When a corrupt official is discovered, they should be given a chance to step down as they should, i.E. Richard Nixon. This is the honest and respectable thing to do. If they don't step down they will continue to lie and cheat and steal until they are taken down by force. So is human nature.
Let's get real, if we actually did this, no human would be in office! Everybody lies, it's human nature. However, I do think that if a person really truly lies, (like saying the NSA is not spying on us, Benghazi etc) and it greatly hurts the people, I think we should completely loose trust in the people who told said lies.
Is it ethical? No. Does it happen? Yes. Is it illegal? Only if done under oath, etc. Where specific circumstances require fact. This isn't exclusive to politics. It happens in business, on a daily basis.
Does anybody remember when JP Morgan first announced its trading losses in 2012? It started out , in the Spring, at being about $2B. Then, it rose to over $5B by mid-Summer. A couple of months later, it was estimated to reach $9B. That's a heck of a jump! Does anybody really think they screwed-up the math? I know that I don't. But nobody wanted to walk in that investors meeting and announce $9B in losses!
Politicians, in both parties, are notorious for lying or simply not divulging the truth. We've heard Birthers, for 4+ years, complain that Obama wasn't a U.S. Citizen. Why? He only had a certificate of live birth from Hawaii. Now, we hear that Ted Cruz was born in Canada! In other words, he can't provide a U.S. Birth certificate (in ANY form)! In fact, he is just now giving up his Canadian citizenship. So, we had a U.S. Senator setting in D.C. Who was as much a citizen of another country as he was a citizen of this one! Jeez. Then, there is the whole WMD fiasco in Iraq. We went to war based on the fact these weapons existed. Yet, there was never any found. To borrow a line from a bumper-sticker: "When Clinton lied, nobody died!"
I do not, as a citizen/voter/investor/consumer, appreciate deception on any level. Yet, I realize, it happens. If no laws were broken, I suck it up & move on. If laws were broken, i.E. Clinton lying under oath, I expect some form of punishment. To date, we have not punished the fat cats of Wall Street for that huge economic tumble in '08. We investigated it. If you visit the "60 Minutes" website, there is a segment on the subject. Interestingly enough, the head of that investigation says that laws were broken (The Case Against Lehman Bros.). If we are going to get tough, we need to get tough on all of them -- politicians & business alike!
This might seem like a stereotype, but politicians lie all the time - in big ways and small - to archive their goals! Seriously, we'll be out of politicians. Obama lied, but he legally cannot be President again, so next election everyone will be up in arms about something someone else has done. That's politics.
Despite what some or many may believe there are just lies even in politics. For example if we have a lot of covert missions that help people and the politician says we aren't doing anything at all in country "x" then even if that person is found to be lying I'd say that was a just lie. Mainly because of the fact that we should at least try to help people someway somehow, but if information is leaked that we are helping these people it could turn out bad for future operations, so in this case if a politician lied about this then I'd say he/she was justified.
The only reason one politician gets voted in over another is because the majority of people like the promises they've made over the other politician's, and also because the majority thinks that politician is trustworthy.
Being able to say whatever you think will get you voted, with no expectation to deliver, would make no sense. They need to be held accountable.
If they were forced by law to either say truth or not to say nothing at all. Wouldn't that bring us more honest politics and allow everyone to not to have their right of information violated?
Of course, this law would not consider what they do in their very personal life.