Since the 1972 break-in at the Watergate Hotel, affixing the suffix "-gate" to any scandal, no matter how big or small, has become standard operating procedure in pop culture. "-Gate" scandals include everything from large scale investigations into violations of federal law, to local matters that the press seizes on due to their tawdry nature.
Maybe the king of "-gate" scandals was Bill Clinton, whose administration was hampered by a seemingly endless string of kerfuffles that the nascent 24-hour cable news cycle pounced on. But the arts, sports, and foreign politics aren't immune to "-gates" either, and virtually any scandal that takes place anywhere is likely to turn into one.Here are some of the most prominent "-gate" scandals in history, starting with the one that began the whole craze.
When news broke in 2015 that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used a private server for official emails, the resultant scandal was dubbed "Emailgate." At issue is whether Clinton knowingly kept, sent, or deleted classified information over an unsecured server - a violation of federal law - or simply violated State Department procedures which had also been violated by previous Secretaries.The FBI investigation continues to this day, causing a drag on Clinton's presidential campaign.
A campaign finance scandal that spanned the Bush and Clinton administrations, Chinagate was an attempt by China to influence US politics by funneling large donations to the Democratic National Committee - a violation of federal law.Though largely forgotten in the flurry of Clinton-era faux scandals, Chinagate involved investigations by both the Department of Justice and Congress - the most expensive Congressional investigation in US history at that point. There were also a number of arrests of prominent Chinese nationals living in the US. The Clintons were never found to have any knowledge of the donations.