25 Biggest Political Scandals In History

25 Biggest Political Scandals In History


Politics can be quite a dirty business, leading
to some of the biggest scandals in history. Because of the many perks that are included,
such as fame, power, money, and honor, there are certain politicians that cannot control
themselves and give in to the temptations of corruption and greed. There are others
that are falsely accused or claims falsely exaggerated, but the scandal remains. Whether
Democrat or Republican, some of the more common scandals have to do with extramarital affairs,
excessive use of funds, improper utilization of taxes, and more. While these are far from
the only political scandals, these were some of the most newsworthy and influential scandals
of their time. I’m Mike with List25 and Here are the 25 Biggest Political Scandals In History
that truly stand out. 25.
The Profumo Affair was a 1963 British political scandal named after John Profumo, Secretary
of State for War. His affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged
Soviet spy, followed by his lying in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it,
forced his resignation and damaged the reputation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s
government. Macmillan himself resigned a few months later because of ill health. 24.
Wilbur Mills was a popular US congressman, but things fell apart for him after getting
a DUI right after engaging in a scuffle with Argentinean stripper, Fanne Fox. To make things
even more comical, when he was pulled over, she was actually with him in the car. Before
the police officer could even say a word, however, she jumped out the back and dove
into a drainage ditch, after which she was taken to a mental hospital and left Wilbur
with some serious explaining to do. 23.
The Keating Five were five US Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political
scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 80’s. Basically they
had prevented Charles Keating, Chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association,
from being audited in return for receiving campaign funding. Unfortunately for everybody
else in America, the association collapsed under the corruption, causing billions of
dollars worth of damages and ruining the senators’ reputations. 22.
From June 18-24, 2009, the whereabouts of politician Mark Sanford were unknown to the
public, as well as to his wife and the State Law Enforcement Division, which provided security
for him. He had told his staff that he would be hiking the Appalachian Trial but failed
to answer any phone calls. Not long afterwards, however, reporter Gina Smith ran into him
at the airport in Atlanta returning from Argentina. Apparently he had a mistress and had decided
to go pay her a visit. 21.
Long before his picture perfect royal wedding, Prince Harry attended a private party and
was photographed wearing an armband with a Nazi insignia. While this was only one of
many scandals the hard-partying prince was caught up in during his adolescence, it was
the most memorable for many, and led to an official apology by the prince and palace. 20.
In the Chappaquiddick incident on July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, a female passenger
of U.S. Senator Edward M. “Ted†Kennedy, was killed when he accidentally drove
his car off a bridge and into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. Kennedy
swam free and left the scene but Kopechne died in the vehicle. Early the next day, Kopechne’s
body and the car were recovered. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of
an accident after causing injury and received a two-month suspended jail sentence. The incident
became a national scandal, and may have influenced Kennedy’s decision not to campaign
for President in ’72 and ’76. 19.
Although President Chen Shui-bian wanted to see a strong and independent Taiwan, his
family’s (and his own) lack of self control managed to undermine many of his positions.
His son-in-law was caught money laundering and insider trading, his wife wired over $21
million to various banks in the world, and he was arrested after his resignation for
embezzlement of funds and receiving bribes. High aspirations don’t necessarily
make good leaders. 18.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was involved in a lot of messes in his 17 years
in office. He was known as a playboy, fraud, swindler, and gangster. Basically anything
bad…that’s what he was. The most famous of his escapades, however, were probably
the huge promiscuous parties he threw that have come to be known by the nonsensical term
bunga bunga. 17.
Moshe Katsav, former President of Israel, was accused of raping and sexually harassing
up to ten women. While he was still in office, police raided his house and seized computers
and documents. There were calls for him to resign or suspend himself from the presidency
which he refused to do. After stepping down, however, he lost his presidential immunity
and was promptly convicted of the crimes, only to be released five years into his seven
year term. 16.
When North Dakota Governor William Langer took office in 1932, he and five co-conspirators
required all state employees to donate part of their annual salaries to their political
party. This wasn’t prohibited by state law and was a common, traditional practice. However,
when donations were made by highway department employees, who were paid through federal relief
programs, the US attorney charged that the donations constituted a conspiracy to defraud
the federal government. Langer and his colleagues were eventually brought to court. Although
he was convicted of a felony and told to resign as governor, he ended up declaring North Dakota
independent, instituting martial law, and barricading himself in the governor’s
mansion until the Supreme Court would meet with him. Eventually, a settlement was reached
and a new governor was chosen. 15.
The election between George Bush and Al Gore was plagued with issues, but it wasn’t
until Florida bungled its voting system that the trouble really began. With the world watching,
Florida was in the spotlight until the courts stepped in and chose President Bush. 14.
Gary Condit, a former representative from California, was reported to have an affair
with Chandra Levy, an intern at his Washinton DC office. After she disappeared, he admitted
to the affair but denied anything to do with her disappearance. He was cleared as a suspect,
however, when Chandra’s body was found and police determine that Ingmar Guandique,
a Salvadorian immigrant, was responsible. However, charges against Guandique were later
dismissed for lack of evidence. 13.
On September 28, 2006, ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross reported that in
2005, congressman Mark Foley had sent email messages from his personal AOL account to
a former Congressional page, asking the page to send a photo of himself to Foley, among
other things. Foley’s office confirmed that Foley had sent the messages but said
it has a practice of asking for photos of individuals who may ask for recommendations
and that the page had requested a recommendation. Eventually, however, other pages ended up
coming forward and led to a severely tarnished reputation. 12.
Once thought to be an anti-apartheid hero, former South African President Jacob Zuma
fell from grace after multiple scandals hit his nine-year presidency. Most pronounced
was his relationship with the Gupta business family, which was reportedly responsible for
him rapidly hiring and firing finance ministers, leading to a decline in South Africa’s credit
ratings. In 2017, South Africa’s high court voted to reinstate 783 charges of corruption
and fraud against the president, leading to his resignation in February 2018. 11.
Although the National Enquirer isn’t known as the most legitimate news source,
they did manage to spill the beans on Presidential hopeful and Senator John Edwards’ affair with
videographer Rielle Hunter. The scandal was further complicated by Edwards’ use of
campaign funds to cover up the affair, his wife’s terminal breast cancer, and his admission
that he fathered a child with Hunter. 10.
According to published reports, investigators believe Elliot Spitzer paid up to $80,000
for prostitutes over a period of several years while he was Attorney General, and later as
Governor. Spitzer first drew the attention of federal investigators when his bank reported
suspicious money transfers, which initially led investigators to believe that Spitzer
may have been hiding bribe proceeds. The investigation of the governor led to the discovery of the
prostitution ring, after which he obviously resigned. 9.
Throughout his campaign and much of his presidency, President Obama faced wide spread rumors and
controversy regarding the validity of his Hawaiian birth certificate. While the release
of his short and long form birth certificates proved his Hawaiian birth, many conspiracy
theorists believe these certificates are forgeries. 8.
Infamous for his firm denial and then subsequent admission of having an affair with 22-year-old
White House aid Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton faced impeachment on the grounds of perjury
and obstruction of justice, although he was later acquitted. 7.
Suspecting Louisiana congressman William Jefferson of bribery, the FBI raided his offices in
May 2006, but he was re-elected later that year. On June 4, 2007, however, a federal
grand jury indicted Jefferson on sixteen felony charges related to corruption which led to
a 13-year prison sentence. The FBI’s search of Jefferson’s office was the first of its
kind and was disputed all the way to the Supreme Court – changing the way congressional investigations
can be conducted. 6.
In the era of the #MeToo movement, widespread reports began to come to light regarding sexual
harassment within the US government. One of the most shocking results of this newfound
attention was that tax-payers were funding settlements for sexual harassment against
congressmen and that all victims of sexual harassment in congress were made to sign an
agreement barring them from talking about the harassment. Due to this attention, congressional
policies and general public opinion has drastically changed. 5.
On July 14, 2003, Washington Post journalist Robert Novak, from information obtained from
Richard Armitage at the US State Department, effectively ended Valerie Plame’s career
with the CIA (from which she later resigned in December 2005) by revealing in his column
her identity as a CIA operative. Lewis “Scooter†Libby, adviser to then Vice President Dick
Cheney, was eventually determined to the be source of the leak and subsequently charged.
This led to a widespread discussion regarding the safety and security of confidential operatives. 4.
In 2013, it was reported that while Secretary of State, Secretary Hillary Clinton used a
private email server in addition to her secured government server for official government
business. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Secretary Clinton was investigated for her
use of this server for handling classified information. While the investigation led to
no charges, the political fury during the election and the later investigations into
how the investigation was handled make this a scandal that is still talked about today. 3.
After the conclusion of the 2016 Presidential Election, a joint task force of the FBI, CIA,
NSA, and the Department of Homeland security found that Russia had intentionally interfered
with the US Presidential election with the intention of improving Donald Trump’s chances
of winning. While it is now well accepted that Russia did interfere with the election,
the resulting special counsel investigation into whether or not President Trump’s campaign
was aware of Russia’s involvement is still open, making this our largest unresolved political
scandal on this list. 2.
Also referred to as Irangate, the Iran–Contra Affair involved US President Ronald Reagan’s
senior administration officials secretly facilitating the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an
arms embargo. They had hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages
and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Unfortunately for
them, the plan was uncovered and led to a huge international mess. 1.
The Watergate scandal blew up after the June 1972 break in at the Democratic National Committee
headquarters in the Watergate office complex of Washington DC. The Nixon administration
initially attempted to cover-up its involvement, but it eventually led to Nixon’s resignation,
the first and only presidential resignation to date. There is still no conclusive understanding
of what they were actually trying to accomplish with the break in. Enjoying our lists? Be sure to click that
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just head to our website at list25.com

Posts created 16652

100 thoughts on “25 Biggest Political Scandals In History

  1. To people who still believe that Obama wasn’t born in the US. How do you know you exactly where you were born? How do you know your parents didn’t pull a Peter Griffin on you?
    (Family Guy episode “Padre de Familia”)

  2. Really, you chose the Birther controversy and not Fast in Furious, wiretapping the AP and other media outlets, and using the IRS to bully groups…
    For shame.

  3. Just the recent stuff?  You can't call this "25 Biggest Political Scandals In History" without mentioning Teapot Dome or sexual allegations against President Cleveland.

  4. Benghazi, fast and furious, nsa spying on the general population, wiretapping the trump tower – Obama (barry soetoro) should have been numero uno

  5. Mike, I have the same problem as you. Have you tried Head and Shoulders Shampoo. Any variety without conditioner in it. Wash your face, neck, and any other places that have flaring. Especially the night/day before a shoot. It has kept mine down to manageable for quite some time unless I don't shower for a few days and then I do and then I scrub it and then it gets irritated for a day or 3. Then I use Avino(sp.) for it. I get it on my face too. 😟

  6. confirm that a young Barry Soetoro / Barack Obama was listed as an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim on school registration in the 1960s. https://www.theblaze.com/news/2012/11/05/was-obama-once-an-indonesian-citizen-heres-what-we-found-when-we-went-there-looking In the Catholic Indonesian school :
    https://ivarfjeld.com/2010/11/12/obama-listed-as-muslim-in-catholic-school-in-indonesia/

  7. Keeler and Mandy Rice Davis https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/obituaries/christine-keeler-75-central-figure-in-a-british-scandal-dies.html

  8. The 25 biggest in ALL of history and . . . no Teapot Dome? You people simply MUST stop thinking that "history" began with YOUR birth. It didn't.

  9. Dear List 25, Thank you for another great work. On a separate note, what is the matter with some of the asses of the hole variety that feel the need to comment negatively towards every little thing about Mike? First, Mike, you are beautiful in every way. Second, surely every stupid comment comes from an individual that is nonetheless PERFECT themselves. Thirdly, for every one hateful or cowardly bullying jerk, there are a thousand more friends that Mike has. Mike and all of the wonderful souls at List 25, keep up the great work and info!!! And, thanks for every day. Much, much love.

  10. Ted Kennedy: “its okay, everyone important got out of the car, now to go get some sleep and I guess talk to the police in the morning.”

    Really? What a bastard

  11. List 25 I feel this is an excuse for you to say yes despite there being no real evidence that it happened we believe that trump colluded with Russia

  12. The Gary Conditt scandal was crazy, Chandra Levy went missing after they ended their affair and he was thought to know a lot more than he knew, and she was found dead a year later.

  13. You should see what's been going on here in Poland for the last 3 years. The only reason our government is not in jail is because they change the law so that what they're doing is legal. Like giving control over the supreme court to minister of juistice (who's really a puppet) even though the constitution clearly says you can't do that.

  14. There was no legitimate reason for including the false accusation about Obama’s birth certificate. All of the 24 other scandals were true.

  15. Russia didn't really rig the election… They didn't really rig votes or anything… All that is shown is that they bought ads which is 100% legal for them to do… I think they also tried to reveal more of Hillary's emails or something, but a more informed populace isn't a bad thing for the populace…

    Keep in mind also that Hillary cheated against Bernie Sanders with the DNC… It's unfortunate that somehow (likely bias) this list misses multiple scandals involving Hillary… It has the obvious scandal with her husband, but not really any with her…

  16. It was Hillary's job to get under the presidential desk and take care of Business. she was off somewhere trying to act important instead of taking care of her wifely duties.

  17. Interesting fact on how to, usually, spot a liar. Listen to whether or not they use grammatical contractions like didn't instead of did not. Generally, most people use the contractions regularly but people tend to oversell their innocence and generally stop using the contractions. Bill Clinton "did not" have sexual relations with that woman, Lance Armstrong "has not" , and "will not" ever use drugs. There's more than just those examples, and we know the ones I used were guilty as hell. LOL This website explains it better than I can. https://www.laurieayers.com/i-am-not-lying-about-contractions/

  18. …Former mayor of Washington D.C. Marion Berry was filmed in a sleezy hotel room while smoking crack (with a crack smoking hooker)……what happened afterwards?
    …He was re-elected…

  19. Why have most of these scandals occurred within the last 50 years? Have politicians/people in general become more corrupt lately? BTW -The Obama birth certificate issue wasn’t a scandal.

  20. Negatively criticized South Africa and Jacob Zuma? Fascist. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT IN THE RAINBOW NATION. STOP YOUR WHITE LIES!

  21. What about George Bush and his cronies starting 911? I noticed that one wasn't on the list! Guess we'll just look over that one! Smgdh

  22. Mike, I know you have a "skin condition" but wow, you look like an unsuccessful hanging. I have rosacea and Metrogel helps… somewhat.

  23. Stopping there at Bill Clinton to go back to Obama for a minute. What do you mean believe his birth certificate is fake? Three or four independent document experts have all evaluated Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii and all of them have determined it to be a forgery. And that's from document forgery experts, his birth certificate is layered. And you're a dumbass for believing that it was just a conspiracy.

  24. Hold up, you better start paying attention. They are reopening the Hillary case and she may be facing charges after all. Along with the FBI agent that let her go, James Comey is facing charges as well. So is Peter strzok, Andrew McCabe, and even Rod Rosenstein could be facing charges. They might even charge Obama, I don't know how many they're going to charge. There's something like 200 sealed indictments as of right now. I think some people going to go to prison. And by the way it was more than just a use of a private email server, when Hillary was Secretary of State she sold 20% of America's uranium to Russia in exchange for a 420 million dollar donation to her foundation. that's not only illegal, it's that's not only illegal, it's treason.

  25. Not true at all, Russia was not trying to help Donald Trump win, they were trying to help Hillary Clinton win. Why are you so leftist biased?

  26. So, why didn't you name the five Senators who were the Keating Five? You did name all the other folks involved in scandals by name , both living and deceased. The same question would hold for Iran-Contra. I do realize you have a possible length/time constraint, but the details on this list seem too generalized to me.

    I do generally like your list subjects and look forward to them.

  27. The Sponsorship Scandal & the current ethic laws violation by no less than 3 of the ministers in the federal government of Canada, including the PM, are both far more serious of scandals than some on this list. If this played out as a US president committing these crimes it would mean a slam dunk for impeachment.

  28. Mike. Just admit it. You are a pro firearms liberal heterosexual Canadian who presented's to be from The States. It's OK. You can admit it. I have known that I like Canadian girls with guns since I was a little boy. I use to be ashamed, but now i'm proud of it. Come out. Your family all ready know's. It's OK.

  29. Captain Caveman, "Unga Bunga" Berlusconi, "Bunga Bunga".

    Obama being on the list is out of place, while all the rest did things in his case I was having something done to him, ie. the accusation of not being born in America.

  30. Clinton was not acquitted… He was FINED $1 million for contempt of court to avoid the perjury charge. This fine was later reduced, after he was impeached but not removed from office in a straight line party vote. If ANY democrats would have actually voted based on the crimes committed, he would have been removed from office and then prosecuted on further criminal charges.

    The charges were simply not followed up on after he left office.

    He was the real "Our felon in the White house"

  31. Obama was born in this country let’s get over it already if you need something to talk about 9/11 or the moon landing hoaxes… fuck.

  32. Clinton was impeached impeachment of a president only means charged with he was impeached but not removed Clinton of the second president in US history to have been impeached the only one who was not removed Johnson was impeached and removed Nixon resigned before he was impeached

  33. The fact the DNC rigging their own primary is not considered the biggest American political scandal in history blows my mind

  34. The US has interfered in thousands of elections worldwide. The British have interfered in our elections since Washington. Russia definitely interfered in 2016…and 2012 and 2008 and 2004 etc etc etc Let's keep some perspective people.

  35. I'm surprised you never mentioned the Spiegel scandal of 1962, considered by many to be Germany's first true test of democracy in the post-Nazi era. Basically, the magazine Der Spiegel published an article accusing West German defense minister Franz Josef Strauss of being incompetent. Strauss grossly overreacted to this and sent the military to shut down the magazine in response. The reaction to this was so negative that Strauss was eventually forced to resign from his position.

  36. Yeah, Hillary gets accused of illegally using an email service, she gets tarred and feathered by Republicans. First Daughter Ivanka does the same thing, nobody bats an eye. Gee flippin' whiz. :p >:(

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