Senate ethics committee: John Ensign "violated law," sends findings to Justice Dep't.


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No surprise here, after especially after Rachel Maddow's reporting. Via WaPo:

The Senate ethics committee has made a criminal referral to the Justice Department in its investigation into former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)

We had reason to believe Senator Ensign violated laws,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairman of the panel, said Thursday afternoon. [...]

Since June 2009, the committee has been reviewing Ensign’s affair with Cynthia Hampton and his decision to dismiss her and Doug Hampton, firings that came in the spring of 2008. Ensign’s parents then gave $96,000 to the Hamptons in gift money, and the senator also helped Doug Hampton land lobbying work with his political supporters back in Las Vegas.


"Senator Ensign told Ms. Hampton that he wanted to marry her while they attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington."

"During a Congressional Delegation trip to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2/7/08 to 2/12/08 Sen. Ensign repeatedly contacted Ms. Hampton."

Ensign deleted his Gmail account (which he used instead of Senate email) after he was instructed to retain all relevant materials.

Senator Ensign also created email accounts with fictitious names in order to email Ms. Hampton, including"

"Mr. Coe considered Senator Coburn part of the team to work out the financial piece of the issues [for Ensign]." #coburnhasproblems

Page 37-8 of the report details how Sen. Coburn tried to negotiate a $2.8M payment to Ensign's mistress and her husband to keep them quiet.

Via The Maddow Blog:

Special Counsel's report to the ethics committee
The committee's referall to the Justice Department

The committee's report to the FEC

One quote:

According to Ms. Hampton, Senator Ensign just [wouldn t] stop, and kept calling and calling, and would never take no for an answer.

My post about Rick Santorum's involvement here.

Via the L.A. Times:

The report claims Ensign, in the fallout from a extramarital affair, made false or misleading statements to the Federal Election Commission, conspired to help an aide violate the law, accepting illegal campaign contributions, and "engaged in potential obstruction of justice."