October 4th, 2009
01:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Boxer: Ethics committee doing preliminary Ensign investigation

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/04/art.sens1004.cnn.jpg caption="Sens. Kyl, a Republican, and Boxer, a Democrat, both had very little to say about the preliminary investigation into the conduct of Republican Sen. John Ensign that is going on in the Senate Ethics Committee."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The chair of the Senate Ethics Committee said Sunday that a preliminary investigation has begun into the conduct of Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign.

Ensign admitted earlier this year to an extramarital affair with a married campaign staffer. A recent report by the New York Times suggests that Ensign went to great lengths to aid the staffer’s husband, who also worked as an aide in Ensign’s Senate office, and, in the process, may have encouraged the possible violation of Senate rules regarding lobbying.

“I can’t discuss this with you other than to say that there’s a preliminary investigation going on,” California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer told John King on CNN’s State of the Union. “And we will look at all aspects of this case as we do whenever there’s a case before us and try to get to the bottom of it as quickly as we can in fairness to all.”

Asked about the specific issues the investigation is looking into, Boxer said she was not permitted by Senate rules to do so.

Asked whether Ensign could serve effectively with an ethics investigation pending, fellow Republican Sen. John Kyl of Arizona said he would “wait and see what happens” with the Ensign investigation.

Filed under: Barbara Boxer • John Ensign • Jon Kyl • Popular Posts • Senate • State of the Union
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    Hey Repubs – it is normal to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time, I would hope a member of Congress could do many things at the same time. Especially investigate a few slimey politician hypocrites like Ensign. And I would think a punk who actually threatens marriages like Ensign would be a no brainer for the "Family Values" clan, or is that really just a political ploy like so many of us believe?
    Funny how through eight years of deception and failure the Repubs want us to think the Obama administration who actually does things is not doing anything. Or is it that because the Obama admin are not fascist the Repubs don't see any benefit to working for the middle class?
    I guess next they'll say gravity is false because it's not in the bible and just a theroy! hahahaha.

    October 4, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Liberals are Hypocrites

    . . . and what about Rengel? Oh, never mind - he's a Democrat!

    October 4, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Prospering Pete

    The only change we have received is a bigger government with more corruption. A cultural shift is needed so that these policians understand that they work for us. Expect all democrats to be voted out in the next elections.

    October 4, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Angelina

    Seems like the ONLY investigations that are newsworthy to CNN is when the GOP is investigated. Seems like you never find any stories related to the rampant problems of the democrat party. Suprise, suprise and yet Fox is the ones being called biased. Typical from CNN. No wonder you are always lose in the ratings. Wake up.

    October 4, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Lissa in Houston

    Hey DPS – yes, since women are so nurturing and relational and all, don't you just hate it how that makes them inherently more liberal?

    They are completely ruining everything for those who want it to be "every man for himself"....! That whole 'letting them vote" thing was sooooo crazy!!

    Just look at all these people helping each other and caring about each other and working together!! Thanks Senator Kyl for being so astute and saving us all from this certain hell of sentimentality.....

    I'm going to send all my pennies to the Republican party right away. Especially to Senator Kyl and that nice Michelle Bachman woman. She seems very smart. And the little grandma congresswoman who explains how bad the President is. I really trust her.

    But my favorite is the ones who live together in the church. That is sooo sweet that they pray together. Amen. Please pray for Senator DeMint on his upcoming trip to tell that third world leader how Jesus has a plan for the specially chosen leaders like himself and Senators Ensign and DeMint and Coburn. And also how the current President isn't really who he should listen to, but instead follow the masterplan of the grand visionists from the past like Mao and Hitler. I totally understand.


    October 4, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. DEM in HI

    Time to drop these dumb investigations. Did he break the law? It is obvious no one in Congress cares about ethics, so throw that out, too. If we look into sex cases all of the time, we will never get anywhere. Only thing that needs to be asked, was there sexual harassment? If not, drop the case and get Health care reform moving.

    October 4, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Greg

    And I'm assuming as soon as this investigation finishes up, they'll begin the investigation in Charles Rangle?

    October 4, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. popduds.com

    I hate the GOP of today.

    October 4, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Ken

    Here come the teabagging apologists, who always demand blood when it involves a Democrat.

    October 4, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Pat in IL

    The ethics committee is made up of members of both parties, so I don't know where some of the responders here get the idea that it's a Democrats vs Republicans thing.

    October 4, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. rosher32

    This is ALL Obamas fault....I dont know how but give it some time and the GOP will find the right spin on it.

    October 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Matt

    Maam you ought to worry about yourself and if you will be able to remain in power. You should watch how you treat people and show them respect no matter if they wear our countries uniform or are a invited black business leader.

    The way I see it California will be kicking you out soon. And as a resident you will not get my vote.

    October 4, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. John Demello

    The Democrats will do ANYTHING to get to the Republicans. What about Clinton getting a BJ in THE WHITE HOUSE. He lied and got away with it. What about John Edwards or the Murtha scandal. Need I continue.
    It is just time to get rid of all of them on both sides of the fence. We citizens are not going to see eye to eye all the time and that's a good thing, but the one constant is absolute power corrupts absolutely and that is why we are where we are. Kick them all out and start again.

    October 4, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Toad

    They should focus their attention more on Charles Rangel!!!

    October 4, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Totally sickened by Republicans in North Carolina

    It's amazing.....if any of us in the private sector had even a SMIDGE of this scandal around us, we would be asked to, at minimum, take an unpaid leave of absence. But this clown will probably get away with this like so many of his right wing counterparts do. PATHETIC!

    October 4, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. AZ Senior

    Hey, blue dress, as I remember there were impeachment proceedings instituted by all these sanctimonious Republicans.

    October 4, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Exquisitely Shakespearean.

    Greed, corruption and indifference are qualities no party claims patent to my good citizens. Behind the theatrics, cheap rah-rah party affiliations, and the actors/actresses we elect to plunder the modest fruit of our slave labor, listen closely; the wind carries the tune of Nero's fiddle.

    Exquisitely Shakespearean.

    October 4, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. mike

    I think all members of Congress are grossly overpaid.

    October 4, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. unshrub

    It is amazing that after all these years, one of the republican's defense is to still bring up Bill Clinton.

    October 4, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Independent_me

    Ensign is a slime ball. Arrogant and shameful. A cancer in the midst of the Republicans.
    So is the Appalachian Trail Governor.

    October 4, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Kel

    And who said only Democrats had these types of scandals?... Larry Craig, Mark Sanford? Why should these guys be treated any differently that John Edwards (and HIS wife had cancer, what a jerk) or Kwame Kilpatrick and all these other guys? It doesn't matter what party they're from. It's the immoral act they committed. But this isn't something restricted to politicians. Our society as a whole no longer considers adultery a crime. The difference is these guys are also violating other laws. Aside from being terrible husbands and fathers. People don't really care so much about the affair, it's so common these days (unfortunately) but the least they can do is not use tax dollars or treasury money. Geez.

    The only surprise here is that it isn't someone from South Carolina. Seriously, South Carolina must be sighing a breath of relief that it's finally not them. Sanford, then Wilson.

    October 4, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    "Death Panel Sarah" is a Moron: I'm a liberal. We're not all sick, pathetic, and corrupt, and I resent being lumped together as though we're not individuals and Americans who love our country. We need to come together and figure out how to move forward, or there isn't going to be much left for us. The wealthiest 1% of our citizenry have robbed us blind, brought us to the brink of economic disaster, and used our tax dollars to bail themselves out, with an ok from the politicians they've bought off to ensure the status quo. And all we're doing is sniping at each other? While they laugh all the way to the bank. Oh wait a minute, they own the banks. Come on people, we have to get together, not tear each other apart. Our future depends on it.

    October 4, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. redleg

    What is to investigate other than the Mann Act and obstruction of justice, as well as the possible Nevada Gaming COmmisison repercussions fo rhis parents?

    October 4, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Career serviceman

    Republican Values Theme? What an idiotic comment. Corruption, and incidents of adultery have permeated both parties and have been in Congress and with some Governors (SC and NY), and even a President (Clinton). In my opinion, all those who violate any form of ethics regardless of their party affiliation should be investigated.

    The investigations of all who have committed questionable acts whether it's Rangle or Ensign need to proceed. But instead of generalizing an entire party and blaming them for one person's indiscretions, remember the real issues that have only gotten worse:
    – the amount of deficit has increased trillions of dollars more with no tangible results

    – a new strategy of listening to the actual experienced military leaders in the field in order to effect a more decisive and immediate solution has yet to happen

    – the strategy of kissing up to Muslim and European nations while holding inhibiting the funding and procurement of necessary systems to strengthen our nation's defense is only weakening this country's defense. Not the thing to do when you're at war. Read your history.

    – the amount of people who have lost their jobs since the beginning of the year reached over 2 million people last month.

    – and it didn't help that we tried to invite the Olympics to be hosted in a city known for political corruption, skyrocketing crime, and a city where teenagers have nothing else to do but beat each other to death or just stand around and record on cell phones. It would have been more inspiring to have already rebuilt the WTCs, and then invite the world to New York to see how that city and this nation has recovered from the attacks. Now that would have been inspiring and a true testament to our resolve.

    Let's communicate to our Congressmen to stay focused on the real issues, get something done if they want to stay in office, and quit blowing up stories and blaming an entire party for one person's discretion. If a person is caught, just address it and take care of it, and get back to work. The American people want results of your work, they don't want to hear parties blaming each other and finding every little fault with each other. 2010 elections should be interesting.

    October 4, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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