John Ensign Hit With Scathing Ethics Report

Senate panel refers case to Justice Department for investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2011 2:21 PM CDT
A 2010 file photo of then-Senator John Ensign of Nevada.   (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

(Newser) – Former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada broke federal law, made false statements to the FEC, and obstructed a Senate Ethics Committee's investigation into his conduct, the panel said today in a scathing report that sent the matter to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. The former GOP lawmaker "created a web of deceit that entangled and compromised numerous people," the committee said, adding that it had assembled enough evidence to warrant possible expulsion had Ensign not resigned.

Ensign quit his seat effective May 3, one day before he was to have testified under oath about an affair with the wife of a top aide, the aide's subsequent lobbying of Ensign's office, and a payment from Ensign's parents to the onetime aide's family. The committee also asked the FEC to conduct its own investigation. Salon has a breakdown of the report here.

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