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In 1988, reports emerged of an affair between Democratic presidential hopeful Colorado Sen. Gary Hart and 29-year-old Donna Rice. Following the reports, the National Enquirer published photographs of Rice sitting on Hart's lap aboard a motor yacht called Monkey Business. Five days later, Hart dropped out of the race.
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In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank when it was revealed that Steve Gobie, a male escort whom Frank had befriended after hiring him through a personal advertisement, claimed to have conducted an escort service from Frank's apartment when he was not at home. The House Ethics Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity. Gobie disputes Frank's account.
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In 1998, news broke of an affair between then-President Bill Clinton and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of Clinton by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in a 21-day Senate trial.
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In 1998, Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt said he had evidence that U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston had strayed outside of his marriage and he was preparing to publish the information. Livingston got word that the article was pending, and on Dec. 19, 1998, he stepped down as Speaker-elect and announced he would resign from the House in May 1999. Republican David Vitter was elected to replace him. Flynt claimed July 9, 2007, to have made the link between Vitter and so-called "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey.