Former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum had a bit part in Washington’s latest sex soap opera, warning Sen. John Ensign (R.,Nev.) that the latter was about to get outed for having an affair with a staffer’s wife, according to the Senate Ethics Committee.
Santorum is not accused of any wrongdoing, but Ensign, who resigned abruptly from the Senate May 3, faces possible criminal charges for paying off the aide with cash and lobbying work to cover up the affair and obstructing the Ethics Committee’s investigation. It referred the case to the Justice Department.
Ensign had an affair with Cynthia Hampton, who had been his campaign treasurer and the wife of Doug Hampton, the senator’s co-chief of staff.
Among many juicy tidbits in the committee report was this about Santorum, on page 45:
After Senator Ensign refused the revised settlement offer, Mr. Hampton decided to take the matter to the media. Mr. Hampton wrote a letter to Megyn Kelly at Fox News on June 11, 2009 in which he disclosed the affair and sought a meeting with the television station. On June 15, 2009, Mr. Hampton forwarded a copy of the letter in an email to former Senator Rick Santorum, and asked Senator Santorum for help with the matter. Senator Santorum forwarded Mr. Hampton s email and the letter to Senator Ensign at his Gmail address that evening at approximately 10:20 p.m.
Senator Ensign immediately called an emergency staff meeting in the late evening ofJune 15, 2009 that lasted until approximately 3:00 a.m. on June 16, 2009. During that staff meeting, Senator Ensign disclosed the affair, and also disclosed that he had made a severance payment to the Hamptons. Senator Ensign stated that he would be making a public statement the next day in Las Vegas regarding the affair.
That’s the only Santorum-related reference, but here is a link to the full Ethics Committee report if you’re interested in some wild reading.
Santorum is exploring a campaign for the Republican nomination for president, and has traveled more to the early states with caucuses and primaries – Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina – than any other potential contender in the field.