Donald Trump’s indictment grows the list of presidential scandals

Donald Trump’s indictment grows the list of presidential scandals

Although removed from the one U.S. president dogged by authorized and moral scandals, Donald Trump now occupies a singular place in historical past because the first indicted on prison costs.

Two others, like Trump, discovered themselves impeached by Congress — Invoice Clinton for mendacity underneath oath about his affair with a White Home intern, and Andrew Johnson for pushing the boundaries of his govt authority in a bitter energy battle following the Civil Conflict.

Richard Nixon resigned in shame over his function within the notorious Watergate break-in. And Ronald Reagan and Ulysses S. Grant each grew to become ceaselessly tied to scandals wherein shut aides acquired prosecuted, although neither president was ever charged.

Right here’s a have a look at how Trump’s predecessors fared:


Clinton spent greater than half his presidency underneath scrutiny in investigations that ranged from failed actual property offers to the Democratic president’s affair with a White Home intern.

Investigators took a prolonged look into Invoice and Hillary Clinton’s investments within the troubled Whitewater actual property enterprise. Impartial Counsel Kenneth Starr, appointed to supervise the investigation in 1994, turned up no proof of wrongdoing by the Clintons. However two of their shut associates, Jim and Susan McDougal, ended up convicted of Whitewater-related costs. So did Jim Man Tucker, Clinton’s successor as governor of Arkansas.

Starr’s 1998 report filled with lurid particulars of Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky proved much more damaging. Whereas being questioned in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones, Clinton had denied having “sexual relations” with Lewinsky.

Starr concluded that Clinton had lied underneath oath and obstructed justice. That led to the Home voting to question Clinton on Dec. 19, 1998. He was acquitted by the Senate, permitting him to stay in workplace till his time period led to January 2001.


Reagan by no means confronted impeachment or court docket costs for the most important scandal of his presidency. However the arms-for-hostages scheme that grew to become often known as the Iran-Contra affair dogged him lengthy after he left the White Home.

In 1986, throughout Reagan’s second time period, the general public realized that his administration had approved secret arms gross sales to Iran whereas looking for Iranian support in liberating American hostages held in Lebanon. As a lot as $30 million from the arms gross sales was diverted, in violation of U.S. legislation, to help rebels combating the leftist authorities of Nicaragua.

Reagan’s nationwide safety adviser, John Poindexter, resigned and an aide, Lt. Col. Oliver North, was fired. Each have been additionally convicted of crimes stemming from efforts to deceive and hinder Congress. Their convictions have been later overturned. President George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s successor, pardoned six others concerned.

Reagan insisted cash from the arms gross sales was funneled to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels with out his information.


Nixon resigned from workplace in August 1974 moderately than face impeachment for his administration’s cover-up of its involvement in a break-in on the Democratic Nationwide Committee headquarters in Washington.

The bungled housebreaking on the Watergate workplace constructing resulted within the indictment of seven males, together with two former White Home aides. 5 of the Watergate defendants pleaded responsible; two have been convicted in prison trials.

Intrigue over the 1972 Watergate break-in didn’t cease Nixon from cruising to reelection just a few months later. He endured the storm till the Home Judiciary Committee in 1974 permitted three articles of impeachment accusing him of obstruction of justice, abuse of energy and contempt of Congress.

Earlier than the total Home might vote, a bombshell tape recording was launched wherein Nixon could possibly be heard approving a plan to stress the FBI to drop its Watergate investigation. Nixon resigned after dropping assist from key congressional Republicans.

His vice chairman, Gerald Ford, grew to become president and pardoned Nixon a month later.


Whereas by no means personally charged with crimes or formally accused of wrongdoing, Grant as president torpedoed a corruption case prosecuted by his personal administration. The person on trial was Grant’s private secretary within the White Home.

In 1875, an investigation launched by Treasury Secretary Benjamin H. Bristow resulted in a whole lot of arrests in a scheme often known as the Whiskey Ring, wherein distillers, income brokers and fellow conspirators diverted hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in liquor taxes to themselves.

The Civil Conflict general-turned-president discovered himself at odds with the crackdown when Gen. Orville E. Babcock ended up charged as a conspirator. Not solely was Babcock the president’s private secretary, however he and Grant had additionally been pals because the struggle.

Prosecutors stated they’d uncovered telegrams Babcock despatched to ringleaders to help their scheme. Regardless, Grant insisted on testifying in his aide’s protection.

To keep away from the spectacle of the president showing at Babcock’s trial, attorneys questioned Grant underneath oath on the White Home on Feb. 12, 1876. A transcript of his testimony was later learn in court docket in St. Louis. The jury acquitted Babcock, a call largely credited to Grant’s unwavering protection.


The primary American president to have his legacy tarnished by impeachment, Andrew Johnson’s woes arose from his intense feuding with Congress over Reconstruction following the Civil Conflict.

The Tennessee Democrat had been elected vice chairman in 1864 as a part of a unity ticket with Abraham Lincoln, and Johnson assumed the presidency after Lincoln’s 1865 assassination. From the White Home, Johnson referred to as for pardoning Accomplice leaders and opposed extending voting rights to freed Blacks, infuriating congressional Republicans.

It was Johnson’s firing of Secretary of Conflict Edwin Stanton, a Lincoln appointee who favored harder insurance policies towards the defeated South, that prompted the Home to cross articles of impeachment that accused the president of ousting and changing Stanton illegally.

Johnson’s impeachment trial started within the Senate on March 5, 1868. It ended greater than two months later, with senators only one vote in need of eradicating Johnson from workplace. He served the rest of his last 12 months, however fellow Democrats denied him their nomination to run once more.

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