25 Biggest Political Scandals in History

William Jefferson Scandal

Suspecting Louisiana congressman William Jefferson of bribery, the FBI raided his congressional 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.

North Dakota Governor William Langer

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 his political party. Collecting this money was not 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. He 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.