Sen. Tom Coburn played a more active role than previously known in the negotiations between ex-Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and his former aide, Doug Hampton. The extent of the Oklahoma Republican’s involvement is made clear in a report released Thursday by the Senate Ethics Committee that accuses the former senator of serious criminal violations.
Coburn, a friend of Ensign’s who confronted him about the adultery, became involved as an intermediary in negotiations between Ensign and Doug Hampton. The former aide sought money from Ensign in spring 2009. Coburn negotiated the payment to Doug Hampton down from $8 million to about $2.8 million, according to the report.
The Oklahoma Republican’s involvement in the cover-up of the affair could lead to uncomfortable questions for the senator and his party going forward.
Uncomfortable question No. 1: Why haven’t you resigned?
Uncomfortable question No. 2: Did you at least ask Ensign if he also had a diaper fetish along with his penchant for adultery?
Uncomfortable question No. 3: Why haven’t you resigned?