The group, including Coburn, a well-known conservative, confronted Ensign and suggested that the Hamptons needed to be given financial assistance -- in the millions of dollars -- to pay off their $1 million-plus mortgage and move them to a new life away from Ensign.
Um, ain't that illegal? Or at least unethical? (Title revised: I guess it wouldn't technically be bribery for an official to buy someone's silence. But it sure would need answering for. On both Ensign's and Coburn's accounts.)
Update: A bit more detail:
In February, Hampton said, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and others at the Christian fellowship house where Ensign stays when in Washington confronted Ensign. The Nevada senator responded by writing a note of apology to Cynthia Hampton.
Doug Hampton said Coburn told Ensign he needed to pay off the mortgage on their $1.2 million Las Vegas home and move them to Colorado.
Update II: A Coburn spokesman denies without denying that the senator suggested a payoff.
Update III: Coburn now flatly denying the claims.
Update IV: Josh Marshall is wondering why this isn't a bigger story. That's what I was wondering yesterday.