Former Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada has died.

Reid, who served in the United States Senate for three decades, reaching the apogee of his legislative career during the Obama administration, died this week from pancreatic cancer. He was 82 years old.

Thus ends the life of one of the most ruthless and conniving U.S. lawmakers in recent history. In Congress, where Reid rose eventually to the rank of Senate majority leader, he lived by a simple rule: victory at any cost. His single-minded pursuit of power and influence, no matter the ethics of his actions or whom he wronged in the process, made him the amoral fighter Democrats loved and Republicans hated.

From accusing Republican lawmakers of poisoning voters to accusing 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney falsely of being a tax cheat to nuking the filibuster, Reid would do or say anything if there were even a remote chance it would serve his and his party’s immediate interests. There was no legislative sleight of hand too deceptive nor any slander too low for Reid so long as it harmed his enemies and won his party more control.

The lawmaker even went so far as to use the floor of the Senate to attack private citizens who donated to conservative causes.

"These two brothers," Reid said in 2014 of the multibillionaire libertarian-leaning Koch brothers, "are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine. It's too bad that they are trying to buy America."

In May of the same year, he accused the Kochs of conspiring to create "climate change."

Earlier, in 2012, Reid falsely accused Republican presidential nominee Romney of tax evasion. Romney, he claimed, “refused to release his tax returns, as we know,” Reid said toward the end of the general election. "So, the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for 10 years.”

When reporters pressed the senator for evidence, he responded, "I don't think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He's the one I've alleged has not paid any taxes."

In 2016, during an interview with CNN, Reid essentially admitted to fabricating the tax cheat story.

“I don’t regret that at all,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Romney didn’t win, did he?”

Of the tax evasion falsehood, Reid told the Washington Post, "It's one of the best things I've ever done. … I tried to get somebody else to do it. I tried to get somebody in the Obama 'reelect,' I tried to get one of the senators, I tried to get one of the outside groups, but nobody would do it. So I did it."

He added, “I knew what [Romney] had done was not be transparent and forthright about his taxes and to this day he hasn't released his tax returns.”

Romney did, in fact, release his tax returns during the 2012 presidential election.

There’s more.

In 2012, as the Senate debated a bill that would extend the payroll tax and do away with an EPA pollution regulation regarding drinking water, Reid accused Republican lawmakers of trying to poison voters.

As Senate majority leader, he attacked the traditions and practices of Congress’s upper chamber, including open debate and amendment processes. His rampant abuses and mismanagement of the U.S. Senate led eventually to his decision in 2013 to invoke the "nuclear option,” which destroyed the Senate minority's ability to block most presidential nominations. A decade earlier, Reid had strenuously objected when GOP lawmakers had considered the same course of action.

"You should not be able to come in here and change willy-nilly a rule of the Senate," said Reid in 2005. "It will change this body forever.”

Later, when recalling the moment Republicans flirted with the idea of going nuclear, Reid said, “I hope we never ever get to that again because I really do believe it will ruin our country.”

Like most everything that came out of the former senator’s mouth, he clearly didn’t believe a word of what he said. The only thing he ever really believed in was victory at any cost.

He accused the then-senior ground commander of U.S. forces fighting in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, of being a liar after Petraeus told Congress in 2007 that the surge was seeing positive results. He called then-President George W. Bush a “liar" and a "loser." He called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “embarrassment to the Supreme Court.” He none-too-subtly claimed President Barack Obama’s critics were motivated entirely by racism.

In 2009, Reid compared critics of the Affordable Care Act to people who supported slavery in the antebellum era.

Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, Reid in 2010 was the beneficiary of an apparent quid pro quo with the drug lobby. The drug industry's trade group agreed to support Obamacare in return for favorable provisions in the bill. In return for a favorable Senate healthcare bill, the drug lobby promised to finance campaign ads for Reid’s 2010 reelection efforts in Nevada. The drug lobby got the healthcare bill it wanted, and Reid got his ads.

This is to say nothing of the enormous wealth Reid accumulated in his three decades in the Senate, much of it “earned” via investments and deals that had a curious habit of overlapping with his legislative agenda.

There was clearly a trend in how Reid operated in Congress. No matter the cost, no matter the ethics of the thing, the former senator saw victory by any means as the surest way, and indeed, the only way, to serve his interests.