Vitter apologizes

The Louisiana Republican admits that his phone number is in records just released by the "D.C. Madam."

By Alex Koppelman
July 10, 2007 5:13PM (UTC)
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That didn't take long: The very same night that Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the "D.C. Madam," released her phone records, a member of Congress stepped forward to admit that his number was in the file.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., released a statement Monday night, apologizing and saying,


"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

Palfrey had been ordered by a federal judge not to release her phone logs, but that order was rescinded last week and the files were posted on her Web site Monday night. The initial frenzy over the records, sparked when Palfrey first announced her plans to release the records to ABC News earlier this year, has cooled somewhat, as the only other former client to be ensnared in the phone records release is former State Department official Randall Tobias. Harlan Ullman, a columnist for the conservative Washington Times and the man who developed the "shock and awe" military doctrine used at the beginning of the Iraq war, was directly accused by Palfrey.

Still, that doesn't mean there weren't a whole lot of bleary-eyed reporters trying to hit refresh on Palfrey's Web site, which was up and down Monday night, and then hoping that one of thousands of reverse-number searches would come up with some small tidbit of news. We count ourselves among that group, but all we've been able to find so far is the number for the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a Florida number for an apparent relation of Palfrey's.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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