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Challenged by a conservative to present evidence that Reagan ran the most corrupt administration of the 20th century, I assembled this list of convicts from Reagan's ranks.

If anybody can provide additional info, it would be appreciated. I do know there were many others convicted, but I'd like to keep it to people who were actually employed by the administration, and to crimes that were actually related to the office they served. I've never been able to find a good list online anywhere, and so I assembled this hoping to provide a resource for others as well. As far as I know, Nixon only had eight staffers convicted of crimes against their office. Clinton, of course, only had one.

"By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations. In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever."

 1. Lyn Nofziger--White House Press Secretary - Convicted on charges of illegal lobbying of White House in Wedtech scandal. The lobbying would not have been illegal had he not been White House Press Secretary.

 2. Michael Deaver, Reagan's Chief of Staff,  received three years' probation and was fined one hundred thousand dollars after being convicted for lying to a congressional subcommittee and a federal grand jury about his lobbying activities after leaving the White House. Same as with Lyn Nofziger.

3. James Watt, Reagan's Secretary of the Interior was indicted on 41 felony counts for using connections at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help his private clients seek federal funds for housing projects in Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Watt conceded that he had received $500,000 from clients who were granted very favorable housing contracts after he had intervened on their behalf. Watt was eventually sentenced to five years in prison and 500 hours of community service.

 4. John Poindexter, Reagan's national security advisor, guilty of five criminal counts involving conspiracy to mislead Congress, obstructing congressional inquiries, lying to lawmakers, used "high national security" to mask deceit and wrong-doing...

5. Richard Secord pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to Congress over Iran-Contra. Appointed by William Casey to assist Oliver North.

 6.  Elliott Abrams was appointed by President Reagan in 1985 to head the State Department's Latin American Bureau. He was closely linked with ex-White House aide Lt. Col. Oliver North's covert movement to aid the Contras. Working for North, Abrams coordinated inter-agency support for the contras and helped solicit illegal funding from foreign powers as well as domestic contributors. Abrams agreed to cooperate with Iran-Contra investigators and pled guilty to two charges reduced to misdemeanors. He was sentenced in 1991 to two years probation and 100 hours of community service but was pardoned by President George Bush...

7. Robert C. McFarlane, Reagan's National Security Advisor, pled guilty to four misdemeanors and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service. He was also fined $20,000. He received a blanket pardon from President George Bush...

 8. Alan D. Fiers was the Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Central American Task Force. Fiers pled guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information from congress about Oliver North's activities and the diversion of Iran arms sale money to aid the Contras. He was sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. Alan Fiers received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President Bush...

  1.  Thomas G. Clines: convicted of four counts of tax-related offenses for failing to report income from the operations;

  2.  Carl R. Channel - Office of Public Diplomacy , partner in International Business- first person convicted in the Iran/Contra scandal, pleaded guilty of one count of defrauding the United States

  3. Richard R. Miller - Partner with Oliver North in IBC, a Office of Public Diplomacy front group, convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

  4. Frank Gomez

13.. Donald Fortier

  1. Clair George was Chief of the CIA's Division of Covert Operations under President Reagan. George was convicted of lying to two congressional committees in 1986. George faced a maximum five year federal prison sentence and a $20,000 fine for each of the two convictions. Jurors cleared George of five other charges including two counts of lying to a federal grand jury. Clair George received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President George Bush...

  2. Rita Lavelle was indicted, tried and convicted of lying to Congress and served three months of a six-month prison sentence.

  3. Philip Winn - Assistant HUD Secretary. Pleaded guilty to one count of scheming to give illegal gratuities.

  4. Thomas Demery - Assistand HUD Secretary - pleaded guilty to steering HUD subsidies to politically connected donors.

  5. Deborah Gore Dean - executive assistant to Samuel Pierce - indicted on thirteen counts, three counts of conspiracy, one count of accepting an illegal gratuity, four counts of perjury, and five counts of concealing articles. She was convicted on twelve accounts. She appealed and prevailed on several accounts but the convictions for conspiracy remained.

  6. Catalina Villaponda - Former US Treasurer

  7. Joseph A. Strauss - Accepting kickbacks from developers

  8. Oliver North -  He was indicted on sixteen felony counts and on May 4, 1989, he was convicted of three: accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents (by his secretary, Fawn Hall, on his instructions). He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours community service. His conviction was later overturned.

Originally posted to lorelynn on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 04:41 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't ever forget (none)
    Ann Richards' 1988 keynote speech at the DNC:

    I want to announce to this Nation that in a little more than 100 days, the Reagan-Meese-Deaver-Nofziger-Poindexter-North-Weinberger-
    Watt-Gorsuch-Lavelle-Stockman-Haig-Bork-Noriega-George Bush [era] will be over!

    Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 04:46:49 PM PDT

  •  your wingnut correspondent (none)
    will simply attribute it to the zeal of a Democratic congress and liberal news media.

    There's no winning with these people, you know.

    •  Of course, they do but.... (none)
      they count on being able to obfuscate. Having a list that must be dealt with changes the dynamics entirely. They want to deny the list is accurate but as they start googling, it becomes harder and harder.

      I'm hoping someone here can fill in on some of the names I don't have information. When I get everybody's info, I'm going to go through and rewrite the entire post, with links to mainstream websites to validate each story.

  •  Nice list (none)
    Brings back fond memories ..

    Currently -7.63 -8.62

    by shpilk on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 04:59:51 PM PDT

  •  Not convicted, but don't forget.... (none)

    the pretrial executive pardon of former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger for his conduct in the Iran-Contra affair.  

    Proclamation 6518, Grant of Executive Clemency
    57 Fed. Reg. 62,145 (December 24, 1992)

    Fourth Interim Report to Congress
    Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters Lawrence E. Walsh (February 8, 1993)

    findings include:

    Pretrial pardon preempts public disclosure and examination of facts.  
    The pardon of Casper Weinberger violated the purpose of Title VI of the Ethics in Government Act.

  •  Always thought it was Grant... (none)
    that was most corrupt, but not as many convictions.  Hard comparing rotten apples.
  •  Double check Elliott Abrams for a felony (none)
    I had a friend who interned with the DC Bar Counsel's office back in the mid 90s. During that period there was a very interesting case dealing with the effect of Bush's pardon on Abrams' ability to practice law in DC.

    Whatever Abrams plead guilty to, it was enough for him to be disbarred. However, he (successfully, I believe) argued that the Presidential pardon eliminated the underlying offense that was the basis for his disbarment. Given the disbarment proceedings against him, I tend to believe that he would have had to have had a felony plea involved. Any lawyers feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"

    by Hoya90 on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 05:32:08 PM PDT

  •  Next time I hear (none)
    McCain or anyone say the phrase Reagan-republican I will puke extra hard.

    Ownership Society - You own your ship. I own our navy. Get the hell out of my way.

    by jobiuspublius on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 06:04:32 PM PDT

  •  Good stuff -- ah, memories! (4.00)
    And let's remember -- it didn't mean shit a few years down the line. They were still able to canonize Ronnie and name shitloads of airports and other public works after the bastard.

    Short of a real ideological swing in public perception, Bush will be remembered fondly in 10 years, just as his father was in 2000 -- even if he leaves office in a cloud of ignomy.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    by Septic Tank on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 06:06:41 PM PDT

    •  That's the point of this list. (none)
      Whenever someone starts waxing fond of Reagan, whip it out. Remind them that he ran the most corrupt admin of the twentieth century. Talk about it.

      I think libs let this stuff go because it seems so insane to us. I think we should be putting hard facts in front of people's faces when they start yammering fondly.

      The important thing to point out is that Nixon had Watergate, Reagan had the HUD scandal, Iran/Contra and Bush Sr. had to pardon his staff to prevent them from being tried and convicted.

      Now we have this administration.....

      Pubs are dirty. And this list hopefully will help make that point.

      •  I gave Septic a 4, but (none)
        your list is great.

        I attribute the success of the thug lie machine to two things:

        1. they are REALLY good at lies,

        2. the Dems suck at meassage - they are unbelievably, incredibly horrible at message, in part cuz they think it is enough to:

        a. be more noble,
        b. be selfless,
        c. flout the truth,
        d. admonish people,
        e. act smart

        but - I still like your list ;)


        Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders"

        by rmdSeaBos on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 06:26:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I Believe (none)
    there were a total of 61 indictments of various reagan administration officials.

    lest we forget:

  •  what about harding? (none)
    i had always heard that was the most corrupt administration.  they were actually taking bribes at the treasury department in DC to overlook bootlegging.  and harding was inducted into the KKK in the white house.

    don't know how many convictions they had though.  reagan probably wins as most criminal administration.  especially since iran-contra counts as treason.

    we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
    — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

    by zeke L on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 06:34:57 PM PDT

  •  how many convicted felons.. (none)
    are currently in this Bush adminstration? Poindexter for one, although conservative apologists will scream that he was exhonorated by Pappy Bush, so what's the problem???

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