"After the January 2008 incident, he was told to leave the office pending the court's determination of what happened," DiGrado said in an emailed response to questions from ABC News.
DiGrado said that after Furer was sentenced, Vitter imposed "further significant disciplinary action" in consultation with the congressional employment legal office, though he would not elaborate on what that entailed. He said the senator hired Furer because of the aide's military service during the first Gulf War.
Furer's presence on Vitter's staff is just the latest instance in which the senator's publicly stated views on women's issues appear to clash with his actions. In 2007, Vitter issued a public apology after acknowledging being a client of the so-called D.C. Madam. The 2008 allegations against Vitter's longtime aide are described in chilling detail in court papers.
The victim, Nicolia Demopoulos, 27, declined to be interviewed. But a police report, photos submitted to the court, and charging documents all shed light on the alleged attack.
After drinking at a restaurant, the two returned to Furer's Capitol Hill apartment, the report says. Furer "would not let her leave." He "pulled on her coat, which caused it to rip," then "pulled out a knife and stabbed [her] in the hand," the police report says.
Charging documents allege that Furer became angry when he found phone numbers for other men in her Blackberry. He smashed her phone when she tried to call 911, the records say, and he shoved her to the floor when she tried to leave, then held his hand over her mouth and threw her on a bed.
Demopoulos told police Furer "uttered the words to her, 'Do you want to get serious.'" Then, the arrest warrant states, Furer "grabbed an unknown object and held it under her neck. The suspect asked the complainant, 'Do you want to die?' The complainant replies and she stated, 'No, I don't want to die.'"
After a 90 minute standoff, Furer made her promise not to call police, and then allowed her to leave. She fled to a friend's house, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. A slash on her chin took eight stitches to close, the police report says.
Furer eventually pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges, including threatening harm and destruction of property. The assault and weapons charges were dismissed. He was sentenced to 180 days confinement, two years of supervised probation, 40 hours of community service, and treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. After getting a harsh warning from Superior Court Judge Lee Satterfield, his jail term was suspended.
Thomas J. Kelly, Jr., of the white shoe D.C. law firm Venable LLP represented Furer. In an interview with ABC News Wednesday, Kelly said he could not recall whether Sen. Vitter was involved in connecting Furer with representation from Venable for the case. Kelly, who is described on the firm web site as "a seasoned white collar criminal defense and trial lawyer," said Furer paid for his representation.
"I can't talk about how I got hired," Kelly said. "I usually keep that confidential."
In a response to emailed questions, Vitter's office said the senator did not help Furer select or pay for a lawyer.