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. Mike, Staatsburg, NY

    It's always the "holier than thou" types...

    July 13, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Kevin, San Antonio, TX

    Why is there no uproar to force this Senator to resign? Why is there no move to prosecute this Senator for solicitation of prostitution, especially considering that the federal government is going after the woman who facilitated sending him the prostitute?

    My guess is that the Republican Party doesn't want him to resign because they might lose the Senate seat (since Louisiana has a Democratic Governor). However, if this had been a Democratic Senator, you better believe they'd be screaming "family values."

    July 13, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Well at least the madam was a professional in this case. It could have been a lot worse, he could have gotten wrapped up with an intern...

    July 13, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Kathryn - Metairie, LA

    Vitter is nothing but a hypocrit and should be thrown out of office; the sooner, the better! Larry Flynt is going to produce more names of Republicans who have supposedly "repented"! LOL! Vitter is too unfit to serve as a public official.

    July 13, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Joey Smith, Alexandria VA

    Wherever he is, he's probably missing something near and dear to him.

    July 13, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    How does he know he was forgiven by God or for that matter his wife?

    July 13, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Dick Poff, Roanoke VA

    Please stop using the word "allegations" so loosely. Especially where the subject has "admitted" in the same piece.

    July 13, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. John Gaithersburg Maryland

    so we pay tax bill , vitter do sex and all american people , have to forget all the easy services he was using with "D.C. madam" services

    July 13, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Luis, Co, Denver

    I'm a Republican but not a religious conservative. I loved it when idiots like Haggard and Vitter get embarrassed. They tell everyone how to live their lives and they are a bunch of hypocrites.

    July 13, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    He's probably drunk and crying, but at least he isn't trolling for guys in a public restroom. I hope.

    July 13, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. xb250

    Sorry for his sin!? The moron should know that he has committed the same crime of prostitution that the madam is being charged with. Resign you lying SOB! Oh, and you have also have sinned.

    July 13, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. jack jett, bible belt texas

    Is hooking up with whores part of the family values that he wants so despartely to promote? This is why he is against gay people getting married?

    His wife bashed Hillary when she stood by Bill.

    Does republican hypocrisy ever stop?

    BTW, CNN owes Michael Moore a huge apology.

    Wolf Blitzer and CNN owes the country an apology for years of allowing neo cons not to answer the questions that are posed to them.

    David "John" Vitter should resign and offer an apology to all he has offended, starting with ME. Don't judge me when you are most likely bringing HIV home to your wife by being with multiple hookers.


    July 13, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Nancy C. Harrison, Metairie, Louisiana

    As a Louisiana resident, I voted for Mr. Vitter on the basis of his family value stance. Now it appears to have been all a lie. He is two-faced. I don't care what his sex life is about, but I do care about his being two-faced and playing on "family values" to get elected. Now I will have to serious consider his lies when he comes up for reelection. Just another lying Republican caught in the sexual trap. Shades of Livingston. When will they get smart enough not to use family values when they are doing the vertical mambo? Like I said, don't tell me you are a family values candidate when you are cheating on your wife with whores. How the Godly fall and when they do they fall with tragic consequences. I feel so sorry for Mr. Vitter's wife and family. They are being put through such misery by his commonness and his humanness and his lies. Perhaps it is time for him to fully acknowledge his two-faced stance and get back to work representing Louisiana in the Senate of the United States. Put a lock on his zipper and his lips. I am just plain fed up with lies and grandstanding. Find me an honest forthright politician.

    July 13, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Paco the mexican

    This hack was pretty adamant against amnesty. Looks like he has no problem getting one himself. Let's hope the people of Louisiana throw this bum out.

    July 13, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Chris, Pensacola FL

    No, he needs to leave the Senate. Lawbreakers cannot enact laws. I hope you all from LA oust him. If there was a Republican majority, the might try to slap him like they did Mr. Lott.

    This really does show that there is no difference in the two major parties and they both have the same goals. They ALL need to leave. Both the ones committing these crimes and their fellow brethren who help cover them up.

    July 13, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Steve Novak, Lyons, Colorado

    Vitter, get the hell out of the Senate. Lying sacks of crap, additionally hypocritical considering Vitter's B.S. "family values".

    Resign. Do the decent thing. Who gives a damn how much remorse he's showing? EVERYBODY shows remorse when he's caught.

    Maybe his god and wife forgave. No American should forgive a senator who lies about his morals and what other Americans should do. I'm far more ticked off at his hypocrisy than I am about the sex itself.

    July 13, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Kevin, San Antonio, TX

    Well, sex with an intern isn't illegal (though perjury was), but sex with a prostitute is illegal. Additionally, I'm sure it would be easier for my wife to forgive me for having sex with an intern than for having sex with a prostitute.

    I can't see any scenario where what Clinton did was "a lot worse" than what Vitter did. But then again, I'm not a Republican, so maybe that explains why I can't see it.

    July 13, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Chris, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Wasn't Senator Vitter one of the authors of the failed Marriage Ammendment? Who will protect the "sanctity" of the institution of Marriage from the likes of Senator Vitter? One man, one woman, several prostitutes? Hypocrites like him have no place in public office.

    July 13, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Will, Houston, TX

    If the madam is facing criminal charges, why isn't Mr. Vitter?

    July 13, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. M. Smith

    I'm glad Mr. Vitter will return to his job next week. We need more hypocrites in D.C.

    Nobody seems to write about the fact this man engaged in illegal activities for a period of over six years.

    Read the Times-Picayune on nola.com and you'll see more women coming forward.

    This was not "a sin." This was an illegal and immoral lifestyle by the man who proposes to legislate other people's lifestyles.

    July 13, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Chris, Merritt Island, FL

    How can he remain in the US Senate? Where is the ethics commitee? We cannot allow scofflaws to enact our laws. This has got to stop!

    July 13, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Joseph Baskerville; Baltimore, MD

    Is there such a thing as a non-serious sin?

    July 13, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. D.Levy Serroka Dallas Texas

    He needs to resign and if he doesn't the Senate should call for his resignation.

    He needs to be held accountable since he doesn't know how to "practice what he preaches". I am so tired of elected officials who speak morals but don't live it...

    July 13, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. MikeGainesville,FL

    The "religous right " has proven itself to be niether!!!

    July 13, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Los Angeles

    Matt...what are you doing comparing Bill Clinton to this? Yet again the Republicans want to talk about a president that has been out of office for 7 years, and be in denial.

    Yes Bill had CONSENSUAL sex with a normal woman which is 100% legal.

    Vitter had sex with a prostitue which is 100% ILLEGAL. In fact here in Los Angeles if you are the suspected customer of a prostitue, you get arrested and sent straight to jail.

    So why is Vitter not getting prosecuted? He already made an admission.

    I'm not sure this would constitute a felony. IF it is considered a felony he should not be permitted to remain in office.

    July 13, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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