From Sexual Assault to Murder: 7 U.S. Presidents Accused of Serious Crimes

Though we’d like to think our presidents are better behaved than the politicians we see in House of Cards, you’d be surprised to learn what some of our past (and present) presidents have been accused of. Read on to find out the serious crimes seven U.S. presidents have been accused of or committed.

1. Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton addresses Lewinsky Scandal
Many women allege that Clinton sexually assaulted them. | Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images

The details of the Monica Lewinsky scandal are common knowledge, as are its affects on the Clinton presidency, but there are a few other sexual assault allegations against former president Clinton that often get swept under the rug. Four women have officially come forward to accuse Clinton of sexual assault. Though, in a time when women are finally feeling heard and taken care of, there is, of course, a possibility that we haven’t seen the last of Clinton’s alleged victims.

“As a national spotlight is being shined on sexual assault and harassment following a flood of accusations of misconduct against dozens of prominent men in Hollywood, the media, and politics, Democrats and others on the left are beginning to reexamine their response to Clinton’s alleged misdeeds,”  says AOL.

2. Donald Trump

donald trump's face in white shirt, red tie
Trump’s had no shortage of scandals. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

You can’t have a list detailing president sexual assault accusations and not include current president Trump. As stated above, we are currently in the middle of a movement that involves listening to women who have fallen victim to powerful men. Just as politicians and civilians alike are reconsidering how the accusations around Clinton were handled, they’re pushing for a firmer hand when dealing with Trump.

So far, 18 women have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual assault.

3. John F. Kennedy

JFK’s decisions as president had a ripple effect. | National Archive/Newsmakers

John F. Kennedy was a relatively well-liked president. He was charismatic, intelligent, and … responsible for Saddam Hussein?

In 1963, Kennedy and his administration supported a coup against the Iraqi government, a coup led by Abdul Salam Arif. The CIA sent Arif a list of suspected communists along with thousands of weapons. Saddam Hussein was an enforcer for Arif’s Ba’athist party and, as we know, later became the head of the party and dictator of Iraq.

4. George W. Bush

Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush
His decisions during the Iraq war were controversial to say the least. | Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

As Foreign Policy Journal puts it, “It’s official; George W Bush is a war criminal.” According to the five senior judges who tried Bush and his administration, President Bush was responsible for the countless civilian deaths in the course of the war in Iraq. As Mahathir Mohamad put it once the trial was over, “Powerful countries are getting away with murder.”

In 2012, George W. Bush was convicted in absentia of being a war criminal by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission. Seven other people involved in the Bush administration were also convicted.

Additionally, in 2013, Bush and his administration were also sued by an Iraqi mother for violating the Nuremberg Principles because of the “crimes of aggression against the Iraqi people.”

5. Franklin D. Roosevelt

United States president Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR lost control of his alliance. | Central Press/Getty Images

Though Roosevelt had an alliance with Stalin, when it became clear that the Allied Forces were going to defeat Nazi Germany, he began to lose control over Stalin’s negotiations. Stalin ended up with a good amount of Eastern Europe, and Roosevelt thought he could fix the problem with even more negotiations, which, as Cracked puts it, “is about as advisable as trying to gamble your way out of gambling debt.”

Roosevelt went on to deny aid to Polish troops who were fighting against the Soviet government, and suppressed a report that blamed the Katyn massacre on the Soviets.

6. Andrew Johnson

Impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson
He barely squeaked by without an impeachment. | Library of Congress / Handout/Getty Images

Andrew Johnson was the first president of the United States to ever face impeachment. His presidency came into question when he violated the Tenure of Office Act by removing his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, without Congress’s approval.

“Angered by Johnson’s open defiance, the House of Representatives formally impeached him on February 24 by a vote of 126 to 47,” says PBS. “They charged him with violation of the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into ‘disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.'”

Ultimately, though, Johnson escaped impeachment by one vote.

7. Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon
Nixon’s crime is infamous. | Keystone/Getty Images

With Watergate being one of the more illegal things a president has ever done, it’s no surprise Nixon makes the list. Between Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, Nixon’s impending impeachment was a popular topic of discussion back in the 1970s. Though, he resigned before he could be impeached.

Additionally, Nixon was sued by the United States for refusing to turn over requested tapes and papers during the Watergate investigation.

“In his original Answer from the case of the Senate Select Committee v. Richard M. Nixon, the President’s attorney sweepingly denies that Senate committees ‘are empowered to issue subpoenas to the President of the United States,’ or bring suit,” says RAAB Collection.

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