The Lincoln Bedroom "has not been for sale", an indignant Mr Clinton said yesterday, claiming it was perfectly normal that assistance given by major Democratic donors should be recognised. "I am proud of these people," the President said.
But his remarks did nothing to quell the storm on Capitol Hill, where pressure among Republicans and Democrats alike is growing for a special counsel to investigate alleged campaign finance abuses by the Democrats. In recent months the party has been forced to return over $1.5m of campaign contributions. There have also been reports the Chinese Embassy attempted to channel money into his 1996 campaign.
The list of those who stayed in the Lincoln bedroom includes showbusiness figures like Barbra Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss and Chevy Chase, and businessmen Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca and Ted Turner of CNN. The largest category however is "friends from Arkansas" - the state of which Mr Clinton was Governor before be became President.The White House documents included a note from Mr Clinton in early 1995, shortly after the Republicans recaptured Congress, calling for "overnights" to start as soon as possible.