John Ensign's Sordid Tale: Ethics Committee Report Alleges Senator Broke Law


Serious Legal Consequences for Ensign?

Ensign's spiritual adviser, Tim Coe, and others later confronted him at his Washington, D.C., home, according to the Senate report. He agreed to end the affair. But Hampton saw the senator's car and his wife's car in a hotel parking lot two days later. Hampton called Coe.

Coe called Ensign, telling the senator, "I know exactly where you are. I know exactly what you are doing. Put your pants on and go home.'"

Ensign initially said he would not leave the hotel room, telling Coe, "I can't, I love her," according to the report.

Behind such behavior lurk possibly serious legal consequences for Ensign, including allegations that he violated civil and criminal laws, made false or misleading statements, ordered shredded documents and the destruction of other evidence, and used hush money.

The report alleges that Coe and others asked Doug Hampton, "What is it going to take to get you out of town?"

Ensign told constituents to hire Hampton as a lobbyist, the report says.

After one "prominent Nevada constituent" declined to hire Hampton, Ensign told his chief of staff to "jack him up to high heaven'" and tell him he was "cut off" from Ensign "and could not contact him any longer," according to the report.

In his farewell speech May 2, Ensign apologized to his Senate colleagues and to his family.

"Unfortunately, I was blind to how arrogant and self-centered I had become," he said. "I did not recognize that I thought mostly of myself. This is how dangerous the feeling of power and adulation can be."

He left Capitol Hill the next day, replaced in the Senate by Dean Heller, ending what Boxer called "a sad chapter" in Senate history.

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