U.S. Rep. Barney Frank admitted he helped his ex-lover land a lucrative post with Fannie Mae in the early 1990s while the Newton Democrat was on a committee that regulated the lending giant — but he called questions of a potential ethical conflict “nonsense.”

“If it is (a conflict of interest), then much of Washington is involved (in conflicts),” Frank told the Herald last night. “It is a common thing in Washington for members of Congress to have spouses work for the federal government. There is no rule against it at all.”

Frank was a junior member on the House Financial Services Committee at the time he helped Moses land the job and served on the committee, which regulates lenders, for the duration of their relationship. Frank wasn’t on the subcommittee that directly dealt with Fannie and Freddie Mac legislation but he once abstained from voting on a Republican amendment to limit executive compensation at the government-backed lenders.

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