The worst records of corruptions and scandals (in order, worst first) are during the administrations of: George W. Bush; Regan; Nixon; Clinton; then Gerald Ford.
The best are (in order, cleanest first): Harry S. Truman; Dwight D. Eisenhower; Kennedy; Johnson; Carter; then George H. W. Bush.
Until now Obama record is comparable with Carter.
2009– Obama Administration
- John Ensign (R-NV) the religious conservative resigned his Senate seat on May 3, 2011 before the Senate Ethics Committee could examine possible fiscal violations in connection with his extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton.
- Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) Rangel was found guilty on 11 charges by the House Ethics Committee. On December 2, 2010, the full House of Representatives voted 333-79 to censure Rangel.
- Tom DeLay (R-TX) On November 24, 2010 a Texas jury convicted DeLay of money laundering connected to the Jack Abramoff scandal. On January 10, 2011, he was sentenced to three years in prison in Texas.
- Joe Wilson (R-SC) The congressman from South Carolina interrupted a major televised speech about health care reform by President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress. After Obama said that no illegal aliens would be accepted under his health plan, Rep. Wilson shouted, “You lie!” The incident resulted in a formal rebuke by the House of Representatives. He later admitted that the outburst was “inappropriate”.
- G. Thomas Porteous The Federal Judge for Eastern Louisiana was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of corruption and perjury in March 2010. He was convicted by the US Senate and removed from office. He had been appointed by Bill Clinton.
- Samuel B. Kent The Federal District Judge of Galveston, Texas was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by George H. W. Bush in 1990.
2001–2008 George W. Bush Administration
- Lewis Libby (R) Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (R), ‘Scooter’ 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 (R) on July 1, 2007. The felony remains on Libby’s record though the jail time and fine were commuted.
- Alphonso Jackson (R) The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development resigned while under investigation by the FBI for revoking the contract of a vendor who told Jackson he did not like President George W. Bush (R) .
- Karl Rove (R) 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 e-mail controversy and Plame affair. He resigned in April 2007. (See Karl Rove in the George W. Bush administration)
- “Lawyergate” 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 they were fired for prosecuting Republicans and not prosecuting Democrats. When Congressional hearings were called, a number of senior Justice Department officials cited executive privilege and refused to testify under oath, including:
1) Michael A. Battle (R) Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys in the Justice Department.
2) Bradley Schlozman (R) Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys who replaced Battle
3) Michael Elston (R) Chief of Staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty
4) Paul McNulty (R) Deputy Attorney General to William Mercer
5) William W. Mercer (R) Associate Attorney General to Alberto Gonzales
6) Kyle Sampson (R) Chief of Staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
7) Alberto Gonzales (R) Attorney General of the United States
8) Monica Goodling (R) Liaison between President Bush and the Justice Department
9) Joshua Bolten (R) Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush was found in Contempt of Congress
10) Sara M. Taylor (R) Aid to Presidential Advisor Karl Rove
11) Karl Rove (R) Advisor to President Bush
12) Harriet Miers (R) Legal Counsel to President Bush, was found in Contempt of Congress
- Bush White House e-mail controversy – During the Lawyergate investigation it was discovered that the Bush administration used Republican National Committee (RNC) web servers for millions of emails which were then destroyed, lost or deleted in possible violation of the Presidential Records Act and the Hatch Act. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Andrew Card, Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings all used RNC webservers for the majority of their emails. Of 88 officials, no emails at all were discovered for 51 of them. As many as 5 million e-mails requested by Congressional investigators of other Bush administration scandals were therefore unavailable, lost, or deleted.
- Lurita Alexis Doan (R) Resigned as head of the General Services Administration. She was under scrutiny for conflict of interest and violations of the Hatch Act. Among other things she asked GSA employees how they could “help Republican candidates.”
- Jack Abramoff Scandal in which the prominent lobbyist with close ties to Republican administration officials and legislators offered bribes as part of his lobbying efforts. Abramoff was sentenced to 4 years in prison. See Legislative scandals.
- David Safavian GSA (General Services Administration) Chief of Staff, found guilty of blocking justice and lying, and sentenced to 18 months
- Roger Stillwell (R) Staff in the Department of the Interior under George W. Bush. Pleaded guilty and received two years suspended sentence.
- Susan B. Ralston (R) Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned October 6, 2006 after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff.
- J. Steven Griles (R) former Deputy to the Secretary of the Interior pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 10 months.
- Italia Federici (R) staff to the Secretary of 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-year probation.
- 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-year probation.
- Michael Scanlon (R) former staff to Tom DeLay: working for Abramoff, pled guilty to bribery.
- Tony Rudy (R) former staff to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
- Bob Ney (R-OH) bribed by Abramoff, pled guilty to conspiracy, sentenced to 30 months.
- Neil Volz (R) former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in 2006 charges stemming from his work for Bob Ney. In 2007 he was sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $2,000.
- Mark Zachares (R) staff in the Department of Labor, bribed by Abramoff, guilty of conspiracy to defraud.
- Robert E. Coughlin (R) Deputy Chief of Staff, Crimianl Division of the Justice Department pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. (2008)
- William Heaton (R), former chief of staff for Bob Ney (R), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge involving a golf trip to Scotland, expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping Abramoff’s clients.
- Kevin A. Ring (R) former staff to John Doolittle (R-CA) indicted on 8 counts of corruption. The judge declared a mistrial.
- John Albaugh (R) former chief of staff to Ernest Istook (R-OK) pled guilty to accepting bribes connected to the Federal Highway Bill. Istook was not charged. (2008)
- 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)
- Kyle Foggo Executive director of the CIA was convicted of honest services fraud in the awarding of a government contract and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison at Pine Knot, Kentucky. On September 29, 2008, Foggo pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment, admitting that while he was the CIA executive director, he acted to steer a CIA contract to the firm of his lifelong friend, Brent R. Wilkes.
- Julie MacDonald (R) Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior, resigned May 1, 2007 after giving government documents to developers (2007)
- Claude Allen (R) Appointed as an advisor by President Bush on Domestic Policy, Allen was arrested for a series of felony thefts in retail stores. He was convicted on one count and resigned soon after.
- Lester Crawford (R) Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, resigned after 2 months. Pled guilty to conflict of interest and received 3 years suspended sentence and fined $90,000 (2006)
- 2003 Invasion of Iraq depended on intelligence that Saddam Hussein was developing “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs) meaning nuclear, chemical and/or biological weapons for offensive use. The Downing Street memo were minutes of a British secret meeting with the US (dated 23 July 2002, leaked 2005) which include a summary of MI6 Director Sir Richard Dearlove’s report that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy” This was called the ‘smoking gun’ concerning W. Bush’s run up to war with Iraq.(2005)
- Yellowcake forgery: Just prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration presented evidence to the UN that Iraq was seeking material (yellowcake uranium) in Africa for making nuclear weapons. Though presented as true, it was later found to be not only dubious, but outright false.
- Coalition Provisional Authority Cash Payment Scandal; On June 20, 2005 the staff of the Committee on Government Reform prepared a report for Congressman Henry Waxman. It was revealed that $12 billion in cash had been delivered to Iraq by C-130 planes, on shrinkwrapped pallets of US $100 bills. The United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, concluded that “Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste…. Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents….” Henry Waxman, commented, “Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone?” A single flight to Iraq on December 12, 2003 which contained $1.5 billion in cash is said to be the largest single Federal Reserve payout in US history according to Henry Waxman.
- Bush administration payment of columnists with federal funds to say nice things about Republican policies. Illegal payments were made to journalists Armstrong Williams (R), Maggie Gallagher (R) and Michael McManus (R) (2004–2005)
- Sandy Berger (D) former Clinton security adviser pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully removing classified documents from the National Archives in (2005)
- Bernard Kerik (R) nomination in 2004 as Secretary of Homeland Security was derailed by past employment of an illegal alien as a nanny, and other improprieties. On Nov 4, 2009, he pled guilty to two counts of tax fraud and five counts of lying to the federal government(2009) and was sentenced to four years in prison.
- Torture: Top US officials including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney authorized enhanced interrogation techniques of prisoners, including waterboarding (called torture by many) by US troops and the CIA in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In 2010 Bush stated “He’d do it again…” and Cheney stated on ABC’s This Week, “I was a big supporter of waterboarding.” (2004)
- Plame affair (2004), in which CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name was leaked by Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, to the press in retaliation for her husband’s criticism of the reports used by George W. Bush to legitimize the Iraq war.
- Thomas A. Scully, (R) administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), withheld information from Congress about the projected cost of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, and allegedly threatened to fire Medicare’s chief actuary, Richard Foster, if Foster provided the data to Congress. (2003) Scully resigned on December 16, 2003.
- NSA warrantless surveillance – Shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001, President George W. Bush (R) implemented a secret program by the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on domestic telephone calls by American citizens without warrants, thus by-passing the FISA court which must approve all such actions. (2002) In 2010, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled this practice to be illegal.
- Kenneth Lay (R) a member of the Republican National Committee, financial donor and ally of George W. Bush and once considered a possible Secretary of the Treasury. Lay was found guilty of 10 counts of securities fraud concerning his company Enron, but died before sentencing.
- Janet Rehnquist (R) appointed Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services by George W. Bush. In 2002, Governor Jeb Bush’s (R-FL) Chief of Staff Kathleen Shanahan asked Rehnquist to delay auditing a $571 million federal overpayment to the State of Florida. Rehnquist ordered her staff to delay the investigation for five months until after the Florida elections. When Congress began an investigation in to the matter, Rehnquist resigned in March 2003, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.
- John Yoo (R) An attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel inside the Justice Department who, working closely with vice president Dick Cheney and The Bush Six, wrote memos stating the right of the president to –
- suspend sections of the ABM Treaty without informing Congress
- bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allowing warrentless wiretapping of US Citizens within the United States by the National Security Agency.
- 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
- allow Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (torture) because provisions of the War Crimes Act, the Third Geneva Convention, and the Torture convention do not apply.
Many of his memos have since been repudiated and reversed. Later review by the Justice Department reported that Yoo and Jay Bybee used “poor judgement” in the memos, but no charges have yet been filed.
- Ted Stevens Senator (R-AK) convicted on seven counts of bribery and tax evasion October 27, 2008 just prior to the election. He continued his run for re-election, but lost. Once the Republican was defeated in his re-election, new US Attorney General Eric Holder (D) dismissed the charges “in the interest of justice” stating that the Justice Department had illegally withheld evidence from defense counsel.
- 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)
- Rick Renzi (R-AZ) Announced he would not seek another term. Seven months later, on February 22, 2008 he pleaded not guilty to 35 charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
- Jack Abramoff Scandal, (R) lobbyist found guilty of conspiracy, tax evasion and corruption of public officials in three different courts in a wide ranging investigation. Currently serving 70 months and fined $24.7 million. See Scandals, Executive Branch. The following were also implicated:
- Tom DeLay (R-TX) The House Majority Leader was reprimanded twice by the House Ethics Committee and his aides indicted (2004–2005); eventually DeLay himself was investigated in October 2005 in connection with the Abramoff scandal, but not indicted. DeLay resigned from the House 9 June 2006. 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.
- James W. Ellis (R) executive director of Americans for a Republican Majority a PAC, was indicted for money laundering.
- John D. Calyandro (R) of Americans for a Republican Majority
- Bob Ney (R-OH) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements as a result of his receiving trips from Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors. Ney received 30 months in prison.
- Robert E. Coughlin (R) Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division, Justice Department, pled guilty to accepting bribes.
- John Doolittle (R-CA) both he and his wife were under investigation (January 2008). Under this cloud, Doolittle decided not to run for re-election in November 2008. The Justice Department announced in June 2010 they had terminated the investigation and found no wrong doing.
- Randy Cunningham (R-CA)pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005 to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in what came to be called the Cunningham scandal. Sentenced to over eight years.
- Kyle Foggo Executive director of the CIA was convicted of honest services fraud in the awarding of a government contract and sentenced to 37 months in the federal prison at Pine Knot, Kentucky. On September 29, 2008, Foggo pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment, admitting that while CIA executive director he acted to steer a CIA contract to the firm of his lifelong friend, Brent R. Wilkes.
- Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) struck a U.S. Capitol Police officer in the chest after he attempted to stop her from going around a security checkpoint. McKinney apologized on the floor of the House and no charges were filed (March 29, 2006)
- William J. Jefferson (D-LA) in August 2005 the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from Jefferson’s home freezer. He was re-elected anyway, but lost in 2008. Jefferson was convicted of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years on November 13, 2009, and his chief of staff Brett Pfeffer was sentenced to 84 months in a related case.
- Bill Janklow (R-SD) convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years (2003)
- Robert Torricelli Senator (D-NJ) after 14 years in the House and one term in the Senate, Torricelli declined to run again when accused of taking illegal contributions from Korean businessman David Chang. (2002)
- Jim Traficant (D-OH) found guilty on 10 felony counts of financial corruption, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison and expelled from the House (2002)
1993–2000 Bill Clinton Administration
- Webster Hubbell (D) Associate Attorney General, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion while in private practice. Sentenced to 21 months in prison (1995)
- Henry Cisneros (D) Secretary of Housing. Resigned and plead guilty (1999) to a misdemeanor charge of lying to the FBI about the amount of money he paid his former mistress, Linda Medlar while he was Mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He was fined $10,000 (1999)
- Ronald Blackley, (D) Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy’s Chief of Staff, sentenced to 27 months for perjury. Mike Espy was found innocent on all counts. http://laws.findlaw.com/dc/983036a.html (1999)
- Bill Clinton President (D) Impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying under oath about sexual relations with intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate and remained in office. Clinton subsequently was cited for contempt of court and agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license. (1998). On October 1, 2001, Bill Clinton was barred from practicing law before the Supreme Court of the United States (2001)
- Pardongate President Bill Clinton (D) granted 140 pardons on his last day in office January 20, 2001 for a total of 396. Which seemed large compared to the total of 74 by George H. W. Bush, but not when compared to Ronald Reagans total of 393.
- Whitewater scandal (1994–2000) independent counsel Kenneth Starr (R) investigated the Clintons’ role in peddling influence for the Whitewater (real estate) Development Corporation while he was Governor of Arkansas. No criminal charges were brought against either President Bill Clinton (D) or First Lady Hillary Clinton (D)
- Wampumgate Bruce Babbitt (D), Secretary of the Interior 1993–2001, accused of lying to Congress about influencing a 1995 American Indian tribe casino decision. Babbitt was cleared of all wrongdoing.
- Filegate alleged misuse of FBI resources by Clinton Security Chief, Craig Livingstone (D), to compile an ‘enemies’ list (1996); Investigation found insufficient evidence of criminal wrongdoing
- Vincent Foster (D) the White House lawyer was alleged to have been murdered by either Bill or Hillary Clinton, for various reasons and with varying degrees of involvement. The suicide was investigated by the Park Police Service, the FBI, Independent Consultant Robert Fiske and finally by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr all of whom ruled that it was a simple suicide (1993)
- Travelgate, involving the firing of White House travel agents. In 1998 Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr (R) exonerated President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton of any involvement (1993)
- Barbara-Rose Collins (D-MI) found to have committed 11 violations of law and house rules stemming from use of campaign funds for personal use.
- Wes Cooley (R-OR), Cooley was convicted of having lied on the 1994 voter information pamphlet about his service in the Army. He was fined and sentenced to two years probation (1997)
- Austin Murphy (D-PA) convicted of engaging in voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home.
- Newt Gingrich (R-GA), the Speaker of the House, was accused of financial improprieties leading to House reprimand and $300,000 in sanctions leading to his resignation (1997)
- Walter R. Tucker III (D-CA) resigned from the House before conviction on charges of extortion and income tax fraud while he was Mayor of Compton, California. Sentenced to 27 months in prison.(1996)
- Nicholas Mavroules (D-MA) pleaded guilty to bribery charges.
- House banking scandal 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)
- Buzz Lukens (R-OH) convicted of bribery and conspiracy.
- Carl C. Perkins (D-KY) pled guilty to a check kiting scheme involving several financial institutions (including the House Bank).
- Carroll Hubbard (D-KY)convicted of illegally funneling money to his wife’s 1992 campaign to succeed him in congress.
- 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.
- Walter Fauntroy (D-DC) convicted of filing false disclosure forms in order to hide unauthorized income.
- Jack Russ Sgt. at Arms, convicted of three counts.
- Congressional Post Office scandal (1991–1995) A conspiracy to embezzle House Post Office money through stamps and postal vouchers to congressmen.
- Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) Rostenkowski was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison, in 1995.
- Joe Kolter (D-PA) Convicted of one count of conspiracy and sentenced to 6 months in prison.
- Robert V. Rota Postmaster, convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of embezzlement.
- Jay Kim (R-CA) accepted $250,000 in illegal 1992 campaign contributions and was sentenced to two months house arrest (1992)
1989–1992 George H. W. Bush Administration
- George H. W. Bush (R) President. duriing his election campaign, Bush denied any knowledge of the Iran Contra Affair by saying he was “out of the loop.” But his own diaries of that time stated “I’m one of the few people that know fully the details …” He repeatedly refused to disclose this to investigators and won the elelction. (1988)
- Catalina Vasquez Villalpando, (R) Treasurer of the United States. Pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. The only US Treasurer ever sent to prison. (1992)
- Iran-Contra Affair pardons. On December 24, 1992, George H. W. Bush (R) granted clemency to five convicted government officials and Caspar Weinberger, whose trial had not yet begun. This action prevented any further investigation into the affair.
- Caspar Weinberger (R) Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan
- Robert C. McFarlane (R) National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan
- Elliott Abrams Asssistant Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan
- Clair George CIA Chief of Covert Ops
- Alan D. Fiers Chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force
- Duane R. Clarridge (R)
- Albert Bustamante (D-TX) convicted of accepting bribes.
- Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to federal election officials and served three months in jail, fined $5,000, 2 years probation and back taxes of $40,000
- David Durenberger Senator (R-MN) denounced by Senate for unethical financial transactions and then disbarred (1990). He pled guilty to misuse of public funds and given one year probation (1995)
- Clarence Thomas (R) Supreme Court nominee accused of sexual harassment by former employee Anita Hill. He was approved anyway.
- Walter Nixon US Judge (D-MS) Was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for perjury on November 3, 1989.
1981–1988 Ronald Reagan Administration
- Raymond J. Donovan (R) Secretary of Labor under Ronald Reagan, was investigated and acquitted of larceny and fraud concerning subway construction in New York City(1987)
- Housing and Urban Development Scandal A scandal concerning bribery by selected contractors for low income housing projects.
- Samuel Pierce (R) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development because he made “full and public written acceptance of responsibility” was not charged.
- James G. Watt (R) Secretary of Interior, 1981–1983, charged with 25 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, sentenced to five years probation, fined $5,000 and 500 hours of community service
- Deborah Gore Dean (R) Executive Assistant to (Samuel Pierce, Secretary of HUD 1981–1987, and not charged). Dean was convicted of 12 counts of perjury, conspiracy, bribery. Sentenced to 21 months in prison. (1987)
- Phillip D. Winn (R) Assistant Secretary of HUD, 1981–1982, pled guilty to bribery in 1994.
- Thomas Demery, (R) Assistant Secretary of HUD, pled guilty to bribery and obstruction.
- Joseph A. Strauss, (R) Special Assistant to the Secretary of HUD, convicted of accepting payments to favor Puerto Rican land developers in receiving HUD funding.
- Silvio D. DeBartolomeis convicted of perjury and bribery.
- Wedtech scandal Wedtech Corporation convicted of bribery for Defense Department contracts
- Edwin Meese (R) Attorney General, resigned but never convicted.
- Lyn Nofziger (R) White House Press Secretary, whose conviction of lobbying was overturned.
- Mario Biaggi (D-NY) sentenced to 2½ years.
- Robert García (D-NY) sentenced to 2½ years.
- Savings and loan scandal in which 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.
- Iran-Contra Affair (1985–1986); A plan conceived by CIA head William Casey (R) and Oliver North (R) of the National Security Council to sell TOW missiles to Iran for the return of US hostages and then use part of the money received to fund Contra rebels trying to overthrow the left wing government of Nicaragua, which was in direct violation of Congress’ Boland Amendment. 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:
- Caspar Weinberger (R) Secretary of Defense, was indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on June 16, 1992.
- . Weinberger received a pardon from George H. W. Bush on December 24, 1992 before he was tried.
- William Casey (R) Head of the CIA. Thought to have conceived the plan, was stricken ill hours before he would testify. Reporter Bob Woodward records that Casey knew of and approved the plan.
- Robert C. McFarlane (R) National Security Adviser, convicted of withholding evidence, but after aplea bargain was given only 2 years probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush
- Elliott Abrams (R) Asst Sec of State, convicted of withholding evidence, but after a plea bargain was given only 2 years probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/summpros.htm
- Alan D. Fiers Chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force, convicted of withholding evidence and sentenced to one year probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush
- Clair George Chief of Covert Ops-CIA, convicted on 2 charges of perjury, but pardoned by President George H. W. Bush before sentencing.
- Oliver North (R) convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents, but the ruling was overturned since he had been granted immunity.
- Fawn Hall, Oliver North’s secretary was given immunity from prosecution on charges of conspiracy and destroying documents in exchange for her testimony.
- John Poindexter National Security Advisor (R) convicted of 5 counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence. The Supreme Court overturned this ruling.
- Duane Clarridge An ex-CIA senior official, he was indicted in November 1991 on 7 counts of perjury and false statements relating to a November 1985 shipment to Iran. Pardoned before trial by President George H. W. Bush.
- Richard V. Secord Ex-major general in the Air Force who organized the Iran arms sales and Contra aid. He pleaded guilty in November 1989 to making false statements to Congress. Sentenced to two years of probation.
- Albert Hakim A businessman, he pleaded guilty in November 1989 to supplementing the salary of North by buying a $13,800 fence for North with money from “the Enterprise”, which was a set of foreign companies Hakim used in Iran-Contra. In addition, Swiss company Lake Resources Inc., used for storing money from arms sales to Iran to give to the Contras, pled guilty to stealing government property. Hakim was given two years of probation and a $5,000 fine, while Lake Resources Inc. was ordered to dissolve.
- Thomas G. Clines Once an intelligence official who became an arms dealer, he was convicted in September 1990 on four income tax counts, including underreporting of income to the IRS and lying about not having foreign accounts. Sentenced to 16 months of prison and fined $40,000.
- Carl R. Channell A fund-raiser for conservative causes, he pleaded guilty in April 1987 to defrauding the IRS via a tax-exempt organization to fund the Contras. Sentenced to two years probation.
- Richard R. Miller Associate to Carl R. Channell, he pleaded guilty in May 1987 to defrauding the IRS via a tax-exempt organization led by Channell. More precisely, he pled guilty to lying to the IRS about the deductibility of donations to the organization. Some of the donations were used to fund the Contras. Sentenced to two years of probation and 120 of community service.
- Joseph F. Fernandez CIA Station Chief of Costa Rica. Indicted on five counts in 1988. The case was dismissed when Attorney General Dick Thornburgh refused to declassify information needed for his defense in 1990.
- Inslaw Affair (1985–1994+); a protracted legal case that alleged that top-level officials of President Ronald Reagan’s (R) Department of Justice were involved in software piracy of the Promis program from Inslaw Inc. forcing it into bankruptcy. Attorney General Edwin Meese (R) and his successor Attorney General Dick Thornburgh (R) were both found to have blocked the investigation of the matter. They were succeeded by Attorney General William P. Barr (R) who also refused to investigate and no charges were ever filed.
- D. Lowell Jensen, (R) Deputy Attorney General was held in Contempt of Congress.
- C. Madison Brewer A high ranking Justice Department official was held in Contempt of Congress.
- Michael Deaver (R) Deputy Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan 1981–85, pleaded guilty to perjury related to lobbying activities and was sentenced to 3 years probation and fined $100,000
- Sewergate A scandal in which funds from the EPA were selectively used for projects which would aid politicians friendly to the Reagan administration.
- Anne Gorsuch Burford (R) Head of the EPA. Cut the EPA staff by 22% and refused to turn over documents to Congress citing “Executive Privilege”, whereupon she was found in Contempt and resigned with twenty of her top employees.(1980)
- Rita Lavelle (R) An EPA Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency misused ‘superfund’ monies and was convicted of perjury. She served six months in prison, was fined $10,000 and given five yrs. probation.
- David Durenberger Senator (R-MN), denounced by the Senate for unethical financial transactions (1990) and then disbarred as an attorney. In 1995 he pled guilty to 5 misdemeanor counts of misuse of public funds and was given one years probation.
- Jesse Helms Senator (R-NC), His campaign was found guilty of “voter caging” when 125,000 postcards were sent to mainly black neighborhoods and the results used to challenge their residency and therefore their right to vote. (1990)
- Barney Frank Congressman (D-MA), Lived with convicted felon Steve Gobie who ran a gay prostitution operation from Frank’s apartment without his knowledge. Frank was Admonished by Congress for using his congressional privilege to eliminate 33 parking tickets attributed to Gobie.(1987)
- Donald E. “Buz” Lukens (R-OH), Convicted of two counts of bribery and conspiracy. (1996) See also Sex scandals.
- Anthony Lee Coelho (D-CA) Resigns 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)
- Jim Wright (D-TX) House Speaker, resigned after an ethics investigation led by Newt Gingrich alleged improper receipt of $145,000 in gifts (1989)
- Keating Five (1980–1989) The failure of Lincoln Savings and Loan led to Charles Keating (R) donating to the campaigns of five Senators for help. Keating served 42 months in prison. The five were investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee which found that:
- Alan Cranston Senator (D-CA) reprimanded
- Dennis DeConcini Senator (D-AZ) acted improperly
- Don Riegle Senator (D-MI) acted improperly
- John Glenn Senator (D-OH) used poor judgment
- John McCain Senator (R-AZ) used poor judgment
- Abscam FBI sting involving fake ‘Arabs’ trying to bribe 31 congressmen.(1980) The following six Congressmen were convicted:
- Harrison A. Williams Senator (D-NJ) Convicted on 9 counts of bribery and conspiracy. Sentenced to 3 years in prison.
- John Jenrette Representative (D-SC) sentenced to two years in prison for bribery and conspiracy.
- Richard Kelly (R-FL) Accepted $25K and then claimed he was conducting his own investigation into corruption. Served 13 months.
- Raymond Lederer (D-PA) “I can give you me” he said after accepting $50K. Sentenced to 3 years.
- Michael Myers (D-PA) Accepted $50K saying, “…money talks and bullshit walks.” Sentenced to 3 years and was expelled from the House.
- Frank Thompson (D-NJ) Sentenced to 3 years.
- John M. Murphy (D-NY) Served 20 months of a 3-year sentence.
- Also arrested were NJ State Senator Angelo Errichetti (D) and members of the Philadelphia City Council. See Local scandals.
- Mario Biaggi (D-NY), Convicted of obstruction of justice and accepting illegal gratuities he was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and fined $500K for his role in the Wedtech scandal, see above. Just before expulsion from the House, he resigned. The next year he was convicted of another 15 counts of obstruction and bribery. (1988)
- Pat Swindall (R-GA) convicted of 6 counts of perjury. (1989)
- George V. Hansen (R-ID) censured for failing to file out disclosure forms. Spent 15 months in prison.
- James Traficant (D-OH), convicted of ten felony counts including bribery, racketeering and tax evasion and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was expelled from the House July 24, (2002.)
- Frederick W. Richmond (D-NY),Convicted of tax evasion and possession of marijuana. Served 9 months(1982)
- Dan Flood (D-PA) censured for bribery. After a trial ended in a deadlocked jury, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year’s probation.
- Joshua Eilberg (D-PA) pleaded guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. In addition, he convinced president Carter to fire the U.S. Attorney investigating his case.
- Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Federal District court judge impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate of soliciting a bribe (1989). Subsequently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1992)
- Harry Claiborne (D-NE), Federal District court Judge impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate on two counts of tax evasion. He served over one year in prison.
1977–1980 James E. Carter Administration
- Debategate: briefing book of President Jimmy Carter stolen and given to Ronald Reagan before U.S. presidential election, 1980
- Bert Lance (D), Director of OMB, resigned amidst allegations of misuse of funds during the sale of a Georgia bank to BCCI. No charges were ever filed.(1977)
- Fred Richmond (D-NY) – Convicted of tax fraud and possession of marijuana. Served 9 months in prison. Charges of soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy were dropped after he submitted to counseling. (1978)
- Charles Diggs (D-MI), convicted on 29 charges of mail fraud and filing false payroll forms which formed a kickback scheme with his staff. Sentenced to 3 years (1978)
- Herman Talmadge Senator (D-GA), On October 11, 1979 Talmadge was denounced by the Senate for “improper financial conduct.” He failed to be re-elected. (1979)
- 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.
- Charles H. Wilson (D-CA) censured after he converted $25,000 in campaign funds to his own use and accepted $10,500 from a man with a direct interest in legislation before Congress. This was a later non-Park incident.
- John Connally (R-TX), Milk Money scandal. Accused of accepting a $10K bribe. He was acquitted. (1975)
- Richard Tonry (D-LA) pleaded guilty to receiving illegal campaign contributions.
- 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. The most notable are:
- Richard T. Hanna (D-CA) pleaded guilty and sentenced to 6–30 months in federal prison. Wound up serving a year in prison.
- Otto E. Passman (D-LA) was accused of bribery and other charges, but found innocent.
- John J. McFall, Edward Roybal, and Charles H. Wilson, all (D-CA). Roybal was censured and Wilson was reprimanded, while McFall was reprimanded,
1974–1976 Gerald Ford Administration
- Nixon pardon: The pardon by President Gerald Ford (R) of former President Richard Nixon (R), (who had appointed Ford his vice-president), just before Nixon could be tried by the Congress for conspiracy and impeached for his role in the Watergate scandal. (1974)
- Andrew J. Hinshaw (R-CA) Congressman convicted of accepting bribes while Assessor of Orange County. He served one year in prison. (1977)
- Wayne L. Hays (D-OH), resigned from Congress after hiring and promoting his mistress, Elizabeth Ray See sex scandals. (1976)
- Henry Helstoski (D-NJ) Indicted on charges of accepting bribes to aid immigrants but the case was dismissed by the Supreme Court. (1976)
- James F. Hastings (R-NY), convicted of kickbacks and mail fraud. Took money from his employees for personal use. Served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary (1976)
- Robert L. F. Sikes (D-FL) reprimanded for conflict of interest in failing to disclose stock holdings.
- John V. Dowdy (D-TX), Served 6 months in prison for perjury. (1973)
- Bertram Podell (D-NY), pleaded guilty to conspiracy and conflict of interest. He was fined $5,000 and served four months in prison (1974)
- Frank Brasco (D-NY) Sentenced to three months in jail and fined $10,000 for conspiracy to accept bribes from a reputed Mafia figure who sought truck leasing contracts from the Post Office and loans to buy trucks.
- Frank Clark (D-PA) Paid congressional salaries to 13 Pennsylvania residents who performed no official duties.
- Otto Kerner, Jr. (D) Resigned as a judge of the Federal Seventh Circuit Court District after conviction for bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion while Governor of Illinois. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison and fined $50,000. (1974)
1969–1974 Richard M. Nixon Administration
- Spiro Agnew Vice-President (R-MD) to Richard Nixon was convicted of tax fraud stemming from bribery charges in Maryland and forced to resign. Nixon replaced him as V.P. with Gerald R. Ford (R-MI)(1973)
- Bebe Rebozo (R) investigated for accepting large contribution to Nixon campaign. No charges were filed (1973)
- Watergate (1972–1973) Republican ‘bugging’ of the Democratic Party National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel led to a burglary which was discovered. The cover up of the affair by President Richard Nixon (R) and his staff resulted in 69 government officials being charged and 48 pleading guilty. Eventually, Nixon resigned his position.
- John N. Mitchell (R) Attorney General of the United States, convicted of perjury.
- Richard Kleindienst (R) Attorney General, found guilty of “refusing to answer questions” given one month in jail.
- Jeb Stuart Magruder (R) Head of Committee to Re-elect the President, pled guilty to 1 count of conspiracy, August 1973
- Frederick C. LaRue (R) Advisor to John Mitchell, convicted of obstruction of justice.
- H. R. Haldeman (R) Chief of Staff for Nixon, convicted of perjury
- John Ehrlichman (R) Counsel to Nixon, convicted of perjury.
- Egil Krogh Jr. (R) Aid to John Ehrlichman, sentenced to 6 months.
- John W. Dean III (R) Counsel to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice.
- Dwight L. Chapin (R) Deputy Assistant to Nixon, convicted of perjury.
- Herbert W. Kalmbach (R) personal attorney to Nixon, convicted of illegal campaigning.
- Charles W. Colson (R) Special Counsel to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice.
- Herbert L. Porter (R) Aid to the Committee to Re-elect the President. Convicted of perjury.
- G. Gordon Liddy (R) Special Investigations Group, convicted of burglary.
- E. Howard Hunt (R) ‘security consultant,’ convicted of burglary.
- James W. McCord Jr. (R) guilty of six charges of burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping.
- Virgilio Gonzalez guilty of burglary.
- Bernard Barker guilty of burglary.
- Eugenio Martinez guilty of burglary.
- Frank Sturgis guilty of burglary.
- Pentagon Papers Exposed unconstitutional actions and coverup by Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson (D) and Richard Nixon (R) in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1964 through 1971.
- Richard Helms, Head of the CIA, denied his role in the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende and was convicted of perjury. He also destroyed all record of over 150 CIA mind control experiments of the MKULTRA project for which he was not prosecuted.
- Cornelius Gallagher (D-NJ) pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and served two years in prison.
- 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.
- Martin B. McKneally (R-NY) Placed on one-year probation and fined $5,000 in 1971 for failing to file income tax return. He had not paid taxes for many years prior.
- Harold Carswell (R): Was not nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court (1970) after publication of a 20-year-old speech: “I yield to no man… in the firm, vigorous belief in the principles of white supremacy.” Was also alleged to be hostile to women’s rights. Roman Hruska (Republican, Nebraska) defended Carswell by stating:
- “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.” Later arrested in (1976) for homosexual advances in a men’s washroom.
- Harold Carswell Judge (R): Was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court (1970) by Richard Nixon, but was not confirmed. Civil-rights advocates questioned his civil rights record, citing his voiced support for racial segregation during his unsuccessful election bid in 1948. Various feminists, including Betty Friedan, testified before the Senate, opposed his nomination and contributed to his defeat.
- 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.”
1963–1968 Lyndon B. Johnson Administration
- Bobby Baker (D), adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson: resigned after charges of favoritism (1963)
- Billy Sol Estes (D): convicted felon who donated to Lyndon Johnson and influenced Texas elections (1961);
- Ted Kennedy Senator (D-MA) drove his car into the channel between Chappaquiddick Island and Martha’s Vineyard, killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended sentence of two months (1969)
- Thomas J. Dodd, Senator (D-CT): Censured by the Senate for financial misconduct (1967)
- Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (D-NY): was expelled from Congress but won the special election as his own replacement (1967)
- Daniel Brewster (D-MD) Senator pleaded no contest to accepting an illegal gratuity in 1975 and fined $10,000. Brewster was convicted in 1972 of accepting $14,500 from a lobbyist, and got a six-year term in 1973 over the conviction, but the conviction was overturned on grounds of unclear jury instructions.
- Abe Fortas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (D): resigned when he was discovered to be a paid consultant to a convicted criminal. No charges were ever filed. (1969)
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.
1953–1960 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.
1945–1952 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)