No, a viral video about Congress crime statistics is not accurate

The video about the ‘NFL or NBA’ repeatedly brings back discredited numbers regarding Congress, which were initially released in 1999.

Members of Congress have been presenting statistics claiming poor conduct about viral videos across platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, which have amassed views in the millions.

Many athletes in either the NBA or NFL have engaged in such actions, as a preacher recites a catalogue of offenses and monetary shortcomings in the video, initially addressing his audience.

Over the past year, 84 individuals have been apprehended for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Presently, twenty-one individuals are currently litigants in legal cases. Eight individuals have been apprehended for the act of shoplifting. Fourteen individuals have been taken into custody for offenses related to drugs. It is worth noting that seventy-one people, and I emphasize the number 71, are unable to obtain a credit card due to their unfavorable credit history. Additionally, three individuals have served time for committing assault. Astonishingly, one-hundred seventeen individuals have directly or indirectly caused the bankruptcy of at least two businesses. As for financial misconduct, nineteen individuals have been accused of issuing fraudulent checks. Furthermore, seven individuals have faced arrest for engaging in fraudulent activities. Lastly, the speaker states that “thirty-six individuals have been accused of engaging in domestic abuse.”

When he talks about members of Congress, he actually discusses professional basketball or football players, and it shocks the audience. He asks them to guess whether he’s talking about basketball or football.

However, VERIFY viewers were curious to know: is there any authenticity to this video and the statistics discussed in it?

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Are the statistics about purported behavior by legislators, mentioned in this viral video, accurate?



This is false.

No, the data is not accurate. They came from a 1999 blog entry that offered no corroborating proof.


In 2012, the video that is currently widely circulating on social media was recorded. It features a preacher named Mark Bailey.

But the statistics Bailey references are even older. They originated in 1999, in a blog post on the website Capitol Hill Blue.

The anonymous author of the blog claimed that the staff conducted “research” and compiled statistics, but they did not provide any evidence or names of only a few members of Congress that they accused.

The data, which the author alleges to have acquired from sources such as “public records, previous newspaper articles, civil court cases, and criminal records” (none of which are provided as references), lacks verifiability. The statistics presented lack a solid foundation, and a significant portion of the information seems unsubstantiated.

However, the data disseminated quickly, initially through chain emails, which occasionally made slight modifications to the precise figures utilized.

His son forwarded the list to him, Bailey says in the viral video. Eventually, one such email made its way to Bailey.

The fact-checkers have repeatedly disproven the email chains; we discovered articles regarding them published in 2000, 2009, and 2014.

After the statistics have been discredited, Bailey has no intention of reiterating the list he presented in his 2012 speech and has explicitly stated that he has not done so.

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Capitol Hill Blue eventually removed the statistics from its article and later deleted the post altogether, as shown by the Internet Archive.

In 1999, unsubstantiated assertions were made, and there is no proof to support them in 2023, but previous instances exist where members of Congress have been found guilty of offenses.

This report was contributed by The Associated Press.

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