The drip-drip of the John Ensign sex scandal continues…
Today the Washington Post editorial board calls, in its well-mannered way, for investigations by the Senate Ethnics committee and the Federal Election Committee into the payments, totaling $96,000, that, according to a statement from Ensign’s lawyer, were made last year by the Nevada senator’s parents to the Hampton family.
Write Fred Hiatt and Co., in something close to high-dudgeon:
Mr. Ensign should realize that no one is being served by the lingering and troubling questions surrounding his sordid affair. He should welcome any inquiry that will help put them to rest.
Had Ensign paid the Hamptons directly when Cindy Hampton left his campaign commitee, he might have criminally violated campaign fiance rules. By bringing in his parents, Ensign may have gotten around the problem — at the cost of extreme personal humiliation. But if his parents didn’t have an existing relationship with the Hamptons, the IRS might nonetheless be interested, some experts have said.
The Post thinks the Senate Ethics committee, in particular, might be interested in whether the senator committed sexual harrassment, given that Cindy Hampton worked for him, and he fired her. There’s also the issue of the hiring by the National Republican Senatorial Committee of the Hampton’s son, Brandon, while the affair was going on.
Probably not too many Nevadans read the Washington Post editorial page. Still, anything keeping Ensign in the news right now can hardly be a good thing for the embattled lothario.