The Senate Ethics Committee report on John Ensign was released today and it’s brutal. It is crystal clear why he had to resign – the report recommends Ensign be expelled from the Senate. Here’s a quote from the report:
“I know exactly where you are. I know exactly what you are doing. Put your pants on and go home.”
— “Spiritual adviser” Tim Coe to Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), quoted in the Senate Ethics Committee report which accused Ensign of breaking laws trying to cover up his extramarital affair.
The report is even more nausea-inducing than the above quote implies. Talking Points Memo summarizes the findings.
There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Conspired to Violate, and Aided and Abetted Mr. Hampton’s Violations of The Post Employment Contact Ban, 18 U.S.C. § 207.
There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign and His Parents Made False or Misleading Statements to the Federal Election Commission Regarding the $96,000 Payment to the Hamptons.
There is Substantial Credible Evidence That a Portion of the $96,000 Payment Constituted an Unlawful and Unreported Campaign Contribution and Violated Federal Law and a Senate Rule Prohibiting Unofficial Office Accounts
There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Permitted Spoliation of Documents and Engaged in Potential Obstruction of Justice Violations.
There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Discriminated on the Basis of Sex and Engaged in Improper Conduct Reflecting Upon the Senate by Terminating the Hamptons Employment Because of the Affair.
There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Violated His Own Senate Office Policies.
One of the more disgusting things that sticks in my mind is that Ensign carried on the affair over Mrs. Hampton’s objections and then determined that the affair meant that neither Hampton could work for him anymore. This started to ball rolling on the cover-up. The report said that Ensign was both guilty of sexual harassment and gender discrimination as well as violating campaign finance rules, obstruction of justice and violating Senate rules.
Two people that should have to answer more uncomfortable questions: Rick Santorum (he alerted Ensign to the letter that Doug Hampton gave to Fox News) and Tom Coburn (who helped arrange the payment).
Newt Gingrich is a real piece of work. Check this out from a 1984 Mother Jones article about rising Republican star Newt Gingrich. This guy is running for president.
One former aide describes approaching a car with Gingrich’s daughters in hand, only to find the candidate with a woman, her head buried in his lap. The aide quickly turned and led the girls away. Another former friend maintains that Gingrich repeatedly made sexual advances to her when her husband was out of town. On one occasion, he visited under the guise of comforting her after the death of a relative, and instead tried to seduce her.
Check out how he treated his first wife after he decided she wasn’t a political asset any more. There’s more to the story than just serving her papers after her surgery for uterine cancer.
People in Carrollton were particularly incensed by the fact that Jackie was left in difficult financial straits during the separation, after her surgery. According to Lee Howell, friends in her congregation had to raise money to help her and the children make ends meet, and Jackie finally had to go to court for adequate support, before the divorce decree. In his financial statement, Gingrich reported providing only $400 a month, plus $40 in allowances for his daughters. He claimed not to be able to afford any more. But in citing his own expenses, Gingrich listed $400 just for “Food/dry cleaning, etc.”—for one person. The judge quickly ordered him to provide considerably more. When an article on the hearing appeared in the local paper, many in town were incensed. On election day, a few weeks later, Gingrich’s winning margin in Carroll County fell from 66 percent in 1978 to 51 percent.
I trust the words of one of Newt’s former friends:
“He’s probably one of the most dangerous people for the future of this country that you can possibly imagine. He’s Richard Nixon, glib. It doesn’t matter how much good I do the rest of my life, I can’t ever outweigh the evil that I’ve caused by helping him be elected to Congress.”