Ethics Committee Admonishes Sen. Coburn Over Contact With Ex-Ensign Aide

The Senate Ethics Committee admonished Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on Friday for improper contact with former Sen. John Ensign aide Doug Hampton during the year long period he was banned from lobbying the Senate after leaving his job.

The Committee said Coburn met with Hampton on official business “even though you had reason to know that he was legally prohibited from requesting or participating in such a meeting.”

Hampton was federally charged with violating the “cooling off” law last year and recently reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, though the details of the agreement have not emerged. The Senate Ethics Committee said Coburn had not committed actionable violations of federal law but said he failed to live up to the higher standards expected of members of the Senate.