1961–1963 John F. Kennedy Administration
• Thomas F. Johnson (D-MD) In 1962, he was indicted on charges of members of Maryland’s S&L industry bribing him and lost his seat. Later was convicted of conspiracy and conflict of interest in 1968, served 3 1/2 months of a 6 month sentence and was fined $5,000.
• Frank Boykin (D-AL) Was placed on six months’ probation in 1963 following conviction in a case involving a conflict of interest and conspiracy to defraud the government. His prison sentence was suspended on age and health grounds and was fined $40,000 total. He was pardoned by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.
1953–1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration
• Richard Nixon (R): Eisenhower’s V-P nominee delivers “Checkers Speech”, to deflect scandal about $18,000 in gifts, maintaining the only personal gift he had received was a dog (1952)
• (Llewelyn) Sherman A. Adams (R), Chief of Staff to President Dwight Eisenhower. Cited for Contempt of Congress and forced to resign because he refused to answer questions about an oriental rug and vicuna coat given to his wife.(1958)
• McCarthyism: A broad political and cultural purge against people suspected of sympathy with communism, starting near the end of World War II and reaching its climax in the investigations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. The Senate passed a resolution of condemnation against McCarthy in 1954 after an embarrassing investigation of the United States Army, ending his career, but anti-communist purges continued for several years.
• Thomas J. Lane (D-MA) convicted for evading taxes on his congressional income. Served 4 months in prison, but was re-elected three more times before his 1962 defeat due to re-districting. (1956)
• 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.
1945–1953 Harry S. Truman Administration
• A Justice Department investigation of the Internal Revenue Service led to the firing or resignation of 166 lower level employees causing President Harry Truman (D) to be stained with charges of corruption (1950)
• Walter E. Brehm (R-OH) convicted of accepting contributions illegally from one of his employees. Received a 15 month suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine.
• J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ): a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), was convicted of salary fraud and given an 18 month sentence and a fine, resigning from Congress in 1950. He was imprisoned in Danbury Prison with two of the Hollywood Ten he had helped put there. After serving his 18 months he was pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952,
• Andrew J. May (D-KY) Convicted of accepting bribes in 1947 from a war munitions manufacturer. Was sentenced to 9 months in prison, after which he was pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952.
• 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)
• Marion Zioncheck (D-WA) Killed after he jumped or was possibly pushed out a window in Seattle, WA while still in office. He was known to have been feuding with J. Edgar Hoover. (1936)
• Hiram Bingham Senator (R-CT) Censured for hiring to his staff a lobbyist employed by a manufacturing organization. (1929)
• Halsted Ritter (R) U.S. District Judge of Florida, impeached for secretly taking a $4,500 fee from a former law partner. Convicted of bringing the judiciary into disrepute (accepting free meals and lodging during receivership proceedings.) Removed from office. (1936)
• George English (D) U.S. District Judge of Illinois, impeached for taking an interest-free loan from a bank of which he was director. Resigned before his Senate trial. (1926)
1921–1923 Warren G. Harding Administration
• Warren G. Harding (R-OH) President 1920–1923. His administration was marred by scandals stemming from men in his administration who followed him from Ohio who came to be known as the Ohio Gang. They include;
1. Albert Fall (R-NM) Secretary of the Interior who was bribed by Harry F. Sinclair for control of the Teapot Dome federal oil reserves in Wyoming. He was the first U.S. cabinet member to ever be convicted; he served two years in prison. (1922)
2. Edwin C. Denby (R-MI), Secretary of the Navy: resigned for his part in the Teapot Dome oil reserve scandal.
3. Harry M. Daugherty (R-OH), Attorney General: resigned on March 28, 1924, because of an investigation about a bootlegging kickback scheme by his chief aide Jess Smith. Found not guilty. (1924)
4. Jess Smith (R) aid to Attorney General Daugherty (R) who destroyed incriminating papers and then committed suicide.
5. Charles R. Forbes (R) 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.
6. Charles Cramer (R) Forbes’ general counsel, committed suicide. (1923)
7. Thomas W. Miller (R-DE), Head of the Office of Alien Property: convicted of fraud by selling valuable German patents seized after World War I for far below market price as well as bribery. Served 18 months.
• Thomas L. Blanton (D-TX) censured for inserting obscene material into the congressional record. According to Franklin Wheeler Mondell (R-WY) the letter was said to contain language that was “unspeakable, vile, foul, filthy, profane, blasphemous and obscene”. A motion to expel him failed by 8 votes.(1921)
• Newport Sex Scandal: Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated an investigation into allegations of “immoral conduct” (homosexuality) at the Naval base in Newport, Rhode Island. After the report, the investigators themselves were also accused of homosexuality. (1919)
• William Lorimer Senator (R-IL), The ‘blond boss of Chicago’ was expelled from the U.S. Senate in 1912 for accepting bribes.
• Benjamin R. Tillman and John McLaurin, Senators (D-SC) censured for fighting in the senate chamber.
• Robert Archbald(R) U.S. Commerce Court Judge of Pennsylvania, for corrupt alliances with coal mine workers and railroad officials. Convicted and removed from office. (1912)
1900-1909 Theodore Roosevelt Administration
• John Hipple Mitchell Senator (R-OR) was involved with the Oregon land fraud scandal, for which he was indicted and convicted while a sitting U.S. Senator. (1905)
• Joseph R. Burton Senator (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)
• Nehemiah G. Ordway (R) Governor of Dakota Territory was removed by President Chester A. Arthur after he was indicted for corruption. (1884)
• Ezra Ayres Hayt, Commissioner of Indian Affairs under Rutherford B. Hayes was forced to resign by Secretary of Interior Carl Schurz due to allegations of rampant corruption. (1880)
• Stephen W. Dorsey, Senator (R-AR) was included in the investigation of corruption of Star Route postal contracts under the administrations of President James A. Garfield (R) and President Chester A. Arthur (R). (1881)
1869–1877 Ulysses S. Grant Administration
• William Belknap (R), United States Secretary of War under President Ulysses S. Grant(R): Resigned just before he was impeached by the United States House of Representatives for bribery. (1876)
• Whiskey Ring: Massive corruption of Ulysses S. Grant’s (R) administration involving whiskey taxes, bribery and kickbacks ending with 110 convictions. (1875)
1. Orville E. Babcock (R) personal secretary to Ulysses S. Grant who was indicted in the Whiskey Ring scandal and 10 days later in the Safe Burglary Conspiracy. He was acquitted both times.
2. John J. McDonald (R) Supervisor of the Internal Revenue Service. Convicted and sentenced to three years.
3. W.O. Avery Chief Clerk of the Treasury Department. Convicted.
• Sanborn contract: kickback scheme between William Adams Richardson(R) Grant’s Secretary of the Treasury and John D. Sanborn (1874)
• Black Friday (1869): When financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market by getting Ulysses S. Grant’s brother in law Abel Corbin to convince Grant to appoint General Daniel Butterfield as Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury where he could then give them insider information.(1869)
• George M. Robeson, Grant’s Secretary of the Navy, was admonished by the House for gross misconduct and corruption in relation to his dealings with Alexander Cattel. (1876)
• Salary Grab Act: The act that increased the salaries of the President, Congress and the Supreme Court. (1873)
• Columbus Delano Secretary of the Interior under Grant, resigned after allegedly taking bribes in order to secure fraudulent land grants.
• Crédit Mobilier of America scandal:
1. Oakes Ames (R-MA) bribed Congress with Union Pacific stock.
2. James Brooks (D-NY) also implicated; both were censured for their involvement. (1872)
• Mark Delahay U.S. District impeached for misconduct in office and unsuitable personal habits, including intoxication. Resigned before his Senate trial. (1873)
1865–1869 Andrew Johnson administration
• Andrew Johnson: President (I) Abraham Lincoln’s vice-president, was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act. He was acquitted by one vote. (1868)
1861–1865 Abraham Lincoln administrations
• 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)
1857–1861 James Buchanan administration
• Preston Brooks (D) Congressman from South Carolina burst onto the floor of the US Senate and beat Senator Charles Sumner (D) with a cane until he was bleeding and unconscious while two others held the Senate off at gun point. (1856)
• Daniel Sickles (D-NY) shot and killed the district attorney of the District of Columbia Philip Barton Key II, son of Francis Scott Key, whom Sickles had discovered was having an affair with Sickles’s young wife, Teresa. He was tried and acquitted in the first use of the temporary insanity plea. (1859)
1849–1850 Zachary Taylor administration
• George W. Crawford (Whig-GA) Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President Zachary Taylor (Whig) was the center of the Galphin Affair land scandal with the help of Reverdy Johnson (Whig) Attorney General and William M. Meredith (Whig) Secretary of the Treasury, in which Crawford defrauded the federal government of $191,353. (1849)
1829–1837 Andrew Jackson administrations
• Samuel Swartwout was appointed by President Andrew Jackson to the New York City Collector’s Office. At the end of his term he had embezzled $1.225 million in customs receipts and used the monies to purchase land. He fled to Europe to avoid prosecution.
• Robert Potter: Congressman from North Carolina who resigned from Congress after castrating two men he believed were having an affair with his wife. (1831). 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)
1817-1825 James Monroe administrations
• Corrupt Bargain: supposed bargain by John Quincy Adams with Henry Clay. (1824)
1801–1809 Thomas Jefferson administrations
• General James Wilkinson: was appointed to be Governor of the upper Louisianna Purchase. He then conspired with Spain to get Kentucky to secede from the Union in order to be allowed shipping on the Mississippi. (1787–1811)
• Aaron Burr: New Empire (Southwest) Burr conspiracy (1804–1807) In which Burr allegedly tried to seize a large part of the Louisiana Purchase and establish his own country. He was arrested for treason, but was acquitted for lack of evidence. (1807)
• Aaron Burr: duel with Alexander Hamilton (1804). See also Burr’s “New Empire” conspiracy
• John Pickering, Federal Judge appointed by George Washington was impeached and convicted in absentia by the U.S. Senate for drunkenness and use of profanity on the bench in spite of the fact neither act was a high crime or misdemeanor. (1804)
• Samuel Chase Supreme Court Justice appointed by George Washington impeached for political favoritism and acquitted in 1805.
1797–1801 John Adams administration
• XYZ Affair: French seizure of over 300 US ships and demands for bribes and apologies, led to a Quasi-War causing the US Congress to issue the famous phrase, “Millions for defense, sir, but not one cent for tribute!” Real war was averted by treaty. (1798–1800)
• Matthew Lyon (Democratic-Republican KY). First Congressman recommended for censure for spitting on Ralph Griswold (Federalist-CT). The censure failed to pass. Also found guilty of violating John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts and sentenced to four months in jail, during which he was re-elected (1798)
1789–1797 George Washington administrations
• William Blount Senator (Democratic-Republican-TN) Expelled from the Senate for trying to aid the British in a takeover of West Florida. (1797)
• Conway Cabal: movement or conspiracy to remove George Washington as commander of the Continental Army by Thomas Conway and Horatio Gates (1777–1778)
• Silas Deane: accused of mismanagement and treason while ambassador to France. Intending to clear himself of the charges he died suddenly, and the charges were eventually reversed or dropped. (1777)
END of Volume One.
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