August 20th, 2009
01:40 AM ET
11 years ago

Ensign: Clinton's affair broke the law, mine didn't

(CNN) - Nevada Sen. John Ensign - who voted as a congressman to impeach President Clinton for lying under oath about his extramarital affair - said Wednesday he saw no reason to resign in light of his own affair, because he had not violated any laws.

The Republican senator told the Associated Press he realized some would take issue with his vote in light of the revelations about his own personal life, but defended his position, saying he believed Clinton had committed perjury.

"But if you look at the times ... I was in the House of Representatives but basically was sitting in judgment of the president evaluating the case," he said. "I was basically a jurist at that point. I thought there was a violation of a felony."

Ensign said he had not "done anything legally wrong," while "President Clinton stood right before the American people and he lied to the American people. You remember that famous day he lied to the American people, plus the fact I thought he committed perjury. That's why I voted for the articles of impeachment."

The senator's comments came shortly before his first public event in his home state since the revelation earlier this summer that he cheated on his wife with a former aide.

"I think it would be inappropriate to start any other way than to say I'm sorry," he told an audience in Fenley, Nevada, according to the Associated Press. "I've said I'm sorry. I can't say I'm sorry enough. I made a big mistake in my life and I apologize once again to all of you."

Ensign, who has said he will not resign his seat, is not up for re-election until 2012.

Filed under: John Ensign
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