(Coburn material is around the 2:30 mark.)
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn continues his quest to deny Americans decent health care with petulant threats and political theater, but he could soon face more questions about his role in the U.S. Sen. John Ensign extramarital affair scandal.
As you may remember, Coburn said he knew about the Nevada senator’s affair with Cindy Hampton, the wife of one of Ensign’s top aides. No big deal here. Public official and celebrity extramarital affair scandals are becoming nauseatingly boring and cliché. But Doug Hampton, the aide, said Coburn and others had urged Ensign to pay the couple money, a claim Coburn has denied in the past. Ensign’s parents later gave the Hamptons a $96,000 “gift.” Was this an attempt to silence the Hamptons from talking about the affair?
Ensign, a Nevada Republican, faces a Senate ethics investigation. There is also a federal grand jury investigation related to Ensign. Last week, the media reported six Las Vegas companies and the National Republican Senatorial had received subpoenas involving Ensign.
According to the Associated Press:
The FBI and Senate Ethics Committee are investigating whether Ensign tried to limit political damage from an affair he had with the wife of one of his Senate aides by conspiring to help the aide find a new job as a lobbyist, which might have violated restrictions on lobbying by former congressional staff.
Federal criminal law prohibits congressional aides from lobbying their ex-bosses or office colleagues for one year after departing their Hill jobs.
What exactly was Coburn’s role in the scandal? Will he be asked to testify? What will he say under oath, which is a lot different than trying to manipulate the media with omissions and qualifications?
Coburn and Ensign were once roommates at the C-Street House, often described as part of a Christian fellowship. Coburn is known as one of the most social conservative senators in the nation.