A chronology of the independent counsel considerations:

October 1996 -- Congressional Republicans raise questions about donations to the Democratic National Committee attributed to the Lippo Group business conglomerate and various branches of the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple. The DNC releases a partial list of donors.

November 1996 -- President Clinton says contributions did not influence his foreign policy. Justice Department turns down the request of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that an independent prosecutor be requested.

January 1997 -- Documents show that at least 100 coffees arranged by the DNC were held at the White House, some attended by Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

February 1997 -- Clinton acknowledges he encouraged the rewarding of donors with overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom. Attorney General Janet Reno again declines to request appointment of an independent counsel.

March 1997 _ Clinton says he can't say he didn't make fund-raising calls from the White House. He says, ``I'm not sure, frankly.'' Gore says there were ``a few occasions'' when he called contributors from his office. He adds, ``I do not feel like I did anything wrong, much less illegal.''

April 1997 _ Reno rejects latest GOP demand for an independent investigation, saying there is ``no specific credible evidence'' of wrongdoing by high officials.

July 1997 -- Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott renews his call for an independent counsel. The Senate fund-raising committee votes to subpoena documents from the White House.

August 1997 -- Documents handed over to the committee show Gore telephoned 46 people between November 1995 and May 1996, and asked them to give between $25,000 and $100,000 each.

September 1997 _ The White House is notified that Reno has opened a review of Clinton's money-raising activities, a potential first step toward naming a special prosecutor. Clinton lawyers say no laws were broken.

Nov. 11, 1997 _ The FBI and Justice Department prosecutors question Clinton and Gore in separate interviews.

Dec. 2, 1997 _ Reno rejects calls for independent counsels for Clinton, Gore and former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary.