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Please begin with an informative title:

Following Friday's revelations in the New York Times that not only did John Ensign (R-NV) has an affair with the wife of his good friend and employee, but that after the relationship ended, Ensign:

... arranged for Mr. Hampton to join a political consulting firm and lined up several donors as his lobbying clients, according to interviews, e-mail messages and other records. Mr. Ensign and his staff then repeatedly intervened on the companies’ behalf with federal agencies in Washington, often after urging from Mr. Hampton.

While the affair made national news in June, the role that Mr. Ensign played in assisting Mr. Hampton and helping the clients he represented has not been previously disclosed. Several legal experts say those activities may have violated an ethics law that bans senior aides from lobbying the Senate for a year after leaving their posts.

... one would assume that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would be outraged:
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, on Friday refused to respond to newly disclosed details of Senator John Ensign’s efforts to establish a top aide in a lobbying business following the senator’s admitted affair with the man’s wife.

“I really don’t have any observations to make about the Ensign matter,’’ Mr. McConnell said at a morning press conference when he was asked repeatedly about the conduct and standing of Mr. Ensign, a Nevada Republican.

Oh. Well, maybe McConnell was outraged that fellow-senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) was the chief negotiator when Ensign was trying to arrange a payoff with his ex-employee-mistress-employee-friend -- after all, Coburn is supposed to represent "Oklahoma values" (I know, because I read that on his Senate website). But apparently McConnell wasn't asked about that.

Maybe he'll have a better response to this:

The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide, current and former officials said Friday.  [...]

Officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined comment on the matter. But law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the F.B.I. was likely to open a preliminary investigation into the new accusations to determine whether a full investigation was warranted.

If the Justice Department decides to move ahead — violating the one-year lobbying ban and failure to register as a lobbyist are criminal offenses — it would most likely take precedence over any inquiry by the Senate committee, officials said.


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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 07:00 PM PDT.

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