Senate employees are normally prohibited from testifying outside of Congress. So why has the Senate this week approved a resolution allowing Ensign staffers to speak to the grand jury?
A more important question, I suppose, is how this story has attracted so little attention compared to the questionable ethics troubles of Democratic Sen. Charles Rangle?
From my perspective, Sen. Ensign has found himself between a rock and a hard place. If not for Sen. Rangle or any wounded democrat consuming so much of the daily news cycle, republicans would be screaming over the "resolution" and circling the wagons around Ensign whom, by the way, is in far more dire straits than his democratic colleague.
To the displeasure of contributors is the fact that Ensign's campaign is paying for legal bills incurred by several staffers speaking to the Senate ethics committee. Ensign has already admitted to having an affair with former campaign staffer, Cynthia Hampton, who is the wife of former Ensign Senate staffer Doug Hampton.
Soon after both Hampton's were forced out of the inner circle, Ensign's parents ambiguously presented the ousted couple with a check for $96,000. In addition to the 96K, Doug Hampton was awarded a lobbying job with Ensign's help prior to the one-year ban prohibiting such transitions from the public to private sectors. Here lies the Crux of what the DOJ and the ethics panel are investigating and whether Ensign broke Senate lobbying laws.
Tonight on The Rachel Maddow Show, guest host Chris Hayes reported that Ensign staffers have already testified that conversation about the ban took place within Ensign's office prior to Hampton assuming the lobbying post.
If republicans were hoping to ride the Charlie Rangle scandal into the mid-term elections, they may want to start formulating a PLAN B as soon as possible. This Ensign debacle seems as if it's being choreographed to unfold in unison with the Rangle situation.
I'm not trying to assert that any wagging of the dog is taking place on either side of the aisle. I'm just considering something that my grandfather frequently said about something that walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.....You know the rest.