Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt reveled in Sen. David Vitter’s admission of a “very serious sin” involving an escort service and said Wednesday he’s got leads on embarrassing sexual activities involving other members of Congress.
Vitter, R-La., issued the public statement Monday after Flynt’s magazine contacted him and said phone records linked him to a Washington, D.C., service that federal prosecutors say was a prostitution ring.
Flynt said he was indignant over what he called hypocrisy represented by Vitter, 46, a social conservative.
“I don’t want a man like that legislating for me, especially in the areas of morality,” he said.
Flynt has offered to pay $1 million to anyone who can show he or she had a sexual encounter with a member of Congress or a high-ranking government official. He said the offer has produced promising tips.
“We’ve got 20-some investigations that all look good,” Flynt said during a news conference at his Beverly Hills office.
“We have got some high-ranking Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and the House,” he told reporters. “If I get just a couple of those phonies out of there, maybe it will be a step forward.”
Flynt provided no names or details about the investigations. His comments conflicted with a press release issued by the magazine that put the number of investigations at “several.”
Vitter, meanwhile, stayed out of sight Wednesday. For a second straight day, the Louisiana Republican was a no-show in the Capitol, missing votes on Iraq policy and leaving colleagues unsure of his whereabouts or his return.
On Tuesday he missed a committee hearing and a lunch for GOP senators attended by Vice President Dick Cheney.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone all week,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
A knock went unanswered at Vitter’s home in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb, and telephone calls and an e-mail seeking comment were not returned.
Flynt said he was outraged over years of government investigations into his own life, and time he had spent in prison.
“This is payback time,” he said. “I’m not exposing anyone’s sex life. … I’m only exposing the hypocrisy.”
Associated Press writers Charles Babington in Washington, Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans and Doug Simpson in Baton Rouge contributed to this report.