Coburn turns over 1,200 pages of documents related to Ensign

Sen. Tom Coburn has given more than 1,200 pages of documents to the Department of Justice to aid its corruption investigation of Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.).

Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, shared the material in response to request for information from prosecutors. He did not receive a subpoena.

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The documents include almost every piece of e-mail correspondence that mentioned Ensign over a span of several months, including news articles that discussed the two lawmakers, said an aide to Coburn.

“He wanted to err on the side of full disclosure,” said Coburn spokesman John Hart.

“He was asked to send over information related to the matter and has done so,” said Hart. “He said he would gladly comply with any official inquiry and that’s what he’s doing.”

Coburn has also said he would be willing to let federal prosecutors interview him. They have not made a request thus far.

Federal officials have told Coburn that he is not a focus of the investigation.

The Department of Justice is investigating political favors Ensign may have done for Douglas Hampton, a former aide and close friend.

Hampton left Ensign’s staff after they had a falling out over an affair between the senator and Hampton’s wife, Cynthia. Mrs. Hampton was a campaign aide to Ensign.

Federal officials are investigating whether Ensign violated the law by doing several favors for Hampton after he resigned.

Coburn shared a Capitol Hill townhouse with Ensign and several other lawmakers at the time. Coburn said he was aware of the affair and tried to persuade Ensign to drop it.

Coburn also reportedly acted as an intermediary between Ensign and the Hamptons in discussions over a financial settlement.

Hampton told a radio interviewer that Coburn had encouraged Ensign to pay Hampton and his wife enough money so they could pay off their mortgage and move away.

Coburn, however, has denied that he was significantly involved in talks between Ensign and Hampton over compensation.

After Hampton left Ensign’s payroll, Ensign found him a job with a political consulting firm and referred several campaign donors as potential clients.

Ensign’s parents also made a $96,000 payment to the Hamptons.

Federal investigators are looking at whether Ensign broke corruption laws by doing favors for Hampton’s lobbying clients.

Ensign has argued the clients were constituents and the business was legitimate.

“I have worked on these Nevada issues with these Nevada companies for years, long before Doug Hampton left my office,” Ensign said in a statement to the New York Times last year.


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