October 6th, 2009
06:42 PM ET
5 years ago

Ensign says he did not breach ethics rules

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Republican Sen. John Ensign told CNN Tuesday he did not break Senate ethics rules by helping to secure a lobbying job for the husband of the woman he had an affair with.

"I think it's pretty clear. I said in the past, I recommended him for jobs just like I've recommended a lot of people," Ensign told CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash and congressional producer Ted Barrett. "But we absolutely did nothing except for comply exactly with what the ethics laws and the ethics rules of the Senate state. We were very careful in everything that we did. You can see our statements on that."

The comments come four days after The New York Times reported the husband of the woman Ensign had a affair with, Doug Hampton, has since lobbied the Nevada senator on behalf of his clients. The New York Times also reported evidence that suggests Ensign played an active role in getting Hampton the lobbying position. Hampton, a former senior aide to Ensign, is barred by congressional ethics rules from lobbying his old boss for one year after leaving his post in the Senate.

A preliminary Senate ethics investigation has been launched.

"All of these things will, you know, come out," Ensign told CNN. "All of these things will come out at their due time. But there's no question, we complied with all of the ethics."

Asked if he has any plans to resign his seat, Ensign said only: "I am focused on doing my work. I'm going to continue to focus on doing my work."

Ensign spoke with CNN as he walked from his office in the Russell Senate Office Building to the Capitol.


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soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Peter

    What happened to the family values?

    October 6, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Ren from Baltimore

    The rules are very clear: No lobbying mickey-mousing around until at least a year after leaving the government. For a Senator, of all people, to not only approve of breaking such rules but actually, actively engaging in the breaking of the rules, is a clear violation of the trust Americans have in the man.

    Ensign, you know you have done wrong, you knew it at the time(s), and you know what the right thing to do right now. No more half-baked excuses or stalling; you will have to announce your departure date.

    October 6, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. ANGIE

    this is a loser that wanted to impeach President Clinton. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive. losers/liars in glass houses should not throw stones. this loser is scum.

    October 6, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Ray

    Focus on doing your work. Good call. Maybe if you had been focused on doing your work instead of a married woman, you wouldn't be in this mess.

    October 6, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Len in Washington

    Yea, and "the check's in the mail" I'll bet.

    What a bonehead.........

    October 6, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Democrat dirty tricks

    The Democrats, behind their Chicago mob boss, Barack Obama, are up to their old campaign dirty tricks again - lies, rumors, smears, falas accusations, planted stories, half truths, and more of the same garbage that Democrats are known for.

    The New York Times probably has a direct private line to the White House, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi 's $300 million private military jet.....disgusting.

    Time to toss the Dems out. One and done for Oblah blah

    October 6, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Big Ed

    He will have an opportunity to present his side of the story in front of the Ethics Committee. Had he kept his pants on and tended to the business of the voters (i.e. HIS JOB), he wouldn't be in this mess. he has no one to blame but himself!

    October 6, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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