"Put Your Pants On And Go Home"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 12 2011 3:14 PM

"Put Your Pants On And Go Home"

All of your John Ensign questions are answered: Here's the entire preliminary report from the Senate select committee on Ethics, which drops only days after he resigned. An obvious highlight:

On February 16, 2008, two days after the intervention, Tim Coe received a call from Doug Hampton. Mr. Hampton was looking for the Senator to have him sign some documents for the NRSC, and saw his car and Ms. Hampton's car parked in a parking lot of a hotel close to their Summerlin neighborhood. Mr. Coe pleaded with him [Hampton] to go home. Mr. Coe called Senator Ensign and stated "I know exactly where you are. I know exactly what you are doing. Put your pants on and go home."

Senator Ensign initially said he would not leave the hotel room, telling Mr. Coe "I can't, I love her [Ms. Hampton]."

Senator Ensign ultimately agreed to leave the hotel. After he left the hotel, Senator Ensign told Mr. Coe that he wanted to marry Ms. Hampton.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a former Slate political reporter. 

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There's so much more.

Senator Ensign initiated the affair by contacting Ms. Hampton and asking her to meet with him. She asked Senator Ensign if he "lost [his] mind," and he replied "yes." Senator Ensign was very persistent and relentless in pursuing Ms. Hampton. According to Ms. Hampton, Senator Ensign "just [wouldn't] stop, and "kept calling and calling", and would "never take no for an answer. "

There are many details that look lousy for The Family. This is one of the more forehead-slap-inducing ones.

Senator Ensign told Ms. Hampton on more than one occasion that he wanted to marry her. Senator Ensign told Ms. Hampton that he wanted to marry her while they attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

Ensign is revealed as an inveterate liar.

On December 24,2007, the Hamptons went to the Ensigns home, and the four adults met in Senator Ensign s home office. Both Senator Ensign and Ms. Hampton stated that the affair would stop, and Senator Ensign wept and apologized. The Ensigns and Hamptons then had a meeting with their children. The families then celebrated Christmas together. According to Ms. Hampton, had Senator Ensign stopped pursuing her at that time, as he had committed to do before both families, the affair would have ended at that time.

In January 2008, Senator Ensign began texting Ms. Hampton again, and the affair resumed.

And of course:

Senator Ensign also created email accounts with fictitious names in order to email Ms. Hampton, including fredschwartz72@yahoo.com,mariaschwartz@yahoo.com, and
maryholland82@yahoo.com.    

That's all embarrassing; the new, fresh embarrassment comes for Tom Coburn and Rick Santorum, both of whom talked to Ensign about the affair, neither of whom ratted him out.

David Weigel is a former Slate political reporter. 

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