Sen. John Ensign sex scandal spreads to other Republicans
Sen. Tom Coburn and former Sen. Rick Santorum appear to have been involved in the scandal that brought down former Sen. John Ensign. A Senate Ethics Committee investigation could lead to criminal charges for Ensign.
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Aside from the likelihood that Ensign will face criminal charges, recent revelations don’t paint a very good picture of Sen. Tom Coburn, former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, nor the Justice Department.
When details of his affair with the wife of a former staffer and close family friend revealed what looked to many observers like a cover-up – including the payment of large sums of money via his parents – Ensign announced that he would not run for reelection. Then last week he abruptly resigned his seat in order to avoid having to personally face a Senate Ethics Committee investigation and his likely expulsion from the Senate.
“Based on the record in this matter, the Special Counsel respectfully submits that there is substantial credible evidence that provides substantial cause to conclude that Senator Ensign violated Senate Rules and federal civil and criminal laws, and engaged in improper conduct reflecting upon the Senate, thus betraying the public trust and bringing discredit to the Senate,” the report states.
Among other things, the report alleges that Ensign and his parents made illegal payments to his mistress and her husband, made false or misleading statements to the Federal Election Commission, and “permitted spoliation [alteration or destruction] of documents and engaged in potential obstruction of justice violations.”
The committee has referred the matter to the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission.