The husband of John Ensign’s ex-mistress has accused the Republican senator of sexual harassment and wrongful termination—but there can be no legal case unless Cindy Hampton herself accuses Ensign of unwanted advances or creating a hostile work environment, experts tell Politico. Thus far, she’s the only one of the three who’s kept quiet. “The harassment claim has to come from the person harassed,” notes a lawyer.
How a lawsuit might go forward is unclear, since the scandal raises an unusually wide range of concerns, from sexual to financial. Meanwhile, an ethics advocacy group says that, even without a legal complaint, there’s enough to justify an investigation by the Federal Election Commission, the Justice Department, and the Senate Ethics Committee over nearly $100,000 given by Ensign’s parents to Cindy Hampton’s family.