List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes
This list consists of American politicians convicted of crimes either committed or prosecuted while holding office in the federal government. It includes politicians who were convicted or pleaded guilty in a court of law; and does not include politicians involved in unprosecuted scandals (which may or may not have been illegal in nature), or politicians who have only been arrested or indicted. The list also does not include crimes that occur outside the politician's tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office.
Although the convicted politicians are arranged by presidential terms starting with the most recent, many of the crimes have little or no connection to who is President. Since the passage of Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution on January 23, 1933, presidential terms have begun on January 20 of the year following the presidential election; prior to that, they began on March 4.
2017–Present (Donald J. Trump (R) presidency)Edit
2009–2017 (Barack Obama (D) presidency)Edit
- General David Petraeus (R) Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. On April 23, 2015, a federal judge sentenced Petraeus to two years' probation plus a fine of $100,000 for providing classified information to Lieutenant Colonel Paula Broadwell.(2015)
- Steve Stockman (R-TX) was convicted of fraud. (2018)
- Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was convicted of sending sexually explicit photos of himself to a 15-year-old girl and was made to sign the sexual offenders register. (2017)
- Corrine Brown (D-FL) was convicted on 18 felony counts of wire and tax fraud, conspiracy, lying to federal investigators, and other corruption charges. (2017)
- Chaka Fattah (D-PA) was convicted on 23 counts of racketeering, fraud, and other corruption charges. (2016)
- Dennis Hastert (R-IL) Speaker of the United States House of Representatives pleaded guilty in court for illegally structuring bank transactions related to payment of $3.5 million to quash allegations of sexual misconduct with a student when he was a high school teacher and coach decades ago. (2016)
- Michael Grimm (R-NY) pleaded guilty of felony tax evasion. This was the fourth count in a 20-count indictment brought against him for improper use of campaign funds. The guilty plea had a maximum sentence of three years; he was sentenced to eight months in prison. (2015)
- Trey Radel (R-FL) was convicted of possession of cocaine in November 2013. As a first-time offender, he was sentenced to one year probation and fined $250. Radel announced he would take a leave of absence, but did not resign. Later, under pressure from a number of Republican leaders, he announced through a spokesperson that he would resign. (2013)
- Rick Renzi (R-AZ) was found guilty on 17 of 32 counts against him June 12, 2013, including wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators. (2013)
- Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pleaded guilty February 20, 2013, to one count of wire and mail fraud in connection with his misuse of $750,000 in campaign funds. Jackson was sentenced to two-and-one-half years' imprisonment. (2013)
- 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)
2001–2009 (George W. Bush (R) presidency)Edit
- J. Michael Farren (R) Deputy White House Counsel, convicted of the attempted murder of his wife. (2013)
- Scott Bloch (R) United States Special Counsel, 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...." Bloch was sentenced to one day in jail and two years' probation, and also ordered him to pay a $5000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service. (2013)
- Felipe Sixto (R) Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs, convicted of misusing money. Sentenced to 30 months. (2009)
- Robert E. Coughlin (R) Deputy Chief of Staff for the Criminal Division, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes relating to the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal. (2009)
- David Safavian (R) Administrator for the Office of Management and Budget He was found guilty of blocking justice and lying, and sentenced to 18 months. (2008)
- 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 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. His sentence was commuted by George W. Bush (R) on July 1, 2007. (2007) Libby was pardoned by President Donald J. Trump on April 13, 2018.
- Lester Crawford (R) Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, pleaded guilty to conflict of interest and received 3 years suspended sentence and fined $90,000. (2006)
- Claude Allen (R) Director of the Domestic Policy Council, was arrested for a series of felony thefts in retail stores. He was convicted on one count (2006).
- John Korsmo (R) Chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, pleaded guilty to lying to congress. (2005)
- William J. Jefferson (D-LA) was charged in August 2005 after the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from his home freezer. He was re-elected to the House in 2006, but lost in 2008. He was convicted November 13, 2009, of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years in prison. (2009) Jefferson's Chief of Staff Brett Pfeffer, was sentenced to 84 months for bribery. (2006)
- Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal involves the efforts of Abramoff to influence Congressional action concerning U.S. immigration and minimum wage laws. See Executive branch convictions. Congressmen convicted in the Abramoff scandal include:
- Duke Cunningham (R-CA) pleaded guilty 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 and was sentenced to over eight years in prison. (2005)
- Frank Ballance (D-NC) admitted to federal charges of money laundering and mail fraud in October 2005 and was sentenced to four years in prison. (2005)
- Bill Janklow (R-SD) was 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' probation. (2003)
- Jim Traficant (D-OH) was found guilty on ten felony counts of financial corruption, sentenced to eight years in prison and expelled from the House of Representatives. (2002)
1993–2001 (Bill Clinton (D) presidency)Edit
- Wade Sanders (D), Deputy Assistant United States Secretary of the Navy, for Reserve Affairs, was sentenced to 37 months in prison on one charge of possession of child pornography. (2009)
- Darleen A. Druyun (D), Principal Deputy United States Under Secretary of the Air Force. She pleaded guilty to inflating the price of contracts to favor her future employer, Boeing. In October 2004, she was sentenced to nine months in jail for corruption, fined $5,000, given three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service.(2005). CBS News called it "the biggest Pentagon scandal in 20 years" and said that she pleaded guilty to a felony.
- Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. (1997) He was later convicted of 12 counts of bank fraud. (1999)
- Wes Cooley (R-OR), was convicted of having lied on the 1994 voter information pamphlet about his service in the Army. He was fined and sentenced to two years' probation (1997) He was later convicted of income tax fraud connected to an investment scheme. He was sentenced to one year in prison and to pay restitution of $3.5 million to investors and $138,000 to the IRS.
- Austin Murphy (D-PA) was convicted of one count of voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home. (1999)
- House banking scandal The House of Representatives Bank found that 450 members had overdrawn their checking accounts, but 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)
- Buz Lukens (R-OH) convicted of bribery and conspiracy.
- Carl C. Perkins (D-KY) pleaded guilty to a check kiting scheme involving several financial institutions (including the House Bank).
- Carroll Hubbard (D-KY) was convicted of illegally funneling money to his wife's 1992 campaign to succeed him in congress.
- Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH) pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge not related to the House Bank.
- Walter Fauntroy (D-District of Columbia) was convicted of filing false disclosure forms to hide unauthorized income.
- Congressional Post Office scandal (1991–1995) was a conspiracy to embezzle House Post Office money through stamps and postal vouchers to congressmen.
1989–1993 (George H. W. Bush (R) presidency)Edit
- Catalina Vasquez Villalpando, (R) Treasurer of the United States, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. (1992)
- Nicholas Mavroules (D-Massachusetts) was convicted of extortion, accepting illegal gifts and failing to report them on congressional disclosure and income tax forms. Mavroules pleaded guilty to fifteen counts in April 1993 and was sentenced to a fifteen-month prison term. (1993)
- Albert Bustamante (D-Texas) was convicted of accepting bribes and sentenced to three-and-one-half years in prison. (1993)
- David Durenberger Senator (R-Minnesota) denounced by Senate for unethical financial transactions and then disbarred (1990). He pleaded guilty to misuse of public funds and given one year's probation (1995)
- Jay Kim (R-CA) accepted $250,000 in illegal 1992 campaign contributions and was sentenced to two months' house arrest. (1992)
1981–1989 (Ronald Reagan (R) presidency)Edit
- Housing and Urban Development Scandal was a controversy concerning bribery by selected contractors for low income housing projects.
- James G. Watt (R) United States Secretary of the Interior, was charged with 25 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. Sentenced to five years' probation, fined $5,000 and 500 hours of community service. (1995)
- Deborah Gore Dean (R) Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, convicted of fraud. (1988).
- Michael Deaver (R) White House Deputy Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan, pleaded guilty to perjury related to lobbying activities and was sentenced to 3 years' probation and fined $100,000. (1987)
- Operation Ill Wind was a three-year investigation launched in 1986 by the FBI into corruption by U.S. government and military officials, and private defense contractors.
- Melvyn Paisley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, was found to have accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. He pleaded guilty to bribery and served four years in prison.
- James E. Gaines, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, took over when Paisley resigned his office. Gaines was convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity and theft and conversion of government property. He was sentenced to six months in prison.
- Victor D. Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, was the 50th conviction obtained under the Ill Wind probe when he pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and conspiring to defraud the government. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
- Iran–Contra affair (1985–1986); A secret sale of arms to Iran, to secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, in violation of the Boland Amendment.
- Elliott Abrams (R) Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, convicted of withholding evidence. Given 2 years' probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush.
- Abscam FBI sting involving fake 'Arabs' trying to bribe 31 congressmen. (1980) The following 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 (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.
- Wedtech scandal Wedtech Corporation was convicted of bribery in connection with Defense Department contracts.
- Mario Biaggi (D-NY) Convicted of obstruction of justice and accepting illegal gratuities he was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and fined $500K. (1987)
- Robert Garcia (D-NY) sentenced to 2½ years.
- Pat Swindall (R-GA) convicted of 6 counts of perjury. (1989)
- George V. Hansen (R-ID) censured for failing to fill out disclosure forms. Spent 15 months in prison. (1984)
- 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. (1981)
- Joshua Eilberg (D-PA) pleaded guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. (1981)
- Jon Hinson (R-MS) was arrested for having homosexual oral sex in the House of Representatives' bathroom with a government staffer. Hinson, who was married, later received a 30-day jail sentence, and a year's probation, on condition that he get counseling and treatment. (1981)
1977–1981 (Jimmy Carter (D) presidency)Edit
- Frank M. Clark (D-Pennsylvania) pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in prison. (1979)
- J. Herbert Burke (R-FL) pleaded guilty to disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest, and nolo contendere to an additional charge of witness tampering. He was sentenced to three months plus fines.(1978)
- Fred Richmond (D-New York) – 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-Michigan), 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)
- Richard Tonry (D-Louisiana) pleaded guilty to receiving illegal campaign contributions. (1977)
- Andrew J. Hinshaw (R-CA) US Representative was convicted of accepting bribes. He served one year in prison. (1977)
1974–1977 (Gerald R. Ford (R) presidency)Edit
- Earl Butz (R) United States Secretary of Agriculture. He was charged with failing to report more than $148,000 in 1978. Butz pleaded guilty to the tax evasion charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation and was ordered to make restitution. He served 25 days behind bars before his release.
- James F. Hastings (R-New York), convicted of kickbacks and mail fraud, he also took money from his employees for personal use. Served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary. (1976)
- Bertram Podell (D-New York), pleaded guilty to conspiracy and conflict of interest. He was fined $5,000 and served four months in prison. (1974)
- Frank Brasco (D-New York) sentenced to 5 years 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. (1974)
- Richard T. Hanna (D-CA), convicted in an influence-buying scandal. (1974)
- John V. Dowdy (D-Texas), convicted of perjury and served 6 months in prison. (1973)
1969–1974 (Richard M. Nixon (R) presidency)Edit
- Maurice Stans (R) United States Secretary of Commerce, pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the reporting sections of the Federal Election Campaign Act and two counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions and was fined $5,000.(1975)
- Spiro Agnew (R) Vice President of the United States, convicted of income-tax evasion. (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, including 7 for actual burglary. Eventually, Nixon resigned his position.
- John N. Mitchell (R) former United States Attorney General, convicted of perjury.
- Richard Kleindienst (R) United States Attorney General, convicted of obstruction, given one month in jail.
- H. R. Haldeman (R) White House Chief of Staff, convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Served 18 months in prison.
- John Ehrlichman (R) former White House Counsel, convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Served 18 months in prison.
- Egil Krogh (R) United States Undersecretary of Transportation, sentenced to six months.
- John Dean (R) White House Counsel, convicted of obstruction of justice, later reduced to felony offenses and served 4 months.
- Dwight Chapin (R) Secretary to the President of the United States, convicted of perjury.
- Charles Colson (R) Special Counsel to the President for Public Liaison, convicted of obstruction of justice. Served 7 months.
- James Fred Hastings (R-NY) convicted of receiving kickbacks and mail fraud. He served 14 months at Allenwood penitentiary (1976).
- Edwin Reinecke (R-CA) convicted of perjury and sentenced to 18 months in prison as part of the Watergate investigation. (1973)
- J. Irving Whalley (R-Pennsylvania) 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. (1973)
- Martin B. McKneally (R-New York) placed on one year's probation and fined $5,000 for failing to file income tax return. He had not paid taxes for many years prior. (1971)
- Cornelius Gallagher (D-New Jersey) pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and served two years in prison.(1972)
- Ted Kennedy Senator (D-Massachusetts) 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)
1963–1969 (Lyndon B. Johnson (D) presidency)Edit
1961–1963 (John F. Kennedy (D) presidency)Edit
1953–1961 (Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) presidency)Edit
- Thomas J. Lane (D-Massachusetts) convicted for evading taxes on his congressional income. Served 4 months in prison, but was re-elected three more times (1956).
- Ernest K. Bramblett (R-California) received a suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine for making false statements in connection with payroll padding and kickbacks from congressional employees. (1954)
1945–1953 (Harry S. Truman (D) presidency)Edit
- Walter E. Brehm (R-OH) convicted of accepting contributions illegally from one of his employees. Received a 15-month suspended sentence and a $5,000 fine. (1951)
- J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ) was convicted of salary fraud and given an 18-month sentence and a fine. He was imprisoned in Danbury Prison. After serving his 18 months he was pardoned by Truman. (1950)
- Andrew J. May (D-KY) convicted of accepting bribes from a war munitions manufacturer. Was sentenced to 9 months in prison, after which he was pardoned by Truman. (1947)
- James M. Curley (D-MA) fined $1,000 and served six months for fraud before Harry S. Truman commuted the rest of his sentence. (1947)
1933–1945 (Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) presidency)Edit
1929-1933 (Herbert Hoover (R) presidency)Edit
1923–1929 (Calvin Coolidge (R) presidency)Edit
1921–1923 (Warren G. Harding (R) presidency)Edit
1913-1921 (Woodrow Wilson (D) presidency)Edit
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1909–1913 (William Howard Taft (R) presidency)Edit
- William Lorimer Senator (R-IL), The 'blond boss of Chicago' was found guilty of accepting bribes in 1912.
1901-1909 (Theodore Roosevelt (R) presidency)Edit
- Henry B. Cassel (R-Pennsylvania) was convicted of fraud related to the construction of the Pennsylvania State Capitol (1909).
- John Hipple Mitchell Senator (R-Oregon) 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-Kansas) was convicted of accepting a $2,500 bribe. (1904)
1897-1901 (McKinley (R) presidency)Edit
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- Matthew Lyon (Democratic Republican-Kentucky). First Congressman to be recommended for censure after spitting on Roger Griswold (Federalist-Connecticut). The censure failed to pass. Separately, found guilty of violating Alien and Sedition Acts and sentenced to four months in jail, during which time he was re-elected (1798).
- Aaron Burr (Thomas Jefferson's Vice-President) was arrested in 1805 following Alexander Hamilton's death resulting from the duel Burr initiated. The charges were eventually dropped following his trial.
- Thomas Porteous (D), Federal Judge of the U.S. Eastern District of Louisiana was impeached, convicted and removed from office December 8, 2010, on charges of bribery and lying to Congress. (2010).
- Senior Federal U.S. District Court Judge Jack Camp (R) was arrested in an undercover drug bust while trying to purchase cocaine from an FBI agent. Judge Jack T. Camp resigned his position after pleading guilty to three criminal charges. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 400 community service hours and fined. (2010).
- Samuel B. Kent (R), Federal District Judge of the Galveston Division of the U.S. Southern District of Texas, was sentenced May 11, 2009, to 33 months in prison for having lied about sexually harassing two female employees. (2009).
- Alcee Hastings (D), 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).
- Robert Frederick Collins (D), Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to six years, ten months. (1991).
- Walter Nixon (D) Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for perjury November 3, 1989.
- Harry Claiborne (D), Federal District court Judge was tried and convicted of federal tax evasion; he served over one year in prison (1983). He was later impeached by the House, convicted by the Senate and removed from office (1986).
- List of federal political scandals in the United States
- List of federal political sex scandals in the United States
- 2017–18 United States political sexual scandals
- List of United States senators expelled or censured
- List of United States Representatives expelled, censured, or reprimanded
State and local politics:
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