as Deputy District Director of the Michigan 11th Congressional District. He pleaded guilty to ten counts of forgery and six counts of falsely signing a nominating petition and was sentenced to three years of probation, 200 hours of community service, court costs and fees.[137]
  3. Mary M. Turnbull was McCotter's Representative to the Michigan 11th Congressional District. She was convicted of conspiring to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and falsely signing a nominating petition. She was sentenced to two years of probation, a day in jail, and 200 hours of community service. Turnbull was also ordered to pay a $1,440 fine. In addition, she is forbidden from any participation in elections or the political process.[138]
  4. Lorianne O'Brady worked as a scheduler for McCotter in the Michigan 11th Congressional District. She pleaded no contest to charges that she falsely claimed to have legally collected signatures to get McCotter on the ballot when she actually had not. She was sentenced to 20 days in jail and a work program plus $2,625 in fines and court costs.[139]
  • Senator Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) campaign manager Jesse Benton (R) resigned when details of a bribery scandal from Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign came to light. (2014).[140]
  • David Rivera (R-FL) was indicted as a co-conspirator with Campaign Manager Ana Alliegro, who pleaded guilty to violation of US campaign laws in an $81,000 campaign-finance scheme to prop up a little-known Democratic candidate who used the illegal cash to trash Rivera's rival in the 2012 Democratic primary. Rivera was not convicted.[141][142]
  1. Ana Alliegro (R), the Campaign Manager for David Rivera (R-FL), pleaded guilty to violation of US campaign laws. She was given six months in jail and six months of house arrest plus two years of probation. (2014)[143]
  • 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.[144]
  • Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) was arrested on December 23, 2012, and later pleaded guilty to drinking and driving in a Virginia court on January 4, 2012. The court fined him $250 and received a one-year suspension of his driver's license. He was also sentenced to 180 days in prison, but served no time.[145][146][147][148][149]
  • 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 pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a Washington, D.C. court, and was sentenced to one year of 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.[150][151][152]
  • Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pleaded 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.[153]
  • 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)[154][155]
  • 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)[156][157][158][159] (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.[160]
  • Michael Grimm (R-NY) pleaded guilty to tax fraud on December 23, 2014, and was sentenced to eight months in federal prison.[161]
  • John Tate (R) Campaign Manager for Ron Paul (R-TX) was indicted for concealing over $73,000 in payments to Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to convince him to flip his presidential endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Paul. He was convicted of conspiracy, causing false records, causing false campaign expenditure reports, and making false statements. He was sentenced to 6 months' home confinement, 2 years' probation and fined $10,000 in 2016.[162]
  • Dimitri Kesari Deputy Campaign Manager for Ron Paul (R-TX) was convicted of causing false records concerning charges of buying an Iowa State Senator's endorsement during the 2012 presidential campaign. (2012)[163]
  • Fred Pagan (R) Office Administrator to US Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. (2016)[96][97]
  • Jesse Benton (R) Campaign Chairman for Ron Paul (R-TX) concealed over $73,000 in payments to Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to convince him to flip his presidential endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul. He was convicted of conspiracy, causing false records, causing false campaign expenditure reports, and making false statements. He was sentenced to 6 months' home confinement, fined $10,000 and 2 years' probation(2016)[164][165]
  • Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) while running for re-election on a pro-life platform, it was discovered that he had made his wife have two abortions, and tried to persuade his mistress (who was also his patient), to have one as well. He also admitted under oath that while a married physician at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tennessee, he had six affairs with three co-workers, two patients and a drug representative. He was investigated by the Tennessee Board of Health, pleaded guilty and was fined. (2012)[166][167]
  • Robert Decheine (D) CoS to U.S. Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ), was sentenced to 18 months in prison for soliciting sex from a minor. (2011)[168][169]
  • Adam Kuhn (R) CoS to U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH), resigned abruptly after a former porn actress posted an explicit photo of his penis online. (2014)[170]
  • David Wihby (R) top aide to US Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) resigned after he was arrested in a prostitution sting in Nashua. (2015)[171][172][173]

Judicial branch

  • Alabama District Judge Mark E. Fuller (R) appointed by Republican George W. Bush was found guilty of domestic violence, sentenced to domestic training and forced to resign. (2015)[174][175][176]
  • Eastern Louisiana Federal Judge G. Thomas Porteous appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton, 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. (2010)[177][178]
  • Galveston, Texas Federal District Judge Samuel B. Kent (R) was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. Resigned after being impeached on June 10, 2009[179][180][181]
  • Senior Federal U.S. District Court Judge Jack T. Camp (R) for the Northern District of GA, who was appointed by Republican George W. Bush, was arrested while trying to purchase cocaine from an FBI agent. Pled guilty to three criminal charges and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 400 hours' community service and fined.[182][183][184][185][186]
  • Federal Judge Richard F. Cebull (R) for the District of Montana, was found to have sent hundreds of racist and sexist emails. After an investigation led to calls for his impeachment, Cebull took senior status and then resigned. (2013)[187][188][189][190][191]

George W. Bush administration (2001–2009)

Executive branch

  1. Francis J. Harvey (R) Secretary of the Army, appointed by G. W. Bush, resigned[196][197][198]
  2. Maj. Gen. George Weightman ( ) was fired for failures linked to the scandal[199][200][201][202]
  3. Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley (R) appointed by G. W. Bush, was relieved of command resigned for failures linked to the scandal.[203][204]
  • 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.[205] He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing almost $600,000 for personal use.[206]
  • Timothy Goeglein, Special Assistant to President Bush, resigned in 2008 when it was discovered that more than twenty of his columns had been plagiarized from an Indiana newspaper.[207]
  • 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...."[208] On February 2, Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson ruled that Bloch faces a mandatory sentence of at least one month in prison.[209][210]
  • Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (R), was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plame affair on March 6, 2007. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. The sentence was commuted by George W. Bush on July 1, 2007. The felony remains on Libby's record, though the jail time and fine were commuted.[211][212] President Donald Trump fully pardoned Libby on April 13, 2018.[213][214]
  • Alphonso Jackson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, resigned while under investigation by the Justice Department for alleged cronyism and favoritism[215]
  • Karl Rove, Senior Adviser to President George W. Bush, was investigated by the Office of Special Counsel for "improper political influence over government decision-making", as well as for his involvement in several other scandals such as Lawyergate, Bush White House email controversy and Plame affair. He resigned in April 2007. (See Karl Rove in the George W. Bush administration)[216]
  • Richard J. Griffin, the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security appointed by George W. Bush who made key decisions regarding the department's oversight of private security contractor Blackwater USA, resigned in November 2007, after a critical review by the House Oversight Committee found that his office had failed to adequately supervise private contractors during the Blackwater Baghdad shootings protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq.[217]
  • Republican contributor Howard Krongard[218] was appointed Inspector General of the US State Department by President George W. Bush in 2005.[219] was accused by the House Oversight Committee of improperly interfering with investigations into private security contractor Blackwater USA concerning the Blackwater Baghdad shootings. Krongard resigned in December 2007.[220][221]
  • "Lawyergate"[222] or the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy refers to President Bush firing, without explanation, eleven Republican federal prosecutors whom he himself had appointed. It is alleged that they were fired for prosecuting Republicans and not prosecuting Democrats.[223][224] When Congressional hearings were called, a number of senior Justice Department officials cited executive privilege and refused to testify under oath and instead resigned, including:
  1. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales[225]
  2. Karl Rove, Advisor to President Bush[226]
  3. Harriet Miers, Legal Counsel to President Bush, was found in Contempt of Congress[227]
  4. Michael A. Battle, Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys in the Justice Department[228]
  5. Bradley Schlozman, Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys who replaced Battle[229]
  6. Michael Elston, Chief of Staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty[230]
  7. Paul McNulty, Deputy Attorney General to William Mercer[231]
  8. William W. Mercer, Associate Attorney General to Alberto Gonzales[232]
  9. Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales[228]
  10. Monica Goodling, Liaison between President Bush and the Justice Department[233]
  11. Joshua Bolten, Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush was found in Contempt of Congress[227]
  12. Sara M. Taylor, Aide to Presidential Advisor Karl Rove[234]
  • Bush White House email 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.[235] As many as five million emails requested by Congressional investigators were therefore unavailable, lost, or deleted.[236]
  • Lurita Alexis Doan (R) Administrator of General Services, investigated for "the most pernicious of political activity" at work. The team also recommended she be "disciplined to the fullest extent." Among other things she asked GSA employees how they could "help Republican candidates". She resigned. (2000)[237][238][239][240]
  • J. Steven Griles (R) Deputy to the Secretary of the Interior pled guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 10 months.[241][242][243]
  • John Korsmo, chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, pleaded guilty to lying to congress and sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation and fined $5,000. (2005)[244][245]
  • Darleen A. Druyun was the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force nominated by George W. Bush.[246] She pleaded 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.[247] CBS News called it "the biggest Pentagon scandal in 20 years" and said that she pleaded guilty to a felony.[248]
  • Philip Cooney (R) Bush appointed to chair the Council on Environmental Quality, was accused of editing government climate reports to emphasize doubts about global warming.[249] Two days later, Cooney announced his resignation[250] and later conceded his role in altering reports. Stating "My sole loyalty was to the President and advancing the policies of his administration".[251][252]
  • Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal was a prominent Republican lobbyist with close ties to administration legislators, officials and staff who offered bribes as part of his lobbying efforts. Abramoff was sentenced to 4 years in prison.[253][254] See also Georg W. Bush's legislative branch for 11 legislators and staff caught in the investigation. Executive branch personnel involved include;
  1. David Safavian (R) CoS of the GSA (General Services Administration) was convicted of making false statements as part of the Jack Abramoff lobbying and corruption scandal and was sentenced to one year in prison. (2005)[255][256] found guilty of blocking justice and lying,[257] and sentenced to 18 months[258]
  2. Roger Stillwell (R) staff in the Department of the Interior, pleaded guilty and received two years suspended sentence.[259]
  3. Susan B. Ralston (R) Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned on October 6, 2006, after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff.[260]
  4. J. Steven Griles (R) Deputy to the Secretary of the Interior pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 10 months[241]
  5. Italia Federici (R) 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.[261][262][263]
  6. Jared Carpenter (R) 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.[264]
  7. Mark Zachares (R) staff in the Department of Labor, bribed by Abramoff, guilty of conspiracy to defraud.[254]
  8. Robert E. Coughlin (R) Deputy Chief of Staff of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. (2008)[265]
  1. suspend sections of the ABM Treaty without informing Congress[296]
  2. bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allowing warrantless wiretapping of US Citizens within the United States by the National Security Agency.[296]
  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[296]
  4. allow enhanced interrogation techniques (torture) because provisions of the War Crimes Act, the Third Geneva Convention, and the Torture convention do not apply.[296]
Many of his memos have since been repudiated and reversed.[296][297] Later review by the Justice Department reported that Yoo and Jay Bybee used "poor judgement" in the memos, but no charges were filed.[298]
  • Carl Truscott (R) Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, was 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.[299][300][301]
  • John David Roy Atchison (R), Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, was arrested for intentions of having sex with a five-year-old. Atchison committed suicide before trial while in custody(2007)[302][303][304]
  • Ken Mehlman (R), Manager of George W. Bush's Campaign for Re-election and Chairman of the Republican National Committee, which had proposed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, came out in August 2010 and admitted that he was gay.[305] In an interview, journalist Marc Ambinder noted that Mehlman's roles with the RNC and the Bush campaign "coincided with the Republican Party's attempts to exploit anti-gay prejudices and cement the allegiance of social conservatives".[306] Mehlman stated that he deeply regretted his role in the campaign's push for a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage.[307]

Legislative branch

  • US senatorial candidate James W. Treffinger (R-NJ) pleaded 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.[308]
  • Senator Ted Stevens (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.[309]
  • 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)[310]
  • Rick Renzi (R-AZ) announced he would not seek another term.[311]* 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)[312]
  • Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned on September 29, 2006, after sending sexually explicit messages to former Congressional pages.[313]
  • Tom DeLay (R-TX) US Representative 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[314] and was sentenced to three years in prison and 10 years' probation, respectively. The ruling was overturned on appeal.[315] On September 19, 2013, the conviction was overturned.[316]
  • Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal (R) The lobbyist found guilty of conspiracy, tax evasion and corruption of public officials in three different courts in a wide-ranging investigation. He served 70 months and was fined $24.7 million.[317] See George W. Bush's executive branch for eight others caught in the investigation. Legislators and staff involved include;
  1. Tom DeLay (R-TX) US Representative and 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 June 9, 2006.[318] 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.[319] His conviction was oveturned on appeal.
  2. Michael Scanlon (R) Communications Director to Tom DeLay, worked for Abramoff and pled guilty to bribery.[253][254]
  3. Tony Rudy (R) Deputy CoS to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.[254]
  4. Jim Ellis (R) Executive Director of Tom DeLay's Political Action Committee Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), was found guilty of money laundering.[320][321]
  5. John Colyandro (R) Executive Director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering[320]
  6. Bob Ney (R-OH) US Representative 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.[254][322]
  7. William Heaton (R) CoS to Bob Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud[323] admitting to conspiring with Ney, Jack Abramoff and others to accept vacations, meals, tickets, and contributions to Ney's campaign in exchange for Ney benefitting Abramoff's clients. (2006)[324]
  8. Neil Volz (R) former CoS to Bob 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.[325]
  9. John Albaugh (R) former CoS to Ernest Istook (R-OK), pled guilty to accepting bribes connected to the Federal Highway Bill. Istook was not charged. (2008)[326]
  10. James Hirni (R) 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)[327]
  11. Kevin A. Ring (R) former staff to John Doolittle (R-CA), was convicted of five charges of corruption and honest services fraud. sentenced to 20 months.[328][329]
  • Cunningham scandal named after Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) US Representative, pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005, to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. Sentenced to over eight years.[330]
  1. Mitchell Wade private contractor and "co-conspirator" with Cunningham
  2. Kyle Foggo Director of the CIA and friend to Wilkes, convicted of fraud
  3. Brent R. Wilkes private contractor
  • Tan Nguyen (R-CA) US Representative 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)[331]
  • Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) US Representative, 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)[332]
  • William J. Jefferson (D-LA) US Representative had $90,000 in cash in his home freezer seized by the FBI in August 2005. 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.[333][334]
  • Bill Janklow (R-SD) was convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. He resigned from the House and was given 100 days in the county jail and three years' probation (2003)[335]
  • Jim Traficant (D-OH) was found guilty on ten felony counts of financial corruption and was sentenced to 8 years in prison and expelled from the House. (2002)[336]
  • John E. Sweeney (R-NY) US Representative from 20th US District, was arrested in 2007 and again in 2009 for DWI. He was sentenced to 23 days in jail with 3 years' probation. (2009)[337][338]
  • Vito Fossella (R-NY) US Representative, 13th District, was arrested for drunk driving. He was found guilty of driving with twice the legal limit and sentenced to 5 days in prison. This led to the revelation that the married congressman had a longtime affair with another woman which had produced a child. He did not run for re-election. (2008)[339][340]

Bill Clinton administration (1993–2001)

Executive branch

  • President Bill Clinton (D) was accused by the House of Representatives and impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice for lying under oath about consensual sexual relations with a member of his staff, 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 by the Arkansas Law Association and agreed to a five-year suspension.(1998)[341][342][343]
  • Ronald Blackley (D) Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, was sentenced to 27 months for perjury. Secretary Espy was found not guilty.[344]
  • David Watkins (D) Director of the Office of Administration used the White House helicopter, Marine One, to fly to a nearby golf course for an afternoon game. Ostensibly to check out security issues, Watkins later admitted it was just to play golf and resigned. (1994)[345]
  • Darleen A. Druyun (D), Principal Deputy United States Under Secretary of the Air Force.[346] She pleaded 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. (2005).[347] CBS News called it "the biggest Pentagon scandal in 20 years" and said that she pleaded guilty to a felony.[348]
  • Catalina Vasquez Villalpando (R) US Treasurer, convicted of obstruction and tax evasion. She was sentenced to 4 months and fined.(1994)[349][350][351]

Legislative branch

  • Newt Gingrich (R-GA), the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was charged $300,000 in sanctions by the majority Republican House ethics committee for an unethical book deal[352] leading to his eventual resignation from office. (1997)[353]
  • Wes Cooley (R-OR) 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)[354][355]
  • US Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) and a combative critic of the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, admitted that he had fathered a child out of wedlock. (1998)[356]
  • Austin Murphy (D-PA) was convicted of engaging in voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home.[357]
  • Nicholas Mavroules (D-MA) pleaded guilty to bribery charges.[358]
  • Bob Packwood (R-OR) was accused of sexual misconduct by nineteen women. He fought the allegations, but eventually, the US Senate Ethics Committee found him guilty of a "pattern of abuse of his position of power and authority" and recommended that he be expelled from the Senate. He resigned on September 7, 1995.[359]
  • Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of filing false campaign reports on August 3, 1993. He was sentenced to three months in prison.[360]
  • House banking scandal[361] – 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)[362]
  1. Buzz Lukens (R-OH) was convicted of bribery and conspiracy.[363]
  2. Carl C. Perkins (D-KY) pleaded guilty to a check-kiting scheme involving several financial institutions (including the House Bank).[363]
  3. Carroll Hubbard (D-KY) was convicted of illegally funneling money to his wife's 1992 campaign to succeed him in congress.[364]
  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.[363]
  5. Walter Fauntroy (D-DC) was convicted of filing false disclosure forms in order to hide unauthorized income.[363]
  6. Jack Russ, House Sergeant-at-Arms, was convicted of three counts.[363]
  1. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1995.[366]
  2. Joe Kolter (D-PA) was convicted of one count of conspiracy[367] and sentenced to 6 months in prison.[368]
  3. Postmaster Robert V. Rota was convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of embezzlement.[365]
  • Jay C. Kim (R-CA) plea guilty in 1997 to accepting $230,000 in illegal foreign and corporate campaign donations, including one-third of all donations to his initial 1992 campaign for Congress after a long term running FBI Investigation in Los Angeles, CA. At the time, it was a record for campaign violations. Kim was sentenced to House arrest and fined $20,000, and subsequently lost re-election in the 1998 Republican Primary Election for the 41st Congressional District in California. (1997)[369]
  • US Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) was found guilty of failure to properly report campaign contributions and fined. (1996)[370]
  1. Rhonda Carmony (R) Campaign Manager and wife of State Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R) was the key instigator of a Republican effort to manipulate the 67th District election by fostering the candidacy of decoy candidate Laurie Campbell (D) to undermine the candidacy of popular Democrat Linda Moulton-Patterson. Carmony pled guilty and was sentenced to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service and was fined. (1996)[371][372]
  2. Jack Wenpo Wu (R) Campaign Treasurer for Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) US Representative, embezzled over $300K. He was repaying the money when he was found guilty and sentenced to 1 year and 5 years probation (2015)[373][374]
  3. Enid Greene Mickelsen (Waldholtz) (R) U.S. Representative, was found guilty on four counts of violating FEC rules and paid $100,000 in fines for campaign violations. (1994)[375]
  4. Joe Waldholtz (R) Campaign Manager and husband of Enid Greene Waldholtz (R) pled guilty to federal charges of tax, bank, and campaign fraud, embezzling and forgery(1995)[376] and then, while out on parole, was subsequently convicted of forging insurance and Veterans Affairs checks from his stepmother and his late father.[377][378]
  • Hayes Martin (R) Campaign Treasurer to US Representative Charles H. Taylor (R-NC) was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering concerning Taylor's Blue Ridge Saving Bank. Martin was found guilty and sentenced to two years probation. (1993)[379]
  • Charles "Chig" Cagle (R) District Republican Party Chairman for US Representative Charles H. Taylor (R-NC) was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering concerning Taylor's Blue Ridge Saving Bank. Cagle was found guilty and sentenced to two years probation. (1993)[380]

George H. W. Bush administration (1989–1993)

Executive branch

  • President George H. W. Bush (R) denied any knowledge of the Iran–Contra affair during his election campaign by saying he was "out of the loop". His own diaries of that time, though, stated "I'm one of the few people that know fully the details ..." He repeatedly refused to disclose this to investigators during the investigation and thus won the election. (1988)[381]
  • Catalina Vasquez Villalpando (R), Treasurer of the United States, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion, making her the only US Treasurer ever sent to prison. (1992)[382]
  • Iran-Contra Affair pardons – On December 24, 1992, George H. W. Bush (R) granted clemency to four convicted government officials as well as Caspar Weinberger and Duane Clarridge, whose trials had not yet begun. This action prevented any further investigation into the matter.[383]
  1. Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, pardoned before trial[384]
  2. Robert C. McFarlane, National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan, guilty of withholding information,[384]
  3. Elliott Abrams, Assistant Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan, guilty of withholding information,[384]
  4. Clair George, CIA Chief of Covert Ops, guilty of perjury[384]
  5. Alan D. Fiers, Chief of the CIA's Central American Task Force, guilty of withholding information[384]
  6. Duane Clarridge, CIA Operations Officer, pardoned before trial[384]

Legislative branch

  • Charles "Chig" Cagle (R) District Chairman for US Representative Charles H. Taylor (R-NC) was found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering concerning Taylor's Blue Ridge Saving Bank. Martin was sentenced to two years probation. (1993)[380]
  • Albert Bustamante (D-TX) was convicted of accepting bribes.(1993)[385]
  • Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to federal election officials[386] and served three months in jail, fined $5,000, 2 years' probation and back taxes of $40,000.(1993)[387]
  • Senator David Durenberger (R-MN) was denounced by the Senate for unethical financial transactions and then disbarred in 1990. He pleaded guilty to misuse of public funds and was given one year's probation and fined. (1995)[388]
  • Donald E. "Buz" Lukens (R-OH) was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for having sex with a 16-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500. (1989)[389]

Judicial branch

  • Clarence Thomas (R), Supreme Court nominee, was accused of sexual harassment by eight former employees including Anita Hill, but was approved anyway.[390]
  • Walter Nixon, US Judge, was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for perjury on November 3, 1989.[391]
  • Robert Frederick Collins (D) Judge of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana appointed by Jimmy Carter (D). He was charged with obstruction and accepting bribe money in exchange for a light sentence given to a drug dealer. $17,500 in marked bills was found in his chambers. He was sentenced to five years in prison and disbarred. (1991)[392][393][394]

Ronald Reagan administration (1981–1989)

Executive branch

  • Operation Ill Wind was a three-year investigation launched in 1986 by the FBI into corruption by U.S. government and military officials, as well as private defense contractors.
  1. Melvyn Paisley, appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1981 by Republican President Ronald Reagan,[395] was found to have accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. He pleaded guilty to bribery, resigned his office and served four years in prison.[396][397]
  2. James E. Gaines Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, took over when Paisley resigned his office.[398] He was convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, and theft and conversion of government property. He was sentenced to six months in prison.[399]
  3. Victor D. Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, was the 50th conviction obtained under the Ill Wind probe when he pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and conspiring to defraud the government.[400]
  • The Housing and Urban Development scandal concerned bribery by selected contractors for low income housing projects.[401][402]
  1. Samuel Pierce, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was not charged because he made "full and public written acceptance of responsibility".[403]
  2. James G. Watt, the Secretary of Interior from 1981–1983, was charged with 25 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, sentenced to five years' probation, fined $5,000 and 500 hours of community service[404]
  3. Deborah Gore Dean (R), Executive Assistant to Samuel Pierce (Secretary of HUD from 1981–1987, and not charged), was convicted of 12 counts of perjury, conspiracy, bribery. Sentenced to 21 months in prison. (1987)[405]
  4. Phillip D. Winn, Assistant Secretary of HUD from 1981–1982, pleaded guilty to bribery in 1994.[405]
  5. Thomas Demery, Assistant Secretary of HUD, pleaded guilty to bribery and obstruction.[405]
  6. Joseph A. Strauss, Special Assistant to the Secretary of HUD, was convicted of accepting payments to favor Puerto Rican land developers in receiving HUD funding.[406][407]
  7. Silvio D. DeBartolomeis was convicted of perjury and bribery.[408]
  • Wedtech scandal – Wedtech Corporation was convicted of bribery for Defense Department contracts.
  1. Edwin Meese (R) Attorney General resigned, but was never convicted.[409]
  2. Lyn Nofziger (R) White House Press Secretary had a conviction of lobbying that was overturned.[410]
  3. Mario Biaggi (D-NY) was sentenced to 2½ years in prison.[411]
  • Savings and loan scandal – 747 institutions failed and had to be rescued with $160,000,000,000 of taxpayer monies in connection with the Keating Five. see Legislative scandals.[412]
  • John M. Fedders (R) SEC Dir of Enforcement, in divorce testimony he admitted beating his wife and then resigned. (1985)[413][414]
  • Emanuel S. Savas, appointed by Ronald Reagan to be Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, resigned on July 8, 1983, after an internal Justice Department investigation found he had abused his office by having his Government staff work on his private book on Government time.[415][416]
  • Iran-Contra Affair (1985–1986) – In violation of an arms embargo, administration officials arranged to sell armaments to Iran in an attempt to improve relations with Iran and obtain their influence in the release of hostages held in Lebanon. Oliver North of the National Security Council then diverted proceeds from the arms sale to fund Contra rebels attempting to overthrow the left-wing government of Nicaragua, which was in direct violation of Congress' Boland Amendment.[417] 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 (R) Secretary of Defense, was indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on June 16, 1992.[418] Weinberger received a pardon from George H. W. Bush on December 24, 1992, before he was tried.[419]
  2. William Casey (R) Director of the CIA is thought to have conceived the plan, but was stricken ill hours before he would testify. Reporter Bob Woodward records that Casey knew of and approved the plan.[420]
  3. Robert C. McFarlane National Security Adviser was convicted of withholding evidence, but after a plea bargain was given only two years' probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush[421]
  4. Elliott Abrams (R) Assistant Secretary of State, was convicted of withholding evidence, but after a plea bargain was given only two years' probation. He was later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush[422][423]
  5. Alan D. Fiers Chief of the CIA's Central American Task Force, was convicted of withholding evidence and sentenced to one year's probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush[424]
  6. Clair George Chief of Covert Ops-CIA was convicted on two charges of perjury, but was pardoned by President George H. W. Bush before sentencing.[425]
  7. Oliver North (R) Deputy Director of the National Security Council, was convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents, but the convictions were vacated, after the appeals court found that witnesses in his trial might have been impermissibly affected by his immunized congressional testimony.[426]
  8. Fawn Hall, Oliver North's secretary, was given immunity from prosecution on charges of conspiracy and destroying documents in exchange for her testimony.[427]
  9. John Poindexter (R) National Security Advisor, was convicted of five counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence. The Supreme Court overturned this ruling.[428]
  10. Duane Clarridge Ex-CIA senior official, was indicted in November 1991 on seven counts of perjury and false statements relating to a November 1985 shipment to Iran. He was pardoned before trial by President George H. W. Bush.[429][430]
  11. Richard V. Secord an ex-major general in the Air Force, who organized the Iran arms sales and Contra aid, pleaded guilty in November 1989 to making false statements to Congress. He was sentenced to two years of probation.[431][432]
  12. Albert Hakim Businessman, pleaded 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.[431][433]
  13. Thomas G. Clines a former intelligence official, who became an arms dealer, was convicted in September 1990 on four income tax counts, including under-reporting of income to the IRS and lying about not having foreign accounts. He was sentenced to 16 months of prison and fined $40,000.[431][434]
  14. Carl R. Channell (R) a fund-raiser for conservative causes, pleaded guilty in April 1987 to defrauding the IRS via a tax-exempt organization to fund the Contras.[435] He was sentenced to two years' probation.[431][436]
  15. Richard R. Miller associate to Carl R. Channell, pleaded guilty in May 1987 to defrauding the IRS via a tax-exempt organization led by Channell. More precisely, he pleaded guilty to lying to the IRS about the deductibility of donations to the organization. Some of the donations were used to fund the Contras.[437] Sentenced to two years of probation and 120 hours of community service.[431]
  16. Joseph F. Fernandez CIA Station Chief of Costa Rica, was indicted on five counts in 1988.[438] The case was dismissed when Attorney General Dick Thornburgh refused to declassify information needed for his defense in 1990.[439]
  • Michael Deaver (R) Deputy Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan from 1981–1985, pleaded guilty to perjury related to lobbying activities and was sentenced to three years' probation and fined $100,000.[440]
  • Sewergate was 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, the Burford Head of the EPA, cut the EPA staff by 22% and refused to turn over documents to Congress citing "executive privilege",[441] whereupon she was found in Contempt and resigned with twenty of her top employees. (1980)[442]
  2. Rita Lavelle, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, misused "superfund" monies and was convicted of perjury. She served six months in prison, was fined $10,000 and given five years' probation.[443]
  • Louis O. Giuffrida (R), director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was appointed in April 1981 by Ronald Reagan and resigned his position on September 1, 1985. His announcement came a day before a Congressional subcommittee was to approve a report detailing waste, fraud, and abuse at his agency.[444]
  • Fred J. Villella, Deputy Director at Federal Emergency Management Agency, had more than $70,000 in renovations made to part of a dormitory at an agency training center in Maryland for use as a residence, including an $11,000 stove, wet bar, microwave oven, fireplace and cherrywood cabinets. Villella accepted free tickets to the same Republican fund-raisers as Giuffrida and also was accused of sexually harassing a FEMA security guard he also used for private errands. He resigned in 1984. (1984)[445][446][447]
  • J. Lynn Helms was appointed head of the Federal Aviation Administration by Ronald Reagan in April 1981. He was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with diverting $1.2 million from an issue of tax-exempt municipal bonds to his own personal use. Mr. Helms signed an order that settled the case before trial, though he resigned his FAA post.[448][449]
  • Veterans administration Chief Bob Nimmo was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He resigned one year later just before a General Accounting Office report criticized him for improper such use of government funds. (1982)[445][450]
  • John Fedders was appointed chief of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission by President Ronald Reagan.[451] He was asked to resign his position after divorce proceedings, during which he admitted beating his wife.[452][453]
  • Peter Voss (R) was appointed to the US Postal Service Board of Governors in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan. He was sentenced to four years in federal prison and fined $11,000 for theft and accepting payoffs. He resigned his office in 1986, when he pleaded guilty.[454][455]
  • Carlos Campbell (R) Asst Sec of Commerce to the EDA, he was accused of favoritism in awarding grants and being over zealous. Before an investigation could start he resigned. (1983)[456][457]
  • Jim Petro (R), U.S. Attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was dismissed and fined for tipping off an acquaintance about an ongoing Secret Service investigation. (1984)[458][459]
  • William H. Kennedy, United States Attorney in San Diego, was dismissed by President Reagan after he mentioned that the CIA was involved in a smuggling case. (1982)[460][461][462]
  • Marjory Mecklenburg (R) Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources used travel funds to see her son's Denver Bronco games. She resigned(1985)[463][464]
  • Guy W. Fiske (R) Deputy Secretary of Commerce, after allegations of a conflict of interest in contract negotiations with satellite communications company Comsat, resigned. (1983)[465][466][467]

Legislative branch

  • Mark Hatfield (R-OR) US Senator and US Appropriations Chairman, revealed that his wife had been paid $55,000 by Greek arms dealer Basil Tsakos, who had been lobbying for a trans-African pipeline. (1984)[468][469][470][471]
  • David Durenberger (R-MN) Senator was denounced by the Senate for unethical financial transactions (1990) and then disbarred as an attorney.[472] In 1995, he pled guilty to 5 misdemeanor counts of misuse of public funds and was given one year's probation.[473]
  • Jesse Helms (R-NC) Senator and 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)[474]
  • Barney Frank (D-MA) US Representative, 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)[475]
  • Donald E. "Buz" Lukens (R-OH) was convicted of two counts of bribery and conspiracy. (1996)[476] (See also sex scandal.)
  • 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)[477]
  • Jim Wright (D-TX) US Representative and house Speaker, resigned after an ethics investigation led by Newt Gingrich alleged improper receipt of $145,000 in gifts (1989)[478]
  • 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.[479] The five were investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee which found that:
  1. Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA) was reprimanded.[480]
  2. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) acted improperly.[481]
  3. Senator Don Riegle (D-MI) acted improperly.[481]
  4. Senator John Glenn (D-OH) used poor judgment.[481]
  5. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) used poor judgment.[481]
  • Abscam was an FBI sting involving fake "Arabs" trying to bribe 31 congressmen. (1980)[482] The following six Congressmen were convicted:
  1. Senator Harrison A. Williams (D-NJ) was convicted on nine counts of bribery and conspiracy, and was sentenced to three years in prison.[483]
  2. Representative John Jenrette (D-SC) was sentenced to two years in prison for bribery and conspiracy.[484]
  3. Richard Kelly (R-FL) accepted $25K and then claimed he was conducting his own investigation into corruption. Served 13 months.[485]
  4. Raymond Lederer (D-PA) said that "I can give you me" after accepting $50,000. He was sentenced to three years in prison.[486]
  5. Michael Myers (D-PA) accepted $50,000, saying "... money talks and bullshit walks." He was sentenced to three years in prison and was expelled from the House.[487]
  6. Frank Thompson (D-NJ) was sentenced to three years in prison.[488]
  7. John M. Murphy (D-NY) served 20 months of a three-year sentence.[489]
  8. Also arrested were NJ State Senator Angelo Errichetti (D)[490] and members of the Philadelphia City Council.
  • Mario Biaggi (D-NY) was part of the Wedtech scandal and was convicted of obstruction of justice accepting illegal gratuities, obstruction and bribery. He was Sentenced to eight years in prison and fined $500,000.(1988)[491][492]
  • Pat Swindall (R-GA) was convicted of six counts of perjury. (1989)[493][494]
  • George V. Hansen (R-ID) was censured for failing to file out disclosure forms. He spent fifteen months in prison.[495]
  • Frederick W. Richmond (D-NY) was convicted of tax evasion and possession of marijuana. He served nine months in prison. (1982)[496]
  • Joshua Eilberg (D-PA) pleaded guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. In addition, he convinced President Jimmy Carter (D) to fire the U.S. Attorney investigating his case.[497]
  • Robert E. Bauman (R-MD) was charged with soliciting sex from a teenage boy. Counseling was ordered, but he lost his next two elections. (1980)[498][499]

Judicial branch

  • Federal District Court Judge Alcee Hastings (D-FL) was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate of soliciting a bribe. (1989)[500]
  • Federal District Court Judge Harry Claiborne (D-NV) was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate on two counts of tax evasion. He served over one year in prison.[501]
  • J. William Petro (R) U.S. Attorney in Ohio, was found guilty of criminal contempt of court for leaking confidential information. He was removed from office. (1985)[502]
  • Walter Nixon (D) US Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi, was accused of asking a local DA to stop prosecuting the son of a donor to Richard Nixon. He was found guilty of perjury and sentenced to five years in prison. Still a US Judge while imprisoned, he was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate of perjury and removed from office. (1983)

[503][504][505][506]

James E. Carter administration (1977–1981)

Executive branch

Legislative branch

  • Daniel J. Flood (D-PA) was censured for bribery during the 96th United States Congress. The allegations led to his resignation on January 31, 1980.[508]
  • US Representative J. Herbert Burke (R-FL) pleaded guilty to disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest, and nolo contendere to an additional charge of witness tampering. He was sentenced to three months plus fines. (1978)[509]
  • US Representative Robert E. Bauman (R-MD) was charged with soliciting sex from a teenage boy in gay bar. After counseling, the charges were dropped, but he lost his next two elections. (1980)[498][499]
  • Fred Richmond (D-NY) received charges of soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy were dropped after he submitted to counseling. (1978)[510]
  • Charles Diggs (D-MI) was 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)[511]
  • Senator Herman Talmadge (D-GA) was denounced by the Senate for "improper financial conduct" on October 11, 1979. He failed to be re-elected.[512]
  • 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.[513]
  • Charles H. Wilson (D-CA) was 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.[514]
  • John Connally (R-TX) was accused of accepting a $10,000 bribe (Milk Money scandal). He was acquitted. (1975)[515]
  • Richard Tonry (D-LA) pleaded guilty to receiving illegal campaign contributions.[516]
  • 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.[517] The most notable are:
  1. Richard T. Hanna (D-CA) pleaded guilty[518] and sentenced to 6–30 months in federal prison.[519] Wound up serving a year in prison.[520]
  2. John J. McFall, Edward Roybal, and Charles H. Wilson, all (D-CA), were involved. Roybal was censured and Wilson was reprimanded,[521] while McFall was reprimanded,[522]

Judicial

  • Herbert Allan Fogel (R) Federal Judge of the Eastern Federal District of Pennsylvania (1973–1978), and nominated by Richard M. Nixon, resigned after investigation of a government contract in which he was forced to invoke the 5th Amendment. (1978)[503][523]
  • Jack T. Camp (R) Federal Judge, Northern District of GA, appointed by Roanld Reagan, guilty of trying to purchase cocaine, firearms violations, aiding a felon. Resigned. Sentenced to 30 days. (2010)[524][525]

Gerald Ford administration (1974–1977)

Executive branch

  • Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz (R) was 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 afterwards on October 4, 1976.[526]

Legislative branch

  • Congressman Andrew J. Hinshaw (R-CA) was convicted of accepting bribes while Assessor of Orange County. He served one year in prison. (1977)[527]
  • Wayne L. Hays (D-OH) resigned from Congress after hiring and promoting his mistress, Elizabeth Ray. (1976)[528]
  • Frank Horton (R-NY) pleaded guilty to a DWI (arrested at 105 mph with two women; neither were his wife) and was sentenced to 11 days in jail. (1976)[529][530]
  • James F. Hastings (R-NY) was convicted of taking kickbacks from his staff and mail fraud. He took the money from his employees and used it to buy cars, boats, school tuition and retirement. Served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary. (1976)[531]
  • James R. Jones (D-OK) US Rep, plead guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge that he had failed to report a 1972 campaign contribution from Gulf Oil. (1976)[532]
  • Bob Sikes (D-FL) was reprimanded for conflict of interest in failing to disclose stock holdings.[514]
  • John V. Dowdy (D-TX) served 6 months in prison for perjury. (1973)[533]
  • Bertram L. Podell (D-NY) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and conflict of interest. He was fined $5,000 and served four months in prison. (1974)[534]
  • Frank Brasco (D-NY) was 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.[497]
  • Frank Clark (D-PA) paid congressional salaries to 13 Pennsylvania residents who performed no official duties.[497]
  • 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.[535]

Judicial branch

Otto Kerner Jr. (D), US Judge of the 7th Circuit Court and former Illinois Governor, was appointed by Lyndon Johnson and indicted on charges of conspiracy, bribery, mail fraud, and income tax evasion related to accepting stock shares from a racing company and lying about it. He was convicted and resigned his position. (1974) [503][536]

Richard M. Nixon administration (1969–1974)

Executive branch

  • Vice President Spiro Agnew (R-MD) was convicted of tax fraud stemming from bribery charges in Maryland and forced to resign.[537] Gerald R. Ford (R-MI) was nominated by Nixon to replace Agnew as Vice President (the first person appointed to the Vice Presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment).
  • Bebe Rebozo (R)[538] was investigated for accepting large contribution to Nixon's campaign. No charges were filed. (1973)[539]
  • Watergate (1972–1974) – President Richard Nixon (R) ordered the coverup of 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.[540] Those involved include:
  1. John N. Mitchell (R) Attorney General of the United States, was convicted of perjury and served nineteen months of a one- to four-year sentence.[541]
  2. Richard Kleindienst (R) Attorney General that replaced Mitchell, was convicted of "refusing to answer questions" given one month in jail.[542]
  3. Jeb Stuart Magruder (R) Head of Committee to Re-elect the President, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, August 1973[543]
  4. Frederick C. LaRue (R) Advisor to John Mitchell, was convicted of obstruction of justice.[543]
  5. H. R. Haldeman (R) CoS for Nixon, was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury.[544]
  6. John Ehrlichman (R) Counsel to Nixon, was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury.[545]
  7. Egil Krogh (R) aide to John Ehrlichman, was sentenced to six years.[543][546][547]
  8. John W. Dean III (R) counsel to Nixon, was convicted for obstruction of justice.[543]
  9. Dwight L. Chapin (R) deputy assistant to Nixon, was convicted of perjury.[543]
  10. Herbert W. Kalmbach (R) personal attorney to Nixon, was convicted of illegal campaigning.[543]
  11. Charles W. Colson (R) special counsel to Nixon, was convicted for obstruction of justice.[542]
  12. Herbert L. Porter (R) aide to the Committee to Re-elect the President, was convicted of perjury.[543]
  13. G. Gordon Liddy (R) Special Investigations Group, was convicted of burglary.[543]
  • Maurice Stans (R) Secretary of Commerce, pleaded guilty to 3 counts of violating the reporting sections of the Federal Election Campaign Act and 2 counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions and was fined $5,000. (1975)[548]
  • G. Bradford Cook (R) was appointed by President Nixon to be Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He resigned his position during the investigation into the Robert Vesco/Watergate affair during which he allegedly lied to a grand jury and was disbarred by the US Supreme Court for three years. He had served as Chairman for just 74 days. (1973)[549][550] The Washington Star reported that Cook believed he was going to be impeached, and offered to resign. The White House allowed him to do so.[551]
  • Operation Townhouse was established by H. R. Haldeman (R) Nixon's Chief of Staff, to set up a secret fund-raising enterprise, the "Townhouse Operation", designed to bypass the Republican National Committee. (1970)[552][553]
  1. Harry Shuler Dent (R) Presidential Counsel and Strategist, pleaded guilty to violations of Federal election law for his part in the illegal fundraising operation.[554]
  2. Herbert W. Kalmbach (R) Nixon's Personal Attorney, raised $3.9 million for a secret Republican slush fund.[555] He also promised an ambassador a better post in exchange for $100,000, which led to conviction and imprisonment.[556] Kalmbach pleaded guilty to violation of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act and one count of promising federal employment.[557]
  3. White House Aide Jack A. Gleason (R) pleaded guilty to violations of Federal election law concerning an illegal fund raising operation run by the White House.[558]
  • Richard Helms, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1966–1973), was convicted of misleading Congress concerning assassination attempts in Cuba, anti-government activities in Chile and the illegal surveillance of journalists in the US. Mr. Helms pleaded no contest.[559][560]
  • Donald Segretti (R) ran a campaign of dirty tricks for Nixon which he dubbed "ratfucking", which meant forging and distributing documents to embarrass Democrats. Segretti pled guilty to 3 counts of distributing illegal (forged) campaign literature and was sentenced to 6 months in prison. (1974)[561][562]

Legislative branch

  • Senator Ted Kennedy (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.[563] (1969)
  • Cornelius Gallagher (D-NJ) pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and served two years in prison.[564]
  • 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.[497]
  • Martin B. McKneally (R-NY) was placed on one year's probation and fined $5,000 in 1971 for failing to file income tax return. He had not paid taxes for many years prior.[565]
  • Richard T. Hanna (D-CA) was convicted in an influence-buying scandal. (1974)[566]
  • Edwin Reinecke (R-CA) was convicted of perjury and sentenced to 18 months in prison as part of the Watergate investigation. He resigned one day before his sentencing, which was overturned on appeal because "the Senate Judiciary Committee before which he was accused of perjuring himself had failed to publish its rule permitting a one-man quorum."[567][568]
  • US Representative William Oswald Mills (R-MD) had received an undisclosed $25,000 gift from the Finance Committee of President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign (CREEP), which was part of $900,000 in unaccounted donations made by that committee in May 1973. Five days later, he committed suicide. (1973)[569][570][571]
  • US Representative George V. Hansen (R-ID) was the first member of Congress to be convicted of violating a new 1971 campaign law requiring disclosure of financial contributions. (1974)[572][573]
  • James R. Jones (D-OK) US Representative, plead guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge that he had failed to report a $200 campaign contribution. He was fined $200. (1972)[532]

Judicial branch

  • Judge Harrold Carswell (R) was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 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 and opposed his nomination and contributed to his defeat.[574] 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."[575][576]

  • Herbert Allan Fogel (R) US Judge of Eastern District of PA (1973–1978) resigned after investigations of a government contract started, during which he was forced to invoke the 5th Amendment multiple times. (1978)[503][577]

Lyndon B. Johnson administration (1963–1969)

Executive branch

  • 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)[578]

Legislative branch

  • Senator Daniel Brewster (D-MD) pleaded no contest to accepting an illegal gratuity in 1975 and fined $10,000.[579][page needed][580] Brewster was convicted in 1972 of accepting $14,500 from a lobbyist,[581] and was handed a six-year prison term in 1973 over the conviction,[582] but the conviction was overturned on grounds of unclear jury instructions.[583]
  • Congressman Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of filing false campaign reports on August 3, 1993. He was sentenced to three months in prison.[360]
  • 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).[531]

Judicial branch

  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas (D) resigned when he was discovered to be a paid consultant to a convicted criminal. No charges were ever filed. (1969)[584][503]

John F. Kennedy administration (1961–1963)

Legislative branch

  • Thomas F. Johnson (D-MD) was indicted on charges of members of Maryland's S&L industry bribing him and lost his seat in 1962. Later was convicted of conspiracy and conflict of interest in 1968, served 3½ months of a 6-month sentence and was fined $5,000.[585]
  • Frank W. 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.[586][587]

Dwight D. Eisenhower administration (1953–1961)

Executive branch

  • Vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon (R) delivered the "Checkers speech" to deflect scandal about $18,000 in gifts, maintaining the only personal gift he had received was a dog. (1952)[588]
  • Chief of Staff (Llewelyn) Sherman A. Adams (R) was 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)[589]
  • John C. Doerfer (R), the appointed Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Eisenhower, spent a week-long Florida vacation in 1960 on the yacht owned by his friend George B. Storer, president of Storer Broadcasting; as a result, he was accused of conflict of interest and forced to resign.[590][591]

Legislative branch

  • McCarthyism – A broad political and cultural purge was started against people suspected of sympathy with communism, starting near the end of World War II and reaching its climax in the investigations of Republican 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.[592][593] (He died in 1957 before his Senate seat could come up for election.)
  • Thomas J. Lane (D-MA) was convicted for evading taxes on his congressional income. He served four months in prison, but was re-elected three more times[594] before his 1962 defeat due to re-districting. (1956)[595]
  • 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.[596]
  • Douglas R. 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.[597]

Harry S. Truman administration (1945–1953)

Executive branch

Legislative branch

  • Walter E. Brehm (R-OH) was convicted of accepting contributions illegally from one of his employees. He received a 15-month suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine.[citation needed]
  • J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ), a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), was convicted of salary fraud in a kickback scheme and given an 18-month sentence and fined $10,000, resigning from Congress in 1950. He was imprisoned in Danbury Prison with two of the Hollywood Ten he had helped put there. He was pardoned by President Harry Truman (D) in 1952.[600][601]
  • Andrew J. May (D-KY) was convicted of accepting bribes in 1947 from a war munitions manufacturer. He was sentenced to nine months in prison, after which he was pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952.[602]
  • 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)[603]
  • H. Styles Bridges (R-NH) US Senator, during the Lavender Scare of the 1950s, Bridges threatened to expose the son of US Senator Lester Hunt’s (D-WY) as a homosexual unless Hunt immediately resigned from the Senate, thus giving Republicans the majority. Hunt refused, but did not seek re-election and then shot himself. (1954)[604][605][606]

Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration (1933–1945)

Executive branch

  • Michael J. Hogan (R) Collector of the Port of New York. Convicted of bribery in connection with an immigration ring for illegal aliens seeking entry into the United States. he was sentenced to a year and a day in a Federal Penitentiary. (1935)[607][608][609]
  • William P. MacCracken Jr. (R) US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, was convicted of Contempt of Congress for the Air Mail scandal.(1934)[610][611]

Legislative branch

  • Francis Henry Shoemaker (Farmer-Labor-MN) was sentenced to a year and a day in the penitentiary for sending scurrilous and defamatory materials through the mail. (1933)[612]
  • John H. Hoeppel (D-CA) was convicted of trying to sell an appointment to the West Point Military Academy. (1936)[613]
  • Donald F. Snow (R-ME) was committed to the Maine State Prison for two to four years for embezzlement. (1935)[614][615][616][617]

Judicial branch

  • Joseph Buffington (R) US Judge of the 3rd Circuit, appointed by Theodore Roosevelt (R). Investigation by the US House revealed that at the age of 92, Buffington was both deaf and blind and it was suspected that all of his decision were being written and sold by another judge. He resigned before impeachment.(1935)[503]
  • Halsted L. Ritter (R) Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida appointed by Calvin Coolidge (R). Was accused of taking kickbacks on bankruptcy cases and not reporting them on his taxes. Though he was found not guilty of six separate charges, he was found guilty on the seventh count charging ‘general misbehavior’ and bringing the judiciary into disrepute (accepting free meals and lodging during receivership proceedings). He was impeached and removed from office. (1936)[618][619][620][621][503][622]
  • Martin Thomas Manton (D) US District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, was investigated for judicial corruption and bribery which resulted in prosecution and a two-year prison term. (1939)[623]
  • Edwin Stark Thomas (D) U.S. District Judge for Connecticut, during a grand jury investigation of official misconduct and his financial affairs, he resigned. (1939)[624][625][503]
  • John Warren Davis (D) Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, appointed by Woodrow Wilson, was investigated for accepting a bribe from film mogul William Fox. Further investigation revealed Davis was routinely accepting bribes for decisions signed by fellow Judge Joseph Buffington (R) who was senile. When Fox was found guilty, Davis resigned two weeks later. (1939)[626][503]
  • Albert Williams Johnson (R) US Judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, appointed by Calvin Coolidge (R), was under investigation by a US House Judiciary Committee. In unusual language, they found he was a "wicked, evil and mendacious judge." The report of the subcommittee also said that almost "every litigant who had the misfortune to appear before this wicked and malicious judge became the immediate object of a crooked conspiracy whose sole interest was the amount of money that could be extorted from him for justice or the evasion of justice." Johnson resigned before impeachment (1945)[503]

Herbert Hoover administration (1929–1933)

Legislative branch

  • Senator Hiram Bingham (R-CT) was censured for hiring a lobbyist employed by a manufacturing organization to work on his staff. (1929)[627]
  • 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.[628]
  • George E. Foulkes (D-MI) US Rep, was found guilty of conspiracy and bribery and sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $1,000 (1934)[629]

Calvin Coolidge administration (1923–1929)

Executive

  • US Alien Property Custodian Thomas B. Miller (R) was convicted of conspiring to defraud the US government and served 18 months in prison. (1927)[630][631]
  • Frederick A. Fenning (R), District of Columbia Commissioner appointed by Calvin Coolidge, was investigated and accused of practices illegal and contrary to law. He resigned before trial. (1927)[632][633]

Legislative

  • 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 had 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.[634][635]
  • Senator William Scott Vare (R-PA) was unseated on December 6, 1929, due to charges of corruption and fraud during his election.[636]
  • Frank L. Smith (R), Head of the Illinois Commerce Commission, was appointed to be US Senator by IL Governor Len Small (R), but was rejected by the US Senate for alleged "fraud and corruption". (1927)[637][638]

Judicial

  • Illinois U.S. District Judge George English (D) was impeached for taking an interest-free loan from a bank of which he was director as well as misbehavior and manipulation. Resigned before his Senate trial. (1924)[639][640][641]

Warren G. Harding administration (1921–1923)

Executive branch

  • President Warren G. Harding's (R-OH) 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.[642] They include;
  1. Albert Fall, Secretary of the Interior, 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)[643]
  2. Edwin C. Denby, Secretary of the Navy, resigned for his part in the Teapot Dome oil reserve scandal.[644]
  3. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty resigned on March 28, 1924, because of an investigation about a bootlegging kickback scheme by his chief aide Jess Smith. Found not guilty. (1924)[645]
  4. Jess Smith, aide to Attorney General Daugherty, destroyed incriminating papers and then committed suicide.[645]
  5. Charles R. Forbes was 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.[646]
  6. Charles Cramer, Forbes's general counsel, committed suicide. (1923)[647]
  7. Thomas W. Miller, Head of the Office of Alien Property, was 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.[648]

Legislative branch

  • Thomas L. Blanton (D-TX) was 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)[649]
  • Truman Handy Newberry (R-MI) US Senator, was convicted of election irregularities, but the case was overturned by the US Supreme Court. However, due to continued opposition and a senate condemnation vote claiming that $3,750 was too much to spend on an election[650][651] against automaker Henry Ford, he resigned. (1921)[651]

Judicial

  • Francis Asbury Winslow (R) Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. appointed by Warren G. Harding (R). Following calls for an investigation by Fiorella La Guardia into recent bankruptcy decisions and his choice of court-appointed receivers, Winslow was found to have committed "serious indiscretions." He then resigned. (1929)[503][652][653]

Woodrow Wilson administration (1913–1921)

Executive branch

Judicial

William Howard Taft administration (1909–1913)

Legislative branch

  • Senator William Lorimer (R-IL), also known as the "blond boss of Chicago", was expelled from the U.S. Senate in 1912 for accepting bribes.[657]
  • Senator Benjamin R. Tillman (D-SC) and John McLaurin, Senator (D-SC) were both censured for fighting in the Senate chamber.[658]
  • Senator Ralph Cameron (R-AZ) attempted to control access to the Grand Canyon by buying mining rights to adjacent lands. (1912)[659]
  • William Forte Willett Jr. (D-NY), US Representative, was indicted on charges of bribery for paying State Democratic Party leaders for a seat on the NY State Supreme Court. He was convicted of conspiracy, corrupt practices and bribery and served 14 months in prison (1912)[660][661][662]

Judicial branch

  • Pennsylvania U.S. Commerce Court Judge Robert Archbald (R) was involved for corrupt alliances with coal mine workers and railroad officials. He was convicted and removed from office. (1912)[663]
  • Cornelius Hanford (R) US District Judge for the Western District of Washington, resigned under threat of impeachment for corruption. (1912)[664]

Theodore Roosevelt administration (1901–1909)

Legislative branch

  • Senator John Hipple Mitchell (R-OR) was involved with the Oregon land fraud scandal, for which he was indicted and convicted while a sitting U.S. Senator. He died before sentencing. (1905)[665]
  • Senator Joseph R. Burton (R-KS) was convicted of bribery in 1904 on the charge of illegally receiving compensation for services rendered before a federal department and served five months in prison. (1904)[666]
  • Henry B. Cassel (R-PA) US Representative, was convicted of fraud related to the construction of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in 1909.[667]

Judicial branch

William McKinley administration (1897–1901)

Executive branch

  • Oregon US Federal District Attorney John Hicklin Hall (R) was appointed by Republican President William McKinley. In 1903, Hall was ordered to investigate land fraud in what became known as the Oregon land fraud scandal. He 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)[668] He was later pardoned by Republican President William Howard Taft.[669]
  • Alexander McKenzie (R) Republican National Committeeman, was appointed receiver of the Anvil Creek gold mines in Alaska, an extremely rich operation. He took over production and kept the gold it produced. On appeal, he was ordered to return the gold he had collected, an order which he refused. He was then found guilty of two counts of contempt of court and sentenced to one year in jail.(1901)[670][671][672][673]

Legislative branch

  • Charles Henry Dietrich (R-NE) US Senator, before he took office Dietrich was charged with bribery for accepting money to appoint Jacob Fisher to be a US Postmaster. He was charged with conspiracy to receive a bribe, accepting a bribe and profiting by the leaning of a building to the government. Before the trial could begin, the judge held that Dietrich could not be prosecuted because the alleged bribery occurred after he was elected, but before Dietrich was sworn in as a US Senator. All charges were then dropped. (1901)[674][675][676]

Grover Cleveland administration (1885–1889)

Legislative branch

  • Utah Territorial Delegate George Q. Cannon (R) was refused his seat due to a conviction for unlawful cohabitation (polygamy), for which he served nearly six months in Utah's federal penitentiary. (1888)[677]
  • NC Representative Robert Smalls (R-NC) was charged with accepting a $5,000 bribe in relation to a government printing contract and found guilty.(1877)[678][679]

Chester A. Arthur administration (1881–1885)

Executive branch

James A. Garfield administration (1881)

Legislative branch

Rutherford B. Hayes administration (1877–1881)

Executive branch

Judicial branch

  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Edward Henry Durell (R) was impeached for alleged drunkenness, corruption, and election-rigging. He resigned before trial. (1879)[687][688][689]

Ulysses S. Grant administration (1869–1877)

Executive branch

  1. Orville E. Babcock (R), a personal secretary to Grant, was indicted in the Whiskey Ring scandal and ten days later in the Safe Burglary Conspiracy. He was acquitted both times.[691]
  2. John J. McDonald (R), Supervisor of the Internal Revenue Service, was convicted and sentenced to three years.[691]
  3. W.O. Avery, Chief Clerk of the Treasury Department, was convicted.[691]
  4. Eastern Wisconsin Federal Attorney Levi Hubbell (R) was suspended from office for his involvement with the Whiskey Ring through contact with Milwaukee brewers. (1875)[692][693]

Legislative branch

  1. Oakes Ames (R-MA) bribed Congress with Union Pacific stock.[701]
  2. James Brooks (D-NY) also implicated; both were censured for their involvement. (1872)[702]
  3. James W. Patterson (R-NH) US Senator, was found to have given false testimony to both the House and Senate Ethics Committees, both of whom found him guilty of bribery in the Crédit Mobilier Scandal. They both recommended his expulsion from the Senate, but Patterson's term expired before such action could be taken. (1873)[703]
  • Alexander Caldwell (R-KS) US Senator, was elected to the US Senate. It was discovered that the rival candidate, Thomas Carney, dropped out of the race, admitting that he had accepted a bribe of $15,000 to leave the race allowing Caldwell to win. He was impeached and the US Senate declared that Caldwell had not been "duly and legally elected" and moved to expel him. Before a vote could be taken, Caldwell resigned (1873)[704][705]
  • John T. Deweese (R-NC) US Representative, was accused of accepting a $500 bribe for recommending a cadet be appointed to the US Naval Academy. On Feb. 28, 1870, he abruptly resigned. Two days later, the House of Representatives censured him, 170-0.(1870)[706][707][708]

Judicial branch

  • Mark Delahay (R) a U.S. District Judge of Kansas and cofounder of the Republican Party,[709] was impeached by the United States House of Representatives on February 28, 1873, for "intoxication off the bench as well as on the bench",[710] He resigned two months later. (1873)[711]
  • Richard Busteed (R) US Judge from the Northern District of Alabama, spent much of his time at home in New York though serving in Alabama. Southern sympathizers brought charges against him for non-residence, failure to hold court and improper use of his position. To avoid being removed from office, he resigned before impeachment.(1874)[712][713][714]
  • Levi Hubbell (R) US Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, accused of corruption for failing to prosecute whisky distributors who were bribing US Revenue agents. Forced to resign. (1875)[715][716][717]
  • William Story (R) Judge of the US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas appointed by Ulysses S. Grant (R). Graft and corruption in the court became so bad that Story appeared before the House Judiciary Committee. He resigned soon after. (1874)[718][719][503]
  • Charles Taylor Sherman (R) Federal Judge of the Northern District of Ohio, was alleged to have demanded stocks in exchange for favorable rulings and threatened adverse rulings if they were not paid. He resigned before impeachment began. (1873)[503]

Andrew Johnson administration (1865–1869)

Executive branch

Abraham Lincoln administration (1861–1865)

Executive branch

  • 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)[721]

Legislative branch

  • Senator James F. Simmons (R-RI) had confirmed corruption charges against him reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the charges were referred to the full Senate for action on July 14, 1862. The Senate adjourned three days later without acting. Before it could reconvene, Simmons resigned on September 5, 1862.[722]
  • US Representative Lovell Harrison Rousseau (R-KY) assaulted Iowa Representative Josiah Bushnell Grinnell on June 14, 1866, with his iron handled cane until it broke. He was reprimanded by the House of Representatives, and resigned, but was elected again to fill his own vacancy. (1866)[723][724][725][726]

James Buchanan administration (1857–1861)

Legislative branch

  • US Representative Orsamus B. Matteson (R-NY), faced an allegation of having defamed the character of the US House by declaring that a majority of its members were ‘purchasable’. He himself was then accused of accepting money in exchange for supporting a Minnesota land bill. The House recommendation that he be expelled was tabled and a recommendation of censure was brought up, but before it could be passed, Matteson resigned.(1857)[727][728]
  • US Representative and fervent advocate of slavery Preston Brooks (D-SC) beat abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA), leaving him bleeding and unconscious on the floor of the House of Representatives until his cane broke. (1856)[729][730][731]

Zachary Taylor administration (1849–1850)

Executive branch

John Tyler administration (1841–1845)

Legislative branch

Andrew Jackson administrations (1829–1837)

Executive branch

Legislative branch

  • North Carolina Congressman Robert Potter resigned from Congress after castrating two men he believed were having an affair with his wife. (1831)[740] 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)[740]

James Monroe administrations (1817–1825)

Legislative branch

Thomas Jefferson administrations (1801–1809)

Executive branch

  • 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)[742]
  • Aaron Burr and the New Empire (Southwest) Burr conspiracy (1804–1807) – 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)[743]
  • Aaron Burr dueled with Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton died of wounds received during the duel. (1804)[744]

Judicial branch

  • Samuel Chase, the Supreme Court Justice appointed by George Washington, was impeached for political favoritism and acquitted in 1805.[745]
  • John Pickering, a federal judge appointed by George Washington, was impeached and convicted in absentia by the US Senate for drunkenness and use of profanity on the bench in spite of the fact neither act was a high crime or misdemeanor. (1804)[746]

John Adams administration (1797–1801)

Executive branch

  • The XYZ Affair was the 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)[747]

Legislative branch

  • Matthew Lyon (Democratic-Republican KY) was the first Congressman recommended for censure for spitting on Ralph Griswold (Federalist-CT). The censure failed to pass.[748] Also found guilty of violating John Adams's Alien and Sedition Acts and sentenced to four months in jail, during which he was re-elected (1798)[749]

George Washington administration (1789–1797)

Legislative branch

Government under the Articles of Confederation (1777–1789)

Executive branch

Legislative branch

  • Silas Deane was 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)[752]

See also

Notes

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