The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Most Corrupt Politicians in US History

at 5:16 pm | By

The Land of the Cheap and the Home of the Base

With great power comes great corruption.

Unfortunately for us voters, the men and women we elect into office are likely to face many difficult decisions in their careers that will force them to choose between doing what they want, doing what’s right, and trying to stay entirely within the law at all times.

Power is tempting, so it’s not unnatural for influential people such as politicians to reach out and grab opportunities that may be questionable in terms of legality. Not only does it depend on personal traits such as integrity and trustworthiness, but our own system often promotes duplicity when it comes down to a politician choosing to do what is right for their constituents or simply remaining in office, holding onto power for as long as he or she can.

In 2015, former President Jimmy Carter even said, “Now [the United States is] just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and Congress members […] So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.”

Is it really so surprising?

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Did you vote for any of these corrupt politicians?

Spiro Agnew

corrupt politicians spiro agnew


Vice president under Richard Nixon and former governor of Maryland, Republican Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973 following the Watergate Scandal (making him the second vice president to do so following John Calhoun in 1832), though for an entirely different set of charges.

Known for leading “the Silent Majority”—patriotic, middle-class Americans we’re hearing a lot about this election year—Agnew was Nixon’s voice against the liberal media, war protestors, and counterculture of the time.

Years into office, Agnew resigned following a US Attorney investigation that would formally charge him with accepting hundreds of thousands in bribes and evading income taxes.

Randy “Duke” Cunningham

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Considered “the most corrupt congressman ever caught,” Cunningham was a Republican from California who resigned from Congress after admitting to accepted upwards of $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and nearly $2 million in fines.