-- intro: Before President Nixon officially resigned 40 years ago tomorrow, he had assured Americans that they deserved to know whether their president was a crook. "Well," he told a Nov. 17, 1973, news conference, "I'm not a crook."
With that, the beleaguered commander-in-chief painted himself into a corner from which resignation offered his only escape less than a year later, Aug. 9, 1974.
With far less at stake, other politicians have flat-out lied about their actions at the risk of public humiliation or, at worst, career suicide.
Here are a few of the obvious ones:
The scandal counts as the most explosive political deception in U.S. history, cutting short Nixon's second term despite his parting words that "I have never been a quitter."
quicklist: 2 Category: Political Deception title: 'I Did Not Send That Tweet' url: text: Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., thought so much of himself that he took to Twitter with images of his crotch. He repeatedly denied sending the tweets, telling ABC News' Jonathan Karl in 2011, "I did not send that tweet. My system was hacked, I was pranked."
Weiner, 49, eventually confessed and apologized for lying, but resigned under the weight of his deception.
Neither was true and his deceit irreparably damaged his political career, not to mention his marriage.
quicklist: 5 Category: Political Deception title: 'It's All Made Up. I Don't Know What Happened' url: text: Police alleged in March 2002 that an officer who approached former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry's parked car noticed a "powdery substance" under Barry's nose after seeing him "ingest something." Officers allegedly found $5 worth of crack cocaine in his car, according to the police report, an insufficient amount to warrant further action.
Barry, now 78, escaped prosecution but his wife moved out shortly thereafter upon learning of the incident from the media. Barry said he didn't consider the incident a big enough deal to tell her.