Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2015 Major Republican Scandals

  • Tennessee Senator Bob Corker failed to disclose two million dollars worth of hedge fund profits and millions more of income from his commercial real estate business. The total of profits from his commercial real estate business is unknown. Senator Corker blamed his failure to disclose the assets on a "filing error."
  • A Donald Trump rally turned violent after supporters of the candidate threw an African American protester to the ground and physically assaulted him after he tried to interrupt Trump's speech. Trump can also be heard yelling to ‘get him the hell out of here," but a campaign spokesperson later released a statement saying that Mr. Trump “does not condone this behavior.”
  • Ben Carson’s campaign admitted that Carson's story of being accepted to West Point was fabricated. According to a story told in Carson’s book, a 17 year old Carson dined with Gen. William Westmoreland, gaining a full scholarship. West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying or being admitted.
  • A former investigator on the House Benghazi Committee filed a federal lawsuit against the committee and Representative Trey Gowdy for discrimination and defamation. Brad Podliska, an Air Force Reserve major, accused the committee and Mr. Gowdy of firing him for refusing to advance an agenda targeting Hillary Clinton. He also claims that Rep. Gowdy illegally defamed him in public when he went on "Meet the Press" and accused him of mishandling classified information, which later turned out to be false. Podliska is not seeking monetary compensation, but instead asks for the court to require a statement saying that Gowdy’s allegation was false and to bar Gowdy from repeating it again.
  • Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert plead guilty to hiding money transactions in order to evade federal regulations requiring him to report where the money was going. Hastert was charged in May of 2015 with lying to the FBI and illegally hiding hush money payments to "Individual A." He was accused of intentionally structuring the payments to fall under the $10,000 threshold to avoid triggering federal reporting requirements. "Individual A" is widely believed to be a former wrestling student of Hastert's who was given monthly payments in order to keep him from going to the authorities or press about alleged sexual abuse.
  • Senator Marco Rubio appears to have broken Senate ethics rules after he solicited campaign donations on Federal property. Mr. Rubio was being interviewed by Fox News' Neil Cavuto from the Russell Senate Office Building when he directly appealed for his supporters to go to his campaign website and donate funds to his campaign. This direct appeal is in violation of Senate ethics rules that prohibit any member from "receiv[ing] or solicit[ing] campaign contributions in any federal building."
  • Dr. Ben Carson appears to have broken campaign finance law meant to restrict a candidate from having any corporation pay for a candidates expenses by using checks or in-kind giving them any goods or services. Mr. Carson recently suspended his campaign to promote his new book, but before doing so he spoke at the National Press Club to promote it. This in and of itself is not illegal, but the fact that his publishing company paid for the candidates traveling and other expenses for him to speak there is skirting on the edges of breaking the law. Carson's campaign denies any wrongdoing, but the law is very clear. Campaign finance laws mandate that candidates "may not accept contributions made from the general treasury funds of corporations, labor organizations or national banks.
  • Maine Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves has filed a lawsuit against Governor Paul LePage accusing the governor of using the power of his office to threaten a private school from hiring him as the schools President. It is illegal in the state of Maine, or anywhere else in America, to use the power of your office to blackmail a private entity into doing what you want.
  • Senator David Vitter's former mistress has publicly accused him of pressuring her to get an abortion after he found out she was carrying his child. Wendy Ellis, the anti-abortion Senator's former mistress, said in a recent interview that the sitting Senator first denied that he was the child's father, but then pressured her to get an abortion after she convinced him that the baby was in fact his. Ms. Ellis passed a polygraph exam when the story of Vitter's alleged affair first broke back in 2007 and the polygraph expert confirmed her story appears to be legit. Senator Vitter refused to take the polygraph exam, but later admitted to committing a “serious sin” back in 2007. The baby was put up for adoption immediately after birth and Ms.
  • While announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination, Trump described Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists." José Andrés and a second chef, announced that they were pulling their restaurants from Trump's planned Washington, DC, hotel due to Trump's comments. A lawsuit battle followed.
  • Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison for break federal campaign laws. Rowland was convicted of concealing his role as a paid consultant to Lisa Wilson-Foley's 2012 congressional campaign and using his position as a radio host to encourage his listeners to vote for her.
  • Representative Aaron Schock is under investigation for improper use of taxpayer funds on a host of expenditures ranging from a lavish office themed after the PBS series Downton Abbey to billing the taxpayer for multiple vacations and other events. The Office of Congressional Ethics has opened an investigation into Mr. Schock and will report it's finding tot he House Ethics Committee. Representative Schock is already being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly soliciting contributions for an independent expenditure-only political committee in excess of $5,000 per donor. Update: Aaron Schock announced that he will be resigning from office on 3/31/2015