Stage 1. Do the misdeed, but deny it profusely.
Stage 2. Insist that you have erred, but done nothing illegal. (But we feel good criticizing you, anyway)
Stage 3. Weepingly accept all responsibility for disappointing any voters who may be inclined to not vote for you in the next election.
Stage 4. Blame the press for picking on you and vow never to resign. (In a solitary corner, pray the next offender will surface before you are finally done in.)
Stage 5. Resign and hit the book and speaking circuit.
(Stages may overlap.)
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