Ames' well documented involvement with the Credit Mobilier caused one of the greatest political scandals in the nation's history, reaching as high as the Vice-President of the United States. Originally promoted by Thomas C. Durant, the Credit Mobilier was joined by Oakes and Oliver Ames. A split developed two hostile factions, one led by Durant, one by the Ames. Numerous politicians received gifts of stock and Ames fell under intense scrutiny by a Congressional committee. "The statutes required that the Union Pacific stock be paid for in actual cash; but as a matter of fact, it was issued to Ames and other Credit Mobilier men 'who paid for it at not more than thirty cents on the dollar in roadmaking', thus realizing enormous profits. The Credit Mobilier has exemplified the unscrupulous methods of building railroads that were the normal practice of the period 1860 - 1880.