Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Ensign: Assistance to Mistress's Husband Was Legal, Ethical

By Dan Eggen
Embattled Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R) said Tuesday that he broke no law in helping the husband of his former mistress get a lobbying job, saying he and his aides "were very careful in everything that we did."

"We absolutely did nothing except comply exactly with what the ethics laws and the ethics rules of the Senate state," Ensign told a CNN crew that trailed him as he walked from his office to the U.S. Capitol.

Ensign did not directly respond to a question about whether he is planning to resign. "I am focused on doing my work," he said.  "And I'm going to continue to focus on doing my work."

The remarks come in the wake of a lengthy New York Times report last week detailing how Ensign helped a former aide, Doug Hampton, get a lobbying job and then met with some of Hampton's clients. Hampton is barred under congressional ethics rules from lobbying his old boss for a year after leaving his job; federal law also requires lobbyists to register their activities, which Hampton did not do.

Ensign admitted to the affair earlier this year and disclosed payments totaling $96,000 to the Hampton family under the names of his parents. But the Times report revived calls for Ensign's resignation and has breathed new life into possible investigations of his activities.

Officials have said the Senate ethics committee is already investigating Ensign's dealings with Hampton. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, also sent a letter to the FBI Tuesday asking for a criminal investigation of Ensign for possibly violating lobbying and public corruption laws.

"To say that Sen. Ensign has shown himself unfit for office could be the understatement of the year," said Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director.

The group has also asked the Senate ethics committee to investigate the role played by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who served as an intermediary between Ensign and the Hamptons in discussing "a large financial settlement."

By Dan Eggen  |  October 6, 2009; 3:19 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Split Persists Over McChrystal Testimony
Next: Republicans to Baucus: We Need CBO, JCT Experts for Vote on Health Bill

Comments

Another liar,hypocrite and absolute sleaze bag!

Posted by: sjo123452000 | October 6, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It was also brilliant in that it avoided the appearance of impropriety, media attention, seeming hypocrisy on family values issues and was the Christian thing to do...

Actually not sleeping with your staffers wife would have avoided this whole torrid affair...pun intended.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | October 6, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

It seems Senator Ensign tells a lie whenever he speaks in his own defense. This article states that Senator Ensign "said Tuesday that he broke no law in helping the husband of his former mistress get a lobbying job, saying he and his aides 'were very careful in everything that we did.'

"'We absolutely did nothing except comply exactly with what the ethics laws and the ethics rules of the Senate state,' Ensign told a CNN crew that trailed him as he walked from his office to the U.S. Capitol."

The New York Times documented several instances in which Hampton lobbied both Ensign and Ensign's staff, beginning almost immediately after Ensign got him the lobbying job.

Posted by: esch | October 6, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Please keep in mind that John Ensign has a divine calling from "his" lord.

Posted by: whocares666 | October 6, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

sjo123452000 said it all, what sjo stated in his comment is absolutely correct in my opinion.

Posted by: sabestu | October 6, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Senator Ensign, please stop talking. You make yourself look real bad!

Posted by: meldupree | October 6, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Leave Senator Ensign alone. You bleeding hearts loved Clinton even though he was porking his intern. This was a consensual relationship with a co-worker. She and her husband saw this as an opportunity to make some quick cash. He didn't rape her. She gave it up willingly.

Posted by: dfrental | October 6, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

dfrental: Clinton was harrassed for years over his indescretion, and was impeached for it. Ensign needs to resign, or a vote taken to force him out. We are a nation of laws I remember people saying a few years ago. At the least a trial is in order and an independent prosecutor appointed. Grand jury testimony is required as well.

Posted by: waawaazaire | October 7, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Another politician out of touch with reality (OMG, getting his formr mistress' husband a job, please save me!) and what the average American expects from their reps.
Hello crooked pol!! - we DO NOT want to hear anything remotely associating our reps with Lobbyists!!
Hopefully he will resign, be censored or failing that, he will not be re-elected. If he does rear his crooked twisted head again, God help this country. (How insensitive this guy is, I hope he is not married, another wife dissed, degraded, embarrassed,another family denigrated) What is going on in Washington? Are you really all just disgusting crooks & selfish a-holes?

Posted by: melley19 | October 7, 2009 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Ensign is a slug. I don't give a hoot about his extra-marital situation; I care about the blatant hypocrisy, the arrogance and the refusal to resign. He is one of those who calls for the head of D's that "transgress", but like the boatload of R's that have had their ethical/moral problems, he simply refuses to do what he has demanded of others. Few are lower than hypocrites; the good people of Nevada should demand the ouster of this lowlife. The only real victims here are the citizens of Nevada.

Posted by: rfunke12 | October 7, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company