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

(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.

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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. (Read more John Ensign stories.)

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