Washington and Sex -- A Very Long Affair

Washington is known for bills, budgets and bureaucracy -- a decidedly unsexy reputation. But they say power is an aphrodisiac, which might explain why the nation's capital has a long history of riveting sex scandals.

The latest torrid tale rocking the capital is the long client list of "D.C. Madam," Jeane Palfrey, who is facing federal charges for allegedly running a high-priced prostitution service.

ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, who has seen the list, will have a report on "20/20" on Friday, May 4.

But Washington sex scandals have been around almost as long as Washington.

1797: Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of the treasury, was blackmailed for years over his affair with a married woman, Maria Reynolds. The blackmailer was none other than Reynolds' husband, James. Hamilton eventually revealed his indiscretions with Maria by releasing their love letters. The affair made headlines, but Hamilton's political career survived.

1831: President Andrew Jackson's Secretary of War, John Henry Eaton, was involved in an affair with Margaret "Peggy" O'Neale that became known as The Petticoat Affair. O'Neal was married to a sailor, John B. Timberlake, who committed suicide, allegedly after learning of the affair. O'Neale and Eaton were married shortly after Timberlake's death.

1884: During the 1884 presidential election, Republican candidate James G. Blaine taunted Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland with "Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha," after it was discovered that Cleveland had fathered a child with a department store clerk before he was married.

1964: Lyndon B. Johnson's chief of staff, Walter Jenkins, was arrested for having sex with a man in the bathroom at the YMCA. A local newspaper reporter working for the Washington Star discovered that Jenkins had been arrested on a similar charge in 1959 after an incident at the same YMCA toilet. Jenkins was married with six children. He was forced to resign.

1974: Rep. Wilbur D. Mills, D-Ark., was found with a burlesque performer when his limo was pulled over for speeding. Mills was in the company of Annabelle Battistella, who worked as a stripper at the Silver Slipper and was billed as "Fanne Fox, The Argentine Firecracker." Mills resigned as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee as a result of the scandal, but he was re-elected to his seat in the House in the 1974 election.

1983: The House Ethics Committee censured two House members for affairs with Congressional pages. Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., the first openly gay congressman, admitted a 1973 affair with a 17-year-old page. Rep. Daniel Crane, R-Ill., admitted to a 1980 affair with female page, also 17. The age of consent in D.C. was 16 at the time, so the relationships were legal, but the House of Representatives voted to censure both congressmen. Studds continued to serve in Congress until 1997, while Crane was defeated in his next election and returned to private life.

1991: Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court justice nominee, was accused of sexual harassment by law professor Anita Hill, considerably increasing the viewership of his Senate confirmation hearing. Thomas described the ordeal as "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks." In the end, the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Thomas as associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1998: The Monica Lewinsky Oval Office sex scandal broke. Recorded conversations between Lewinsky and fellow Pentagon employee Linda Tripp revealed details of Lewinsky's sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation by Kenneth Starr eventually led to the impeachment of President Clinton by the U.S. House of Representatives. He was eventually acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice charges in a Senate trial.

1998: Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., resigned as Speaker of the House and Congress after Hustler Magazine threatened to publish an article detailing sexual indiscretions by Republican politicians, including the married Livingston. The Livingston scandal broke at the height of the Lewinsky scandal. Livingston was one of many Republicans demanding Clinton resign.

1998: A DNA study found that there is a DNA link between Thomas Jefferson's slave Sally Hemmings' descendants and the Jefferson family, but did not conclusively prove that Thomas Jefferson himself was their ancestor. Claims that Jefferson fathered children with Hemmings first arose during his first term as president.

2001: Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., became the subject of a political scandal after the disappearance of a Federal Bureau of Prisons intern, Chandra Levy. A police investigation revealed that Condit was having an affair with Levy and it was alleged that the affair may have led to her murder. Levy's remains were discovered in May 2002 by a man walking his dog in a secluded area of Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. The medical examiner declared that Levy's death was the result of homicide. The case remains unsolved. Condit lost a primary election in 2002 and left Congress at the end of his term in 2003.

2003: An attorney for the family of Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., confirmed that Thurmond fathered a child with a African-American teenage housekeeper when he was 22 years old. He fathered the child with Carrie Butler, then a 16-year-old maid in the Thurmond household. Six months after Thurmond's death, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, a 78-year-old retired school teacher, revealed that the former senator was her father. Thurmond ran for president in 1948 as a "Dixiecrat," who believed strongly in racial segregation and was opposed to the Democratic Party's civil rights program.

2004: Disgruntled Hill staffer Jessica Cutler's sexploits were exposed when D.C. gossip blogger Wonkette found Cutler's online diary. Cutler's affairs involved high-level Senate and federal employees -- one of whom paid her $400 for a lunchtime liaison. Cutler, better known as the Washingtonienne, was fired from Sen. Mike DeWine's office for "unacceptable use of Senate computers." She went on to write a book based on her experiences.

2006: Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., resigned after ABC News confronted him with excerpts of instant messages he had sent to underage current and former Congressional pages. Foley, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual acts and body parts. Foley remains under investigation.

2007: Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias becomes the first D.C. official to resign over his links to Jeane Palfrey's escort service. The alleged "D.C. Madam" is facing federal charges. She says she plans to call Tobias and a list of other prominent clients to testify in her trial.