Secrets and Scandals in Washington DC

By: Nina Fomufod

February 6, 2015

A beautiful intern goes missing. The investigation uncovers an affair with a married congressman. Her body is found, inciting wild speculation. No, this isn’t an episode of Law & Order – this is the dark underbelly of politics in the US capital. With great power, comes great scandals in Washington DC. Check out some of the most shocking below.


Secrets and Scandals in Washington DC | Watergate

The Watergate incident has been called the greatest political scandal in American history © Winston Real Estate.

In 1972, five men were arrested at the Watergate hotel and office complex. The crime? Attempting to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Washington Post reporters played connect-the-dots, and suggested President Nixon’s re-election committee was involved.

Flash forward two years. The country is captivated by the televised hearings investigating the break-in. After the Supreme Court forces Nixon’s hand, he ponies up crucial evidence confirming his awareness of the break-in and approval of the cover-up.

Watergate rocked the nation, led to the only presidential resignation in American history, and cemented the prefix “-gate” in the American lexicon.

Marion Barry

Secrets and Scandals in Washington DC | The Westin

Formerly the Vista International Hotel, the Westin is centrally-located downtown © Lance Cheung for the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

In the winter of 1990, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested on charges of cocaine possession at the Vista International Hotel.

A joint effort between the FBI and police, the sting was recorded and publicly broadcasted. The footage showed Barry smoking from a crack pipe before FBI agents stormed the room, positioned him against the wall, and read him his rights.

After attending rehab and spending six months in Federal prison, he was elected mayor for a fourth time – proving the “˜mayor for life’ was the king of comebacks.

Monica Lewinsky

Secrets and Scandals in Washington DC | White House

The official residence of the first family, the White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and six levels © BackyardProduction/Thinkstock/iStock

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” President Clinton is lucky he didn’t suffer from the same affliction as Pinocchio. Beginning in 1995, the commander-in-chief had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, then a 22-year-old intern.

The 21-month affair birthed a media frenzy, defined “sexual relations” for the nation, and went down in history as one of the biggest scandals in Washington DC.

Chandra Levy

Secrets and Scandals in Washington DC | Rock Creek Park

Featuring over 32 miles of trails, Rock Creek Park is perfect for jogging, cycling, and picnicking © Philasilva/Flickr

In 2001, a 24-year-old intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons went missing. One year later, her remains were found in Rock Creek Park, one mile from a historic mansion.

The homicide investigation revealed that Chandra Levy had been having an affair with Gary Condit, a married Californian congressman. Although Condit was never formally charged, the media was not subtle in its suggestion that he had orchestrated the murder.

In 2010, Ingmar Guandique – an illegal immigrant already in prison for assaulting two other women in the park – was found guilty of first degree murder, closing the Levy case.

Virgin Atlantic operates daily direct flights from London Heathrow to Washington DC, providing easy access to the heart of the nation’s politics.

Which of these scandals in Washington DC do you find most shocking? Want to add more to the list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Written by Nina Fomufod


Nina Fomufod

Nina Fomufod is passionate about spontaneous travel. She recently ate her way across Spain and Portugal. As a freelancer, she has investigated college food, invented recipes and survived a juice cleanse. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Grub Street and USA Today.

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