Presidential Scandals in U.S. History 
Presidential scandals are not new to American politics — from President John Adams and the XYZ  Correspondence in 1797 to President Bill Clinton and Whitewater in 1996. But these days it seems that politicians and scandal are more intertwined than ever before. Are there more political scandals these days or are we simply more aware of the shenanigans of our elected officials?
  Presidential sex scandal
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
  President Thomas Jefferson was accused in one of the first sex-scandals in Washington. Sally Hemings, Jefferson’s slave, gave birth to a son, Easton Hemings, who was listed as "white" according to the 1830 Census.
Editorial printed in the Boston Gazette:
    Thou Sally, thou my house shall keep,
    My widower’s tears shall dry!
    My virgin daughters - see! They weep -
    Their mother’s place supply.
    Oh Sally hearken to my vows!
    Yield up thy sooty charms -
    My best beloved! My more than spouse,
    Oh! Take me to thy arms.
  The Whiskey Ring
A national tax evasion
The Whiskey Ring, made public in 1875, involved a national tax evasion scheme where indictments were brought against 86 government officials, including the chief clerk of the Treasury Department as well as President Ulysses S. Grant’s private secretary.
  The Teapot Dome
Bribery scandal
The Teapot Dome scandal in 1924, during President Warren G. Harding’s administration, was one of the most notorious political scandals in U.S. history. The Secretary of the Interior, Albert B. Fall, was found guilty of bribery, fined $100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison.
Bringing down the President
Watergate and the resignation of President Richard Nixon is still considered the worst political scandal in U.S. history. Watergate charges included: political burglary, bribery, extortion, wiretapping, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, tax fraud, illegal use of the CIA and FBI, as well as campaign contributions and use of taxpayers’ money for private purposes. More than 30 Nixon administration officials, campaign officials, and financial contributors pleaded guilty or were found guilty of breaking the law. Facing impeachment, President Nixon resigned August 8, 1974.
Iran-Contra affair
Iran-Contra publicly exposed two secret U.S. Government operations in October and November of 1986. The operations, providing assistance to the military activities of the Nicaraguan contra rebels and the sale of U.S. arms to Iran merged when funds generated from the sale of weapons to Iran were diverted to support the contra effort in Nicaragua. The Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra matters concluded among many things that policies behind both the Iran and contra operations were fully reviewed and developed at the highest levels of the Reagan Administration. Major trials were held for former National Security Advisor Rear Admiral John M. Poindexter and National Security Counsel staff member Colonel Oliver L. North. Both were convicted and their convictions reversed on appeal. Fourteen persons were charged with criminal violations in the affair.
Land deals gone sour
Whitewater is the most recent scandal under the current administration of President Bill Clinton. During the 1980’s, the Clinton’s invested in "Whitewater" a land development of riverfront property in Arkansas that eventually went sour. President Clinton continues to battle the affair as hearings, trials, convictions and acquittals in the case keep the scandal front and center in this election year.
Presidential scandals have made some presidents unpopular in how they are remembered. It has also invited cyber-muckraking in the upcoming 1996 Presidential campaign. Skeleton Closet