Restoring honor and dignity

RESTORING HONOR AND DIGNITY….About a year ago, Paul Mirengoff at Powerline admitted to having a poor memory. “I may be missing someone,” Mirengoff said, “but the only high-profile administration offical [sic] I can think of who has faced criminal charges or had to resign in the face of scandal is Scooter Libby, who worked for the Vice President and who is not accused of corruption.”

This, of course, prompted my friends at TPM to put together a handy, dandy list of all the administration officials who have faced credible accusations of corruption; and/or resigned in the midst of a scandal.

Of course, that was a whole year ago, and there have been plenty of scandals since. Fortunately, Paul Kiel has released a revised version.

Since a complete catalog of administration officials who’ve been accused of some form of corruption or abuse of power would be endless, we tried to maintain a high standard for inclusion. Most of those below were the subjects of criminal probes, but we also included officials who were credibly accused of acts that, if not criminal, were a corruption of office (like the U.S. attorney scandal). And even then, such officials were only included if their accusers had them dead to rights (which is why Karl Rove didn’t make the cut). We also limited ourselves to officials who were either political appointees or whose actions were so political that they were effectively political appointees (like John Tanner).

It’s quite a list, broken up by categories: “Indicted/Convicted/Pled Guilty” (10 Bush administration officials); “Resigned Due to Investigation, Pending Investigation or Allegations of Impropriety” (24 officials); Nomination Failed Due to Scandal (five officials); and “Under Investigation But Still in Office” (three officials).

Not too long ago, it was George W. Bush who promised Americans, “We will ask not only what is legal, but what is right; not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves.” It was part of his vow to “restore honor and dignity” to the White House.

In retrospect, his assurances are almost quaint.