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National Briefing / Nevada

Ensign deal was reportedly sought

October 02, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Sen. John Ensign's former mistress and her husband sought an $8.5-million settlement from him before the affair became public, the New York Times reported.

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a friend of Ensign, acted as an intermediary in negotiations last spring with the lawyer for Cynthia and Doug Hampton before Ensign publicly admitted the relationship with Mrs. Hampton, the Times said. Coburn reportedly called $8.5 million "ridiculous."

The Times said the lawyer then asked for $2 million, which Ensign rejected.

Both Hamptons worked for Ensign while the affair was taking place. At some point, Ensign helped Doug Hampton get a job as a lobbyist.

The Times story raised questions about whether Doug Hampton lobbied Ensign. Federal law imposes a one-year ban on former congressional aides lobbying their ex-bosses or office colleagues.

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