Ensign Inquiry Will Go On

Senate ethics panel makes unusual move to continue after resignation
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2011 6:39 AM CDT
Sen. Barbara Boxer is the chair of the Senate panel investigating John Ensign.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) John Ensign may have quit to avoid further scrutiny of his peccadilloes, but the Senate ethics investigation into his affair with a campaign staffer will go on, reports the Washington Post. “Senator Ensign has made the appropriate decision," said a statement from Sens. Barbara Boxer and Johnny Isakson, who are leading the inquiry. However, “The Senate Ethics Committee has worked diligently for 22 months on this matter and will complete its work in a timely fashion." Ensign will step down May 3, notes Politico, a day before he was to be deposed.

The ethics panel loses jurisdiction when Ensign leaves office, notes the Post, but could still release a report of its findings—precisely the sort of further embarrassment Ensign was seeking to avoid. It could also refer the case to the Justice Department, which has been conducting a criminal investigation. Click for more on Ensign's career and scandal.

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