The Clinton Administration made some "regrettable" missteps in trying to monitor the Whitewater investigation, White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler told Congress on the first day of hearings into the matter. But he was quick to add that neither the President nor his staff did anything illegal or unethical when administration officials met with the Treasury Department regarding a Whitewater-related savings & loan probe. The GOP response, summed up by Wisconsin Representative Toby Roth: "This thing smells to high heaven." Expect the rhetoric to grow worse, says TIME Washington correspondent Suneel Ratan. In further hearings this week, Republicans will get a crack at officials who allegedly had a hand in the White House/Treasury fiasco.