Scope and organization of political scandals
The article is organized by presidential terms and then divided into scandals of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. Members of both parties are listed under the term of the president in office at the time the scandal took place.
Scandals; There is no hard and fast rule defining scandals. Scandal is defined as "loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety." In politics scandal should be kept separate from 'controversy,' (which implies two differing points of view) and 'unpopularity.' Many decisions are controversial, many decisions are unpopular—that alone does not make them scandals.
A good guideline is whether or not an action is, or appears to be, illegal. Since everyone, particularly a politician, is expected to be law abiding, breaking the law is, by definition, a scandal. Misunderstandings, breaches of ethics, unproven crimes or cover-ups may or may not result in scandals depending on who is bringing the charges, the amount of publicity garnered, and the seriousness of the crime, if any. The finding of a court with jurisdiction is the sole method used to determine a violation of law.
What is also not so clear, is how far down the ladder of obscurity a scandal should go. During the Truman (D) administration, 196 local IRS staffers were found to be corrupt, but they were so far removed from Washington, Truman or any of his appointees, that it could hardly be called a 'Truman scandal.'
Also not included in this article are pervasive systemic scandals, such as the role of money in normal politics, which purchases access and influence. Neither are 'revolving door' stories, which is the practice of hiring government officials to promote or lobby for companies they were recently paid to regulate. Though some rules now apply, to a great extent this is legal in the United States.
Politicians are those who make their living primarily in politics, their staffs and appointees. By definition, political scandals should involve politicians and not private citizens. Private citizens should be included only when they are closely linked to elected or appointed politicians such as party officials. Kenneth Lay of Enron is a good example of such a citizen. This list also does not include crimes that occur outside the politician's tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office.
Scope To keep the article a manageable size, Senators and Congressmen who are rebuked, admonished, condemned, suspended, found in contempt, found to have acted improperly, used poor judgement or were reprimanded by Congress are not included unless the scandal is exceptional or leads to expulsion.
See Also at the bottom of the article has links to related articles which deal with politicians who are actually convicted of crimes, as well as differentiating between federal, state and local scandals and two separate articles are devoted to sex crimes and scandals.
Joseph Grant, commissioner of the IRS Tax-exempt and Government entities division, resigned on May 16.
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.
Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pled guilty to one felony count of fraud for using $750,000 of campaign money to buy personal items such as stuffed animals, elk heads and fur capes. His wife, Sandi Jackson, who is a Chicago City Alderman, pled guilty to filing false income tax statements at the same time.
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)
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) (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.
G. Thomas Porteous Federal Judge for Eastern Louisiana was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of bribery and perjury in March 2010. He was convicted by the US Senate and removed from office. He had been appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton. (2010)
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. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing almost $600,000 for personal use.
Timothy Goeglein Special Assistant to President Bush resigned when it was discovered that more than 20 of his columns had been plagiarized from an Indiana newspaper. (2008)
Scott Block was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the 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 ...." On February 2, Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson ruled that Bloch faces a mandatory sentence of at least one month in prison.
Lewis Libby 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.
Richard J. Griffin 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.
Howard Krongard, Republican contributor was appointed Inspector General of the US State Department by President George W. Bush in 2005. After he 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.
"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 and instead resigned, including:
Darleen A. Druyun was Principal Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force nominated by George W. Bush.  She pled guilty to inflating the price of contracts to favor her future employer, Boeing. In October 2004, she was sentenced to nine months in jail for corruption, fined $5,000, given three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service. She began her prison term on January 5, 2005. CBS News called it "the biggest Pentagon scandal in 20 years" and said that she pleaded guilty to a felony.
Philip Cooney Bush appointee to chair the Council on Environmental Quality was accused of editing government climate reports to emphasize doubts about global warming. Two days later, Cooney announced his resignation and later conceded his role in altering reports. Stating "My sole loyalty was to the President and advancing the policies of his administration," .
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
Susan B. Ralston Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned October 6, 2006, after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff.
Robert E. Coughlin Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division of the Justice Department pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. (2008)
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 Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior, resigned May 1, 2007, after giving government documents to developers (2007)
Claude Allen Appointed as an advisor by President George W. Bush (R) 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.
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. As revealed by The (British) Downing Street memo "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" The press called this the 'smoking gun."(2005)
Yellowcake forgery: Just before 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.
Bernard Kerik 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 and was sentenced to four years in prison.
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 were filed.
Ted Stevens Senator (R-AK) was convicted of seven counts of bribery and tax evasion October 27, 2008. He then lost re-election. Newly appointed US Attorney General Eric Holder dismissed the charges "in the interest of justice" stating that the Justice Department had illegally withheld evidence from defense counsel.
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.
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.
Neil Volz former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in 2006 charges stemming from his work for Bob Ney. In 2007 he was sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $2,000.
William Heaton, former chief of staff for Bob Ney (R), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge involving a golf trip to Scotland, expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping Abramoff's clients.
John Albaugh, former chief of staff to Ernest Istook (R-OK), pled guilty to accepting bribes connected to the Federal Highway Bill. Istook was not charged. (2008)
James Hirni, former staff to Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), was charged with wire fraud for giving a staffer for Don Young (R) of Alaska a bribe in exchange for amendments to the Federal Highway Bill. (2008)
John Doolittle (R-CA) both he and his wife were under investigation (January 2008). Under this cloud, Doolittle decided not to run for re-election in November 2008. The Justice Department announced in June 2010 they had terminated the investigation and found no wrongdoing.
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.
Tan Nguyen (R-CA) congressional candidate for the 47th District was convicted of voter intimidation. He lost the election and was sentenced to one year in prison and six months in a halfway house. (2006)
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)
1993–2001 Bill Clinton Administration
Ronald Blackley, Chief of Staff to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, was sentenced to 27 months for perjury. Secretary Espy was found innocent on all counts.
Bill Clinton President (D) Impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying under oath about sexual relations with intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate and remained in office for the rest of his term. Clinton subsequently was cited for contempt of court and agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license (1998). On October 1, 2001, Bill Clinton was barred from practicing law before the Supreme Court of the United States (2001)
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 US House of Representatives, was accused of financial improprieties concerning a book deal which led to a reprimand by the House and $300,000 in sanctions leading to his eventual resignation from office. (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)
Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) On August 3, 1993, Congressman Smith pled guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of filing false campaign reports. He was sentenced to three months in prison.
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)
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)
1989–1993 George H. W. Bush Administration
George H. W. Bush (R) President. during his election campaign, Bush denied any knowledge of the Iran Contra Affair by saying he was "out of the loop." But his own diaries of that time stated "I'm one of the few people that know fully the details ..." He repeatedly refused to disclose this to investigators and won the election. (1988)
Iran-Contra Affair pardons. On December 24, 1992, George H. W. Bush (R) granted clemency to five convicted government officials and Caspar Weinberger, whose trial had not yet begun. This action prevented any further investigation into the matter.
James G. Watt Secretary of Interior, 1981–1983, charged with 25 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, sentenced to five years probation, fined $5,000 and 500 hours of community service
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 Assistant Secretary of HUD, 1981–1982, pled guilty to bribery in 1994.
Iran-Contra Affair (1985–1986); A plan conceived by CIA head William Casey and Oliver North of the National Security Council to sell TOW missiles to Iran for the return of US hostages and then use part of the money received to fund Contra rebels trying to overthrow the left wing government of Nicaragua, which was in direct violation of Congress' Boland Amendment.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 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 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.
Oliver North convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents, but the ruling was overturned since he had been granted immunity.
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, pled guilty in November 1989 to supplementing the salary of Oliver North by buying him a $13,800 fence. Hakim was given two years of probation and a $5,000 fine, while his company, Lake Resources Inc. was ordered to dissolve.
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.
C. Madison Brewer A high ranking Justice Department official was held in Contempt of Congress.
Michael Deaver Deputy Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan 1981–85, pleaded guilty to perjury related to lobbying activities and was sentenced to 3 years probation and fined $100,000
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 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)
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)
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)
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 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:
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)
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.
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)
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:
Nixon pardon: The pardon by President Gerald Ford (R) of former President Richard Nixon (R), (who had nominated Ford his vice-president), just before Nixon could be tried by the Congress for conspiracy and impeached for his role in the Watergate scandal. (1974)
Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture When asked privately why the party of Lincoln was not able to attract more blacks. Butz replied: "I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit." Butz resigned soon after. (1976) 
Andrew J. Hinshaw (R-CA) Congressman convicted of accepting bribes while Assessor of Orange County. He served one year in prison. (1977)
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 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit after conviction for bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion while Governor of Illinois. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison and fined $50,000. (1974)
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.Gerald R. Ford (R-MI)(1973) was nominated by Nixon and replaced Agnew as Vice President (the first person appointed to the Vice Presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment.)
Bebe Rebozo 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.
Ted Kennedy Senator (D-MA) drove his car into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, a small island off of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, passenger Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended sentence of two months. (1969)
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 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."
1963–1969 Lyndon B. Johnson Administration
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)
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.
Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) On August 3, 1993, Congressman Smith pled guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of filing false campaign reports. He was sentenced to three months in prison.
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 3½ 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, 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)
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.
Douglas Stringfellow (R-UT) Abandoned his 1954 re-election bid after admitting to embellishing his war record. Stringfellow falsely claimed to have been awarded a Silver Star and feigned paraplegia.
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.
John H. Hoeppel (D-CA), convicted of trying to sell an appointment to the West Point Military Academy. (1936)
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)
1929–1933 Herbert Hoover Administration
Hiram Bingham Senator (R-CT) Censured for hiring to his staff a lobbyist employed by a manufacturing organization. (1929)
1923–1929 Calvin Coolidge Administration
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 1921–1923. His administration was marred by scandals stemming from men in his administration who followed him from Ohio who came to be known as the Ohio Gang. They include;
Charles Cramer Forbes' general counsel, committed suicide. (1923)
Thomas W. Miller, Head of the Office of Alien Property: convicted of fraud by selling valuable German patents seized after World War I for far below market price as well as bribery. Served 18 months.
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)
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)
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)
Samuel Swartwout was appointed by President Andrew Jackson to the New York City Collector's Office. At the end of his term he had embezzled $1.225 million in customs receipts and used the money to purchase land. He fled to Europe to avoid prosecution.
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)
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)
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)
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)
1797–1800 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)
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)
^Michael A. Memoli (2010-12-09). "Senate convicts Louisiana federal judge in impeachment trial". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-09. "The Senate also voted to bar him from ever holding public office in the future... The vote on the first count was unanimous, 96-0. On subsequent counts, the votes were 69–27, 88–8, and 90–6. Impeachment required a vote of two-thirds of the Senate."
^How Congress unknowingly legalized PRISM in 2007, By Timothy B. Lee, Published: June 6, 2013 
^Michael J. Sniffen and Matt Apuzzo (Associated Press),"Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Trial: Ex-Cheney Aide Libby Found Guilty of Obstruction, Perjury, Lying to the FBI in CIA Leak Case", ABC News, March 6, 2007
^Pichirallo, Joe (March 12, 1988). "McFarlane Enters Guilty Plea Arising From Iran-Contra Affair; Former Reagan Adviser Withheld Information From Congress". The Washington Post.
^Walsh, Lawrence E. (August 4, 1993). "Final Report of the Independent Counsel For Iran/Contra Matters Vol. I: Investigations and Prosecutions". Summary of Prosecutions. U. S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia.
^Joplin News Herald (Saturday, March 20, 1926), p. 1; The Charleston Gazette (February 13, 1924), pp. 1, 9; Time (Monday, Apr. 21, 1952), Milestones; Administration of Veterans' Affairs (excluding Health and Insurance), (2010); Dean (2004), Warren G Harding, pp. 140, 141
^Time, March 31, 1930, "National Affairs: Ohio Gangster"
^Frank W. Blackmar, ed. (1912). "Burton, Joseph Ralph". Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc ...I. Chicago: Standard Pub Co. pp. 259–260.
^"Assassination of Philip Barton Key, by Daniel E. Sickles of New York". Hartford Daily Courant. March 1, 1959. Retrieved 2010-11-30. "For more than a year there have been floating rumors of improper intimacy between Mr. Key and Mrs. Sickles They have from time to time attended parties, the opera, and rode out together. Mr. Sickles has heard of these reports, but would never credit them until Thursday evening last. On that evening, just as a party was about breaking up at his house, Mr Sickles received among his papers..."
^p.573, Samuel Eliot Morrison, The Oxford History of the American People (1965) p. 573
^Robert Remini, Andrew Jackson and the course of American democracy, 1833–1845 (1984) p. 449
^Andro Linklater (2009-09-29). An artist in treason: the extraordinary double life of General James Wilkinson. Walker & Company. ISBN978-0-8027-1720-7.
^"Aaron Burr and the Definition of Treason (1783–1815)". American Eras. 8 vols. Gale Research, 1997–1998. Student Resource Center. Thomson Gale. 24 October 2005
^"Burr's Conspiracy, 1805–1807". DISCovering U.S. History. Online Edition. Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center. Thomson Gale. 24 October 2005.
^Jerry W. Knudson, "The Jeffersonian Assault on the Federalist Judiciary, 1802–1805: Political Forces and Press Reaction," American Journal of Legal History 1970 14(1): 55–75; Richard Ellis, "The Impeachment of Samuel Chase," in American Political Trials, ed. by Michael R. Belknap (1994) pp. 57–76, quote on p. 64.
^T. M. Iiams, Peacemaking from Vergennes to Napoleon: French Foreign Relations in the Revolutionary Era, 1774–1814 (1979); A. Duff Cooper, Talleyrand (1932); E. Wilson Lyon, "The Directory and the United States," American Historical Review, Vol. 43, No. 3 (Apr., 1938), pp. 514–532 in JSTOR