July 13th, 2007
01:52 PM ET
11 years ago

Vitter to be back in Senate next week, senator says

Vitter is expected to return to the Senate next week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana - who has not been seen on Capitol Hill since allegations were raised Monday he used a D.C. prostitution service - will return to the Senate next week, just in time for the first scheduled vote of the week on Tuesday, according to Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina., who has exchanged e-mails with Vitter.

"Obviously, he has a whole lot of remorse and wants to put this behind him. He seems to be handling it in a very responsible way. He is saying he was wrong. He made terrible mistakes. He is not trying to diminish the problem," said DeMint who is the first person CNN has spoken to who has communicated directly with Vitter since the scandal broke.

Vitter admitted Monday that his telephone number turned up in the phone records of an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the woman dubbed the “D.C. Madam." The records date from before he won his Senate seat in 2004.

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said in a statement given to reporters Monday night. "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling."

DeMint said there are no indications that Vitter, a first-term senator who is married with children, will leave the Senate.

"He'll be back next week," said DeMint who is close with Vitter.

DeMint said he doesn't know whether or Vitter plans a news conference or any other public statement that would go beyond a short written statement he issued earlier this week in which he acknowledged, "a very serious sin in my past."

"I can't say what he's going to do. But he seems to want to address it head on and not want to hide from the mistakes that he's made. He's not trying to cover it up. This is something he'd gotten out with his wife and family long before just none of the rest of us knew about it. I look forward to him just trying to do everything he can so he can go on," DeMint said.

DeMint said he has not discussed the details of the allegations against Vitter. When he returns, Vitter won't be the only senator who has a "moral disaster" in his past," DeMint said.

"From what I've heard from other senators is they're very anxious to help him get through this and again no one is trying to diminish that this is a huge moral failing that reflects poorly on the whole body whenever that happens. For that, I know he's sorry.

"But it's my hope he can work through this. Keep a low profile for a while. But there are many senators out there on the Senate floor who have had moral disasters in their past that have weathered it and been here for decades. And we might want to remember some of those," he said.

- CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett

Filed under: D.C. Madam • David Vitter
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Mac, Quincy, IL

    Clinton commited immoral acts against the country, his family, and commited the felonius act of perjury to try and save his own sorry ass. He was, is and always will be a liar. Vitter did not commit a felony, probably a misdemeanor, but also committed various immoral, un-ethical acts himself. It doesn't make a bit of difference what political party you represent or follow. These are viloations against ones own morally bankrupt soul, ethical and legal violations against the country and it's citizens who have put their trust in their leaders. It is sad for this country, and our governing process, this is nothing to re-joice about. Vitter and those like him should do the right thing and step down from office. But their own egos entrap them into believing that their power is deserved, not earned. my 2cents...

    July 13, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Cindy

    He is going to be arrested like the madame he saw for prostitution acts? After all she was arrested for the crime so should he. Plus he should be fired from his job. He is the one who was leading the "family values" lol. So much for his "family values",

    July 13, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Jack, Boston, MA

    I am really getting tired of the constant hypocrisy by liberals..everyone screams "he should resign", and while I don't condone his actions, and somewhat agree he should...where is that same outcry for the democrat from LA that got caught w/ $90K in his freezer that gets next to no coverage in the national media; is he still serving in congress? Get off your high horse people!!

    July 13, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Brad, Columbia, SC

    "Do as I say, not as I do" seems to be a message we receive from the Republican Party rather often.

    "Protect the sanctity of marriage. Don't cheat. Don't lie. Be moral. Respect the rule of law. Do the crime, serve the time. Show personal responsibility. Control government spending. Keep government out of our lives. Unite, don't divide."

    And yet, as the last 6+ years have demonstrated...

    I won't for a second insist that Demoncrats aren't often guilty of many of the same offenses as Republicans. But at least you don't hear the constant posturing out of the Dems. I can't abide a hypocrite.

    July 13, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Mary Lucina, Buffalo NY

    "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

    July 13, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. joey smith, alexandria VA

    Hey Jack,

    Congressional Democrats kicked Jefferson off his committees, but until conviction no one has the power to force him to resign, and he's fighting the charges. Vitter already admitted to committing the crimes – in fact, did it pre-emptively – so calling for his resignation is fair. The Senate could even take it up and kick him out, because he has admitted committing a crime. Apples and oranges, baby!

    And Mrs. Harrison, politicians will continue playing the family values card as long as people like you keep buying it. If you expect them to oversee government services and set policies, then you'll have a realistic view of politicians. When you expect them to be better than you, you will always be disappointed. And I don't know about you, but I never had sex standing up – I was afraid the neighbors might think I was dancing.

    July 13, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Wow! Talk about swarming cockroaches.

    July 13, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. dejah, cambridge, ma

    Jack in Boston, why is it you conservatives are so hypocritical when it comes to excusing your boys for the same thing you wanted to crucify Bill Clinton?

    when you all can clean your own houses, maybe then you'll have something to say about morality. Until then, keep it zipped and tell your corrupted GOP representatives to keep it in their pants. Or, better yet, elect people who don't feel the need to stick their religion and their morality down everybody else's throat and then get caught cheating. (As so many GOPers are doing.)

    July 13, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Quit making sorry excuses for this scumbag.

    No Congressman with WIFE and KIDS should be allowed to represent the people when they are busy hiring hookers while in DC.

    FIRE THIS JERK NOW...Foley was made to quit, why not this idiot?

    July 13, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Michael, Hawthorn Woods, Illinois

    Seems to me that the current political pattern in this country shows that the more conservative you claim to be and the more "family values focus" you claim to have, the more likely you are to be involved in the exact behavior your trying to stop. The old adage "he who smelt it, dealt it" seems to be in order, or maybe "do as I say, not as I do". Hypocrisy is the name of the game by the religious right that has hijacked our country. I will no longer vote Republican because the party has decided to "go to the dark side" just so they can retain power .

    July 13, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Brendose, Oceanside, CA

    we have so many lame ducks in Congress, even Cheney could hit them with a shotgun! And then, of course, say it was a mistake.........

    July 13, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Steve, Lyons, Colorado

    Let's see if Mac has anything interesting to say:

    >I am really getting tired of the constant hypocrisy by >liberals..

    Okay. Zero substance there. Vitter is a HIGHLIGHT of hypocrisy, as was Hastert's refusal to prosecute our favorite page-bopping homosexual criminal.

    >everyone screams “he should resign”, and while I don’t >condone his actions, and somewhat agree he should…>where is that same outcry for the democrat from LA >that got caught w/ $90K in his freezer that gets next >to no coverage in the national media; is he still serving >in congress? Get off your high horse people!!

    No high horse here. That jerk should resign as well.

    But here's what's different about Vitter: the jerk spent years pretending he was a "family values" man. He's a liar. He screwed around on his wife while presenting a lying face to America of "family values" when, actually, he knows not the meaning of the phrase.

    The Democrat is just a sleazeball thief. Get him the hell out of Congress. Then get rid of Vitter.

    Vitter violated his own loudly-stated values, and then has the nerve to pretend it was a "mistake." The only mistake Vitter gives a crap about is, Flynt exposed him, and now he has to explain himself.

    July 13, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Yes exactly...ALL scumbag crooks, pediphiles, criminals, prostitution solicitators, drug dealers, and people taking bribes should be thrown out and fired from the government. END OF STORY.

    No liberals are making excuses here for Jefferson. Pelosi already has repeatedly called for him to leave.

    July 13, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Mrs. America

    What he does behind closed doors is his business, as far as I'm concerned. What he does as a public official, preaching from the figurative mount in his case, and then, after getting caught, begging out of "a sin" is blatant hypocrisy. That is the moral crime he committed against society. He should remain in office and parade himself around in public so people can look long and hard at the guy who made Larry Flynt a hero.

    July 13, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. outraged political activist

    What is all this perjury talk. Cliton lied about having legal sex with an assistant. Who wouldn't. Name one president who hasn't lied..... Dont worry i'll wait. All he lied about was his sex life not something that has caused the death of over 3000 soilders. If people want to talk about perjury lets find those WMD because we are 100% sure they exist.

    July 13, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Steven Grumman, Tucson, AZ

    Can no one have a private life? Let's face it, Vitter is human! While I'm not a Republican, this is not something that ought to cause him anything other than the problems he may encounter within his family.

    The press needs to put this behind itself, too.

    July 14, 2007 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  17. Chris, Metairie Louisiana

    To the voters in the Parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, and the rest Statewide...please call for Vitter's resignation. Let us show the world that we won't accept a hypocrite as our voice in Washington.


    July 14, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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