Collateral damage from a sex scandal linked to Florida congressman Tim Mahoney is spreading rapidly, and Republican leaders are hoping it could effect the presidential election, reports the Washington Post. GOP leaders are now demanding an investigation be broadened to include whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democrats knew about Mahoney's alleged payoff to a former mistress who worked for him. Meanwhile, the FBI has opened its own probe, according to ABC News.
Pelosi has called for a House ethics investigation, but there are already signs Mahoney could lose his seat over the scandal. Democrats would "gladly sacrifice" the unpopular Mahoney for the 20-plus seats they hope to pick up Nov. 4, writes Chris Cillizza in the Post. What they don't want just now is for the scandal to become a key topic of the national political dialogue, he notes.