The arrest of Florida Rep. Trey Radel for cocaine possession puts him in rarified company. Only 68 members of the House and Senate have been convicted of crimes while in office — and only two of those were convicted of drug possession.
We decided to break down the numbers. Using this handy Wikipedia list of legislators who've been convicted of crimes — which, we hasten to point out, Radel has not — we looked at which states, decades, and chamber of Congress were most likely to see criminal convictions.
Convictions by chamber
This one is a gimme. The House, given that it has far more members, has seen more convictions. Sixty-four members of the House have been convicted of crimes. Only four Senators have been.
Convictions by decade
Setting aside Rep. Matthew Lyon's 1778 conviction for sedition, every congressmember's conviction has come since 1900.
You'll notice that we're on something of a downward trend. In the 1970s, a series of scandals took down members of Congress (for example, Koreagate). In the 1980s, the spike was from Abscam. In the 1990s — an array of things.
We didn't include executive branch convictions, which, thanks to Watergate and the Iran-Contra scandal, would have made the 1970s and 1980s bars much, much higher.