Obama Era Scandals: Complete List
Updated: May 14, 2019
Barack Obama administration (2009–2017)
Katherine Archuleta, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, resigned on July 10, 2015, after cyber intrusions allowed the theft of data concerning 22 million people, some of whom had applied for sensitive security clearances.[
Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014 – Officials in the Phoenix, VA hospital lied about how long the wait times were for veterans to see a doctor. The newly selected Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki, voluntarily resigned.2013
IRS scandal – IRS admitted to inappropriate investigation of conservative political groups associated with the Tea Party that may not have met the criteria for certain tax exemptions. Later, it was found that the IRS investigated groups with the label "progressives" as well. The president demanded and accepted the resignation of Steven T. Miller, Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Other actions arising from the scandal included:Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Office of Exempt Organizations, stated she had not done anything wrong and then took the Fifth before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She retired in 2013 after an internal investigation found that she neglected her duties and was going to call for her ouster.Joseph H. Grant, commissioner of the IRS Tax-exempt and Government Entities division, resigned on May 16, 2013.
ATF gunwalking scandal – Attorney General Eric Holder (D) was held in Contempt of Congress after refusing to release all documents which the House of Representatives had demanded concerning the Fast and Furious gun walking operation. He did not resign and no charges were brought. (2012)
Terence Flynn (R) an appointee of Barack Obama to the National Labor Relations Board, resigned in May 2012 after being accused of serious ethical violations by leaking information to the National Association of Manufacturers.
Martha N. Johnson (D) head of the General Services Administration, fired two top GSA officials and then resigned herself after it was revealed that $822,000 had been spent in Las Vegas on a four-day training conference for 300 GSA employees. (2010)
Petraeus scandal – On November 9, 2012, David Petraeus resigned as Director of the CIA after admitting having a sexual relationship with his biographer. On April 23, 2015, Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. He was given a two-year probationary period and a fine of $100,000.
Chaka Fattah (D-PA) from Pennsylvania's 2nd district was found guilty on all 23 charges he faced, which included racketeering, money laundering and fraud. He was sentenced to 10 years and resigned from Congress on June 23, 2016.
David Wu (D-OR) for Oregon's 1st congressional district announced he would resign from Congress, four days after a report that a young woman called his office complaining of an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the congressman.
Dennis Hastert (R-IL) pleaded guilty to charges that he violated banking rules and lied to the FBI in a scheme to pay $3.5 million in hush money to conceal sexual misconduct with an underage boy from his days as a high school wrestling coach, from 1965 to 1981. (2015)
Aaron Schock (R-IL) resigned from office after evidence surfaced that he used campaign funds for travel, redecorated his office with taxpayer funds to resemble the sets of the Downton Abbey TV series, and otherwise spent campaign and/or taxpayer money on other questionable personal uses. (2015)
Benjamin Cole (R) Schock's senior adviser, had resigned earlier after he allegedly condemned "hood rats" and "black miscreants" in internet posts. Schock's office stated, "I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff."
Brett O'Donnell, Communications Director for Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), plead guilty to lying to investigators from the House Office of Congressional Ethics about working for Rodgers while being paid with campaign money, thus becoming the first person ever to be convicted of lying to the House OCE.
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) resigned his Congressional seat. Four of his staff were convicted by the state of Michigan of falsifying signatures on McCotter's reelection petitions for the 2012 elections. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) blamed McCotter for running a slipshod, leaderless operation. "The congressman has resigned in disgrace", Schuette said, though McCotter was not charged. Paul Seewald worked for McCotter as his District Director of the Michigan's 11th congressional district. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator. He was sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service, and ordered to pay court costs and fees.
Don Yowchuang worked for McCotter as Deputy District Director of the Michigan 11th Congressional District. He pleaded guilty to ten counts of forgery and six counts of falsely signing a nominating petition and was sentenced to three years of probation, 200 hours of community service, court costs and fees.Mary M. Turnbull was McCotter's Representative to the Michigan 11th Congressional District. She was convicted of conspiring to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and falsely signing a nominating petition. She was sentenced to two years of probation, a day in jail, and 200 hours of community service. Turnbull was also ordered to pay a $1,440 fine. In addition, she is forbidden from any participation in elections or the political process.Lorianne O'Brady worked as a scheduler for McCotter in the Michigan 11th Congressional District. She pleaded no contest to charges that she falsely claimed to have legally collected signatures to get McCotter on the ballot when she actually had not. She was sentenced to 20 days in jail and a work program plus $2,625 in fines and court costs.
Senator Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) campaign manager Jesse Benton (R) resigned when details of a bribery scandal from Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign came to light. (2014).David Rivera (R-FL) was indicted as a co-conspirator with Campaign Manager Ana Alliegro, who pleaded guilty to violation of US campaign laws in an $81,000 campaign-finance scheme to prop up a little-known Democratic candidate who used the illegal cash to trash Rivera's rival in the 2012 Democratic primary. Rivera was not convicted.
Ana Alliegro (R), the Campaign Manager for David Rivera (R-FL), pleaded guilty to violation of US campaign laws. She was given six months in jail and six months of house arrest plus two years of probation. (2014)Rick Renzi (R-AZ) on June 12, 2013, was found guilty of 17 counts against him, which included wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering, and making false statements to insurance regulators.
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) was arrested on December 23, 2012, and later pleaded guilty to drinking and driving in a Virginia court. The court fined him $250. He was sentenced to 180 days in prison, but served no time.
Trey Radel (R-FL) was arrested on October 29, 2013, in Washington, D.C. for possession of cocaine after purchasing the drug from an undercover law enforcement officer. As a first-time offender, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a Washington, D.C. court, and was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $250. Radel took a leave of absence from office to undergo substance abuse treatment following his conviction. Following treatment, he initially returned to office with the intent of finishing his term, but eventually resigned on January 27, 2014.
Laura Richardson (D-CA) was found guilty on seven counts of violating US House rules by improperly using her staff to campaign for her, destroying the evidence and tampering with witness testimony. The House Ethics Committee ordered Richardson to pay a fine of $10,000. (2012)
John Ensign (R-NV) resigned his Senate seat on May 3, 2011, just before the Senate Ethics Committee could examine possible fiscal violations in connection with his extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton. (2011) (see Federal sex scandals)
Michael Grimm (R-NY) pleaded guilty to tax fraud on December 23, 2014, and was sentenced to eight months in federal prison.John Tate (R) Campaign Manager for Ron Paul (R-TX) was indicted for concealing over $73,000 in payments to Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to convince him to flip his presidential endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Paul. He was convicted of conspiracy, causing false records, causing false campaign expenditure reports, and making false statements. He was sentenced to 6 months' home confinement, 2 years' probation and fined $10,000. (2016)
Dimitri Kesari Deputy Campaign Manager for Ron Paul (R-TX) was convicted of causing false records concerning charges of buying an Iowa State Senator's endorsement during the 2012 presidential campaign. (2012)Fred Pagan (R) Office Administrator to US Senator Thad Cochran(R-MS) pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. (2016)
Jesse Benton (R) Campaign Chairman for Ron Paul (R-TX) concealed over $73,000 in payments to Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to convince him to flip his presidential endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul. He was convicted of conspiracy, causing false records, causing false campaign expenditure reports, and making false statements. He was sentenced to 6 months' home confinement, fined $10,000 and 2 years' probation(2016)
Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) while running for re-election on a pro-life platform, it was discovered that he had made his wife have two abortions, and tried to persuade his mistress (who was also his patient), to have one as well. He also admitted under oath that while a married physician at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tennessee, he had six affairs with three co-workers, two patients and a drug representative. He was investigated by the Tennessee Board of Health, pleaded guilty and was fined. (2012)
Eastern Louisiana Federal Judge G. Thomas Porteous appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton, was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of bribery and perjury in March 2010. He was convicted by the US Senate and removed from office. (2010)Galveston, Texas Federal District Judge Samuel B. Kent (R) was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. Resigned after being impeached on June 10, 2009
Senior Federal U.S. District Court Judge Jack T. Camp (R) for the Northern District of GA, who was appointed by Republican George W. Bush, was arrested while trying to purchase cocaine from an FBI agent. Pled guilty to three criminal charges and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 400 hours' community service and fined.
Federal Judge Richard F. Cebull (R) for the District of Montana, was found to have sent hundreds of racist and sexist emails. After an investigation led to calls for his impeachment, Cebull took senior status and then resigned. (2013)
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