Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, is not commenting on the resignation of Sen. John Ensign, the Nevada Republican who is stepping down next month amid an ethics committee investigation. Ensign used to live with Coburn and other lawmakers in a Capitol Hill townhouse that _ at least at one time _ was owned by a religious organization. While living there, Ensign had an affair with the wife of his top aide, Doug Hampton. Coburn said he told Ensign to end the affair. Coburn became more entangled in the mess when he talked to an attorney for Hampton about a possible legal settlement.
Hampton left Ensign’s office and, the New York Times revealed, got lobbying work with Ensign’s help _ which prompted a Justice Department investigation as well as a probe by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Coburn last year turned over material to the U.S. Department of Justice, which ultimately declined to prosecute Ensign.