Scandals in the Harding
Administration. Late in his presidency Warren G. Harding commented to journalist William Allen White that his enemies were not a problem, "but my damned friends … they're the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!" During the early 1920s Harding's cronies were involved in one scandal after another. Attorney General Harry Daugherty was caught accepting bribes from former clients to protect them from federal prosecution, and the Veterans' Bureau director, Charles Forbes, was jailed for fraud. The most sensational case of public corruption during the Harding administration was the Teapot Dome scandal, Contemporaries believed that this scandal, which involved public officials making secret deals for personal profit at public expense, epitomized politics of the 1920s. Many historians have blamed the flurry of public corruption in the 1920s on the excessive privileges granted to business by its friends in...
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