Sen. John Ensign just wanted to keep the whole affair quiet. He gave thousands of dollars to his mistress to book hotels for their clandestine encounters. He bought cheap cellphones to communicate with her. He considered buying her Las Vegas home and tried to help her aggrieved husband’s lobbying career to make the whole matter go away. […] In one passage of the report, Ensign’s “spiritual adviser,” Tim Coe, called Ensign from outside of a hotel room where the senator was with Cindy Hampton and told him: “I know exactly where you are. I know exactly what you are doing. Put your pants on and go home.”John Ensign report filled with bombshells

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A sweaty, silver haired fox of a man paces in circles, tears streaming down his face. Then he lunges for the phone yet again, the fifth time tonight before… Okay, so that’s not in the report, but it could be.

Senator Ensign initially said he would not leave the hotel room, telling Mr. Coe I (can’t), I love her [Ms. Hampton]. … After he left the hotel, Senator Ensign told Mr. Coe that he wanted to marry Ms. Hampton. (verbatim text from the Report)

He “kept calling and calling” and he “would never take no for an answer.” He was “very persistent and relentless,” according to the details provided by Cindy Hampton.

The chummy, protective racket of the Senate Club has been smashed to smithereens. The Senate Ethics Committee leveled John Ensign in the report, while scooping up Sen. Tom Coburn in the pay off scheme.

Senator Coburn denied speaking with Michael Ensign after he was informed about the affair. Michael Ensign did not recall whether a call with Senator Coburn had taken place, but in response to a question from the Special Counsel, Michael Ensign allowed as how the call may have taken place. […] According to Mr. Coe, Senator Coburn was supportive of the plan to provide transition finances. Senator Coburn was
also supportive of putting the Hampton house on the market to see if it could get sold. Mr. Coe considered Senator Coburn part of the team to work out the financial piece of the issues.
(verbatim text from the Report)

Sen. John Ensign is actually lucky he resigned, because after the release of the report of “THE PRELIMINARY INQUIRY INTO THE MATTER OF SENATOR JOHN E. ENSIGN,” there is no doubt he would have suffered an even worse fate by being dragged through expulsion, the strongest action allowed of the Senate Ethics Committee, but which they never do.

However, this is the antithesis of the Starr Report, the pornographic volume that conservative religious Republican Ken Starr supervised and had written. A snippet from very early in the Report:

Special Counsel was careful not to seek intimate details of the extramarital affair referenced in the initial complaint. Whether a person is unfaithful to his or her spouse is generally the couple s own business to deal with, perhaps, in private communications with wronged spouses, marriage counselors, and others, and to surface the infidelity only if and when there is some public complaint or settlement made (such as in divorce proceedings or private resolutions). Reconciliation or resolution in private can protect the families involved and serve the greater good. This is no less true if one of the individuals is a public official. This case, however, involved two individuals whose employment and financial well being were dependent upon the Senator who employed them. This situation placed these individuals in a particularly vulnerable situation.

Further, although concealment is part of the anatomy of an affair, the concealment conduct in this case by Senator Ensign exceeded the normal acts of discretion and created a web of deceit that entangled and compromised numerous people, including a loyal Chief of Staff, was an abuse of the Senator’s power, and raised serious issues of violations within the Committee’s jurisdiction. Therefore, the details of the affair itself and the concealment activities are presented only to the extent relevant to establish the basis and context of the actions that led to the alleged violations.

The details are astounding and a hell of a read. Some highlights are below:

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

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

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.

Senator Ensign engaged in and continued an extramarital affair with Ms. Hampton, an employee of the Senator s campaign committee and his leadership PAC, even though it was unwelcome to her, and then determined that the affair made it impossible for either of the Hamptons to continue working for him.

According to Ms. Hampton, the affair caused her considerable emotional distress, she repeatedly sought to end it, and she repeatedly expressed concern to Senator Ensign about losing her job. Senator Ensign nonetheless persisted in seeking to continue the affair, initiating constant and even relentless contacts after promising to end the affair multiple times.

Senator Ensign had enormous power over the Hampton family at the time of the affair. He controlled the sole sources of income for both Mr. and Ms. Hampton, provided tuition and other financial assistance to the family, and had maintained a very close personal relationship with the family for years.

There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Violated His Own Senate Office Policies.

The Special Counsel Recommends Referrals to the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission

This brings the definition of torture to a whole new level.

Stay tuned for the Lifetime or HBO or “Stalked by a Senator” movie coming to a cable channel you surf.