Fed Drops Ensign Probe, But Ethics Investigation ‘Ongoing’
December 2, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—The hypocritical family values lawmaker Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), received something of an early Christmas gift wrapped in an official letter from the Department of Justice, informing the scandal plagued Senator that the federal investigation into his shady lobbying activities has been closed without any charges. This news follows the decision by the Federal Elections Commission to also close its probe of Ensign’s payoffs made by his parents to the family of his former mistress Cynthia Hampton, who also hapens to be the wife of his ex-best friend and aide Doug Hampton. It apparently isn’t a crime to be sleazy. But although federal authorities are now off his back, Ensign is not completely off the hook yet. The Senate is still conducting an investigation of Ensign’s scandalous activities that also may have involved improperly steering clients to Doug Hampton, after Ensign found a job for Hampton as a lobbyist.
Ensign’s attorney released a statement announcing the end of the federal probe into his sleazy activities.
The Las Vegas Sun writes:
“The Department of Justice has informed us that Senator Ensign is no longer a target of its investigation and that it has no plans to bring any charges against him on this matter,” lawyers said in statement.”
“This is the second recent reprieve for Ensign, with the Federal Election Commission deciding last month not to pursue a campaign finance complaint against the senator.”
“That leaves only the Senate Ethics Committee investigation into Ensign. On Tuesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, the committee’s chair, said she would not comment on progress, but said the investigation “is ongoing.”
Besides the looming ethics investigation, Ensign is sure to face a primary challenge in 2012, leaving his future senatorial career in doubt. But, really anything could happen. Just look at Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), he was forced to admit to “sins” after it was discovered he was a frequent client of the DC Madam. But, he won his reelection bid by 20 points. Republican voters seem to look the other way, when it comes to sex scandals, as long as they are of the heterosexual variety, and the lawmaker is sufficiently right-wing.
But Ensign seems to have lost the backing of the Republican establishment, as damaged goods.
The key quote from the Las Vegas Sun piece: “This decision does not change the fact that John Ensign betrayed his own family, lied to his employees and ruined the lives of those he called friends,” said a Nevada Democratic source who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the still-pending Senate investigation. “Ensign may have stopped the bleeding for now, but his self-inflicted wounds are still festering and remain far from healed. If anything, this only opens the door to swift punishment by the Senate Ethics Committee.”‘