What Happens to Corrupt Politicians After the Scandal Hits

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Given Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s (R) court trial, now seems as good a time as any to look at America’s politicians of the scandal-wrought variety, and see if and how their careers were affected. First, let’s give some of the background on McDonnell’s troubles before we launch into politicians in the same category.

Background on the McDonnell Scandal

Monday saw McDonnell facing a courtroom and tough questions as his indictment continued forward. The accusations in question target both the former Governor and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, with whom he is presently supposedly separated. I say supposedly because part of his defense is in claiming that no cooperative conspiratorial activity is possible between the two, distant as they are. This is a defense that’s been thrown into doubt by the legal opposition, who question his ignorance of the some $165,000 worth of gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams that his wife took.

An email from McDonnell to his wife displays the difficult juncture their marriage had reached, describing the “fiery anger and hate” he’d come to see from her, according to a tweet from Joanie Vasiliadis of USA Today.

He claims that he was unaware of many of the gifts given to his wife, and that as for those he did know of, he felt they weren’t problematic since Williams had not asked for anything in return. However, government officials are required by state law to make public those gifts over $50 from any company or person. Explanations for the failure to disclose everything from a Rolex, to wedding funding for his daughter, to golfing related spending, a vacation, and a shopping outing for designer items for his wife ranged from lack of knowledge to lack of comprehension, and often seemed to be portrayed as related to his wife’s actions and his difficulty in trying to reconcile their marriage.