Some people argue that Bill Clinton is a more corrupt president than Richard Nixon was. This claim is intended as one measure of the validity of this view. The claim will be judged YES if, by January 1, 2004, any of the following officials are convicted of or plead guilty or no contest to any criminal charges filed in any US jurisdiction between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2003: President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Second Lady Tipper Gore, Attorney General Janet Reno, Chief of Staff Thomas (Mack) McLarty, Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, or FBI Director Louis Freeh. The crimes in question need not have been committed while Clinton was president. The claim should be judged YES if any of the above people are pre-emptively pardoned of any criminal offense. Civil legal proceedings are irrelevant to the claim.
For the sake of early judgement the claim should be judged YES even if the convictions are later overturned, and it should be judged NO if all pending indictments are dropped in the limbo period after January 1, 2003, even if they are later reinstated.
For comparison, in the Nixon Administration, Attorney General John Mitchell, Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, and Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, were all convicted of crimes related to the Watergate burglary, the burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, and perjury concerning illegal campaign contributions. (Also Chief of Staff Alexander Haig shut down the White House taping system and acting Attorney General Robert Bork fired independent counsel Archibald Cox, but these acts did not lead to criminal charges.) Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray was not prosecuted for destruction of evidence in the Watergate investigation, but he was later convicted of using illegal investigation methods against anti-war protesters and pardoned by President Reagan. Vice President Spiro Agnew pleaded no contest to criminal tax evasion committed while Governor of Maryland. President Nixon was pardoned for all crimes he "committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974," which covered not only the Watergate cover-up but also evidence of personal income tax fraud. The pardon also covered yet other crimes, such as a direct order to break into the Brookings Institute, that were revealed when additional Nixon tapes were made public in 1998.
Further references: Nixon vs. Clinton