Pundit and lobbyist Michelle Laxalt gave an impassioned defense of then-Sen. Pete Domenici on CNN in 2007, saying he was a man of "integrity" who was "supporting no fewer than eight children." That curiously inexact reference to the number of his kids makes sense now that Domenici has admitted to secretly fathering a son with Laxalt in the 1980s.

Domenici admitted on Tuesday that Adam Paul Laxalt, a lawyer in Nevada, is actually his son. Michelle Laxalt is the daughter of former Sen. Paul Laxalt, and her family connections served her quite well. She was named one of the top 50 lobbyists in D.C. by the Washingtonian in 1993 and 1998. But she had a clear rule: No lobbying dad. ''The first thing I do is make it clear to clients that I will not lobby my father at any time," Laxalt told U.S. News & World Report on November 26, 1984. "I write a clause that specifies this — so they'll know I'm not kidding." We don't know what the rules were about lobbying her son's dad, though Domenici sat on some pretty important committees: Appropriations, Energy, Homeland Security. Laxalt and Domenici were rarely mentioned in news reports going back to the 1980s, according to a Lexis Nexis scan. Politico describes her as "one of the most prominent and effective government relations practitioners in the nation's capital." In the last decade, she's frequently appeared as a conservative pundit on all three major cable news channels, like here in 2008, when she talked about GOP concerns over Sarah Palin on CNN.

The one time Laxalt talked about Domenici on TV, what she said was pretty revealing. In the middle of the controversy over the Bush administration firing eight U.S. attorneys for political reasons, David Iglesias, a former U.S. attorney for the District of New Mexico, accused Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson of getting him fired with "inappropriate phone calls." From the CNN transcript for the March 29, 2007 edition of Larry King Live:

MICHELLE LAXALT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, first, I couldn't disagree with [Iglesias] when he levels accusations at the senator who put his name forward to become a U.S. attorney, which is not an elected position. That is an appointed position and those names are submitted to the White House by the delegations of the party who are in power...

Senator Pete Domenici is a totally honorable man and anyone who knows him knows that he...

KING: But...

LAXALT: ... he never says good-bye on a phone call.

KING: But he says that --

LAXALT: I've only known him 30 years.

KING: I know. But he says they were investigating a Democrat, they hadn't indicted him, they asked to indicted him, they didn't indict him and now they indict him.

LAXALT: Meaning?

KING: Doesn't that look a little funny?

If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, it might be a duck?

LAXALT: I don't think so. I think when you're -- when you're attacking the integrity of someone who has been in public service for his entire lifetime, at great sacrifice, supporting no fewer than eight children and with the many sacrifices and the many contributions Senator Domenici has made, not only to the country, but to New...

KING: But it...

LAXALT: ... the state of New Mexico, I don't think one political appointee who has a chip on his shoulder because he was asked to leave a position that he wasn't offered permanency in to begin with, should ever...

KING: All right...

LAXALT: ... take a crack at the integrity of Pete Domenici...

KING: Arianna, do you question the fact that that this man that he just told us he was investigating but had not indicted is suddenly indicted after he leaves?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, FOUNDER/EDITOR, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM: Well, first of all, in answer to Michelle, nobody is questioning Pete Domenici as a father or his contributions to New Mexico.