Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury and the most prominent member of George Washington's Cabinet, had an affair with Maria Reynolds.
Maria Reynolds was married to James Reynolds, a convicted securities
swindler who got out of prison thanks in part to Hamilton's Treasury
Department. Hamilton paid secret hush money to James Reynolds. The story
was discovered in 1792-3, when the Congress was investigating Hamilton
for alleged financial misdealings. Three members of Congress, including
the Speaker of the House, Muhlenberg, and future President James Monroe,
discovered the Reynolds affair and decided to keep it private. The story
finally became public in 1797 when it leaked to the muckraking press.
The next year, Hamilton was promoted to the inspector general of the new
U. S. Army, second only to George Washington himself.