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Ethics Committee: Sen. Ensign violated federal, civil and criminal laws

Former Senator John Ensign (R-NV) who recently resigned on May 2, 2011 just hours before the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics (SSCE) was to proceed with public hearings, today referred the case along with their findings to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

Former Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Both agencies had previously given Ensign a pass on his ethics problems, payoffs to Cindy and Doug Hampton, and Ensign’s involvement in the breaking of Federal Lobby Laws.

Ensign in June 2009 had admitted (video on left) to having an affair with Cindy Hampton who worked for the Senator along with her husband Doug Hampton. John Ensign and Doug Hampton were best of friends for more than 20 years.

Or as Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun likes to puts it, “he [Ensign] slept with his best friend’s wife who was also his wife’s best friend.”

The former Senator had also admitted that his parents “gifted” $96,000 dollars to the Hampton’s and said it was not hush money or a severance to keep them quiet, merely a "gift".

Ensign was also being investigated for helping Doug Hampton land a lobby job which requires a one year waiting period before former staff members can lobby. Doug Hampton ended up lobbying the Senator before the required waiting period and he has now been charged for breaking those lobby laws.

The SSCE report is 75 pages long, and it certainly shows cause for further investigations by the DoJ and the FEC. Here is a condensed summer of their findings, you can read the entire report by clicking on the above link.

Summary of Findings

"Based on the record in this matter, the Special Counsel respectfully submits that there is substantial credible evidence that provides substantial cause to conclude that Senator Ensign violated Senate Rules and federal civil and criminal laws, and engaged in improper conduct reflecting upon the Senate, thus betraying the public trust and bringing discredit to the Senate."

It first appeared that former Senator Ensign would get off free of any and all charges after he resigned, and that the public would never learn the truth, but with the release of the Ethics Committee report the public can read their findings. And if the DoJ and the FEC decide this time to act on the findings, the people may see justice.





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