Some Washington Sex Scandals of Recent Years

President Donald Trump: Late in last year’s presidential campaign, a secretly recorded tape surfaced of a 2005 conversation in which Trump lewdly described abusive treatment of women. He said as a star, “You can do anything,” adding, “Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.” He was elected president a month later.


Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.: Once viewed as a rising star in New York politics, the seven-term married lawmaker resigned from Congress in June 2011 after admitting he’d tweeted a photograph of himself in snug-fitting underpants to an undergraduate in Washington state. Weiner also said he’d had inappropriate online interactions with at least six other women. Weiner, now 53, was sentenced to 21 months in prison this past September after pleading guilty to obscenity charges involving lewd online communications with a 15-year-old girl in 2016. Weiner and his wife, former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, are getting a divorce.


Rep. Eric Massa, R-N.Y.: Massa resigned in 2010 after less than two years in office following reports that the House Ethics Committee was examining allegations that he’d harassed a male aide. The Washington Post reported that Massa, who was married, had groped several male staffers over the previous year. After resigning, he denied the accusations but said he’d had tickle fights with aides in a house they shared.


Sen. David Vitter, R-La.: In 2007, Vitter apologized for a “very serious sin” after his phone number appeared in a call list of a high-end Washington escort service run by the so-called D.C. Madam, Deborah Jean Palfrey. He won re-election to the Senate in a landslide in 2010, but lost a 2015 bid to become Louisiana governor. He served in the Senate until last January.


Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla.: The six-term lawmaker immediately resigned from Congress in 2006 as reports emerged that he’d sent sexually explicit messages to at least one teenage male former page. Foley apologized for “letting down” his family and Florida voters.


President Bill Clinton: The House voted in 1998 to impeach, or formally accuse, Clinton of perjury and obstruction of their investigation into Clinton’s sexual encounters with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. In February 1999, the Senate acquitted him. In 1998, Clinton agreed to an $850,000 settlement with Arkansas state worker Paula Jones, who’d accused Clinton of exposing himself and making indecent propositions when Clinton was governor. That settlement included no apology or admission of guilt.


Rep. Robert Livingston, R-La.: On the verge of becoming House speaker in 1998, the married lawmaker abruptly announced he would resign from Congress after acknowledging that he’d had adulterous affairs. His revelation came amid reports that Hustler magazine had pursued tips that he’d had several affairs. Livingston shocked his colleagues by announcing his decision to the House as it debated the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He left Congress in March 1999.


Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore.: Less than a month after his 1992 re-election to a fifth Senate term, The Washington Post reported that 10 female ex-staffers alleged that Packwood had sexually harassed them. Packwood said he was “sincerely sorry” if his actions were unwelcome and said he would undergo alcohol counseling. More accusations surfaced and calls for his resignation grew. After the Senate Ethics Committee voted to recommend his expulsion and released 10,000 pages of evidence, Packwood resigned in 1995.


Sen. Charles Robb, D-Va.: Robb said in 1991 that he’d been in a hotel room with a former Miss Virginia, Tai Collins, and that she’d given him a massage. Robb, married to one of President Lyndon Johnson’s daughters, Lynda Bird, revealed the incident just before NBC News aired an interview with Collins. She claimed she’d had an affair with Robb while he was governor during the 1980s. Robb was re-elected to the Senate in 1994 and retired in 2001.


Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.: After a 1989 report in The Washington Times, Frank acknowledged he’d hired a male prostitute in 1985 who lived with him and worked for him in his Washington apartment. Frank said he fired the man, Steve Gobie, when he discovered he was using Frank’s apartment to run a prostitution service. The House voted overwhelmingly to reprimand Frank in 1990 after the House Ethics Committee said he’d fixed numerous parking tickets the man had received. Frank was re-elected to Congress 11 additional times and retired in 2013.


Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo.: Hart was considered a front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when in 1987 the Miami Herald published a report alleging that model Donna Rice had spent the night at the married Hart’s Washington town house. The two denied an affair, but Hart ended his campaign shortly afterward.


Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass.: The first openly gay member of Congress, Studds was censured by the House in 1983 for having an affair a decade earlier with a 17-year-old congressional page. Studds was re-elected to six more House terms.

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