Mark Twain said it best: “America is a nation without a distinct criminal class…with the possible exception of Congress.”

Using Twain’s observation as a guideline we took a long, hard look at the 535 men and woman who make up the House and Senate of the United States in 1999 and found a collection of rogues, con artists, scofflaws and bad check artists. We found Twain was right. Congress comprises a distinct criminal class.

Unfortunately, we have since found that the intern who researched the records took too many shortcuts and used methods that we deemed improper in examining records that were not public.

We have pulled the list of what that intern filed because we cannot verify the material. We kept three stories that contained the names of members of Congress, what they did along with other details.

We have printed the names and actual crimes of those we can document.

These articles remain:

Part I – Rep. Corrine Brown and her long trail of lies, deceit and unpaid bills

Part II – Rep. Jim Moran: Virginia’s bombastic Congressman

Wrap Up: A long tradition of corruption and ambivalence

We took the intern at her word and the word of an editor who is no longer with us.  We were wrong to do so.

Our sincere apologies.

America’s Criminal Class still appears on our site but the list that has been copied over and over (often without our permission or attribution) is no longer on Capitol Hill Blue.

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© 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.