With the U.S. political environment in upheaval, it’s led to a number of different claims. One of the common ones is that the Trump administration is the “most corrupt administration of all time“. However, many people who say that don’t have a very good grasp on history. It’s hard to properly judge if you have nothing to judge by.
Given that Agnew was Vice President under Richard Nixon, one would think that’s all the scandal needed. However, Agnew decided he wanted to be remembered for his own corruption.
It was found that he’d accepted a total of $147,000 in bribes while he was the governor of Maryland. He also took a total of $17,500 in cash while serving as the Vice President.
Of course, unlike much of the corruption in recent years, Agnew was forced to resign and pay reparations to the state. He wound up being fined $268,000.
Traficant was convicted of 10 felony counts of crimes such as accepting bribes, racketeering, and tax evasion. Following a parallel to current political events, Traficant outright refused to admit he’d done anything wrong. As such, he refused to resign.
He was kicked out of Congress by a House vote that went 420 – 1. Not only was he kicked out of Congress, but he was then sentenced to 8 years in prison. So as blatantly corrupt as he may have been, he did see consequences to his actions.
Cunningham, the House Representative from San Diego, was so corrupt that a book about his crimes had “the most corrupt congressman ever caught” as part of the title.
During the years 1991 and 2005, Cunningham sat on a committee that decided which defense contractors to hire for government business. This put him in a great position to accept large bribes, and the defense contractors were willing to do so. He accepted bribes in excess of $2.4 million dollars in exchange for his vote.
He was forced to resign, and in 2006 was sentenced to 8 years in the federal penitentiary. He was also forced to pay $1.8 million in restitution for his crimes.
These are some of the most corrupt U.S. officials throughout recent history. That said, these officials all suffered consequences for their crimes. The fact that some current politicians have seen no consequences for known crimes immediately more corrupt. After all, what can be more corrupt than committing these crimes other than getting away with it?