Recent history of members of Congress breaking the law

By Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor
Headline Goes Here Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than a dozens of members of Congress have been convicted of crimes over the past 25 years, including several on corruption charges similar to those for which former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was convicted.

 2017
Anthony Weiner (D-NY) Convicted   Sent sexually explicit photos of himself to a 15-year-old girl. He was forced to register with the sexual offenders register.
Corrine Brown (D-FL) Convicted   18 charges, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, scheme to conceal facts, obstruction of IRS and tax fraud.
Greg Gianforte (R-MT) Pleaded guilty  Misdemeanor assault stemming from attack on a political reporter. He was re-elected and continued to serve.
 2016
Chaka Fattah (D-PA) Convicted   23 counts of racketeering, fraud, and other corruption charges
Dennis Hastert (R-IL, Speaker of the House) Pleaded guilty  Illegal bank transactions in payment of $3.5 million to quash allegations of sexual misconduct with a student when Hastert was a high school teacher and coach
 2015
Michael Grimm (R-NY) Pleaded guilty Felony tax evasion. This was the fourth count in a 20-count indictment brought against him for improper use of campaign funds
 2013
Trey Radel (R-FL) Convicted Possession of cocaine
Rick Renzi (R-AZ)  Convicted 17 counts including wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators
Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) Pleaded guilty 1 count of wire and mail fraud in connection with his misuse of $750,000 in campaign funds
 2012
Laura Richardson (D-CA) Convicted 7 counts of violating US House rules by improperly using her staff to campaign for her, destroying the evidence and tampering with witness testimony
 2009
William J. Jefferson (D-LA) Convicted 11 counts of bribery (Jefferson's chief of staff, Brett Pfeffer, also convicted of bribery)
 2007
Bob Ney (R-OH) Pleaded guilty Conspiracy and making false statements 
 2005
Duke Cunningham (R-CA) Pleaded guilty Conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion
Frank Ballance (D-NC) Pleaded guilty Money laundering and mail fraud
 2003
Bill Janklow (R-SD) Convicted Second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist
 2002
Jim Traficant (D-OH)  Convicted 10 felony counts of financial corruption
 1999
Mel Reynolds (D-IL) Convicted 12 counts of bank fraud. Two years earlier he was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.
Austin Murphy (D-PA) Convicted 1 count of voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home
 1997
Wes Cooley (R-OR) Convicted 1 county lying on voter information pamphlet about his service in the Army


These are just the most recent convictions. Some will remember the House Banking Scandal of the early 90s, with six convictions of members on banking and other financial crimes, and the Abscam sting case in 1980, where fake "Arabs" tried to bribe 31 congressmen. Seven were ultimately convicted and sentenced to prison.

Sources: Washington Post, Wikipedia

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