October 4th, 2009
01:01 PM ET
12 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. Fed Up

    Of course there is an investigation. That's the only thing the Democrats can agree on. Guess the leadership in the House, Senate and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not what the media want us to believe. A Democratic controlled Senate, House and White House can't get anything through. Blame the Republicans! Look at yourselves first.

    October 4, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Keith in Austin

    This is a typical Democrat ploy to shift attention from our Nation's most pressing issues (Afghanistan, Healthcare, Iran, economy etc. Please STOP the partisan politics and DO SOMETHING!

    America is sick and tired of the hypocracy in Washington! Where is the Liberal outcry for the outlandish attacks from Alan Grayson this week? Where is the Democrat outrage re: John Edwards?

    Americans are disgusted with Washington beaurocrats!

    October 4, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. JD

    Wow. If only John Edwards' own extramarital affair and unethical financial dealings received such media coverage.

    Oh wait...he's a liberal. It's a non-issue.

    October 4, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Jordan

    Shouldn't Mrs. Boxer be more concerned with passing health care reform then witch hunting against republicans? Such ridiculous partisanship in Washington right now.

    October 4, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. LouAz

    John Kyl of Arizona said he would “wait and see what happens” with the Ensign investigation.

    If he goes to jail, Kyl will deny ever knowing the man. Otherwise, "That's my guy !"

    October 4, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. g

    just john and other republicans working together

    October 4, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Death Panel Sarah

    Keith in Austin....
    The trouble is they weren't outlandish attacks!!!
    Alan Grayson spoke the truth and most(thinking) Americans know it!!!
    The 'cons' and their insurance buddies can make a lot more money if we pay premiums and then die.
    Are you really THAT stupid, or do you just go along with FAUX news because you don't like Obama.
    Surely you would like cheaper healthcare....or maybe you love to pay for those CEO bonuses????

    October 4, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. victim of republican greed

    The outlandish attacks on health care, like pull the plug on grandma came from the ridiculous right. Our most pressing issues did not begin in January with Obama's inauguration. They have been there a long time waiting for the GOP to address them. Since that did not happen, I know that the democrats will work them out.

    October 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Sally

    Ensign, just another Republican hypocrite.

    October 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. maria

    Its like a leased vehicle, you pay for everything but never own the vehicle.
    Our news is so censored, Did you know there was a protest in Washington DC and in front of Blue Cross and Blue Shield headquarters with over 10,000 people. Didn't hear about that did you? But these nuts cases at the townhouse meetings and these politicians who can't keep their pants up is big news. Give me a break!

    October 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Spin republican bloggers spin! Ensign is a crook who tried to pay off the man whose wife he had an affair with. You'd be screaming for his resignation if he were a Democrat. The Republicans are no longer a legitimate political party because of your ridiculous bias. You will be relegated to the dust bin of history asthe 'Know Nothing Party Part II".

    October 4, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Bill

    Yawn! So what else is new? Oh! another republican preaching good old conservative principals..and sleeping around!!! yawn..for his sake, I hope she was worth it

    October 4, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. LakersGirl

    Barbara "don't call me Ma'am" Boxer will be out in 2010. California is sick of her and her antics and destroying California.

    October 4, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Charles

    This guy should resign.

    October 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Hennessy Cognac Black, WI

    John Ensign, a Repub, being investigated for ethics violation(s)?

    This is really a NO BRAINER!

    A Repub with ethics?

    October 4, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. Tom

    I definately would expect john Kyl to say "wait and see..."
    I think it odd that CNN would go to him for viewpoint on this story.

    October 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. timz

    Keith in Austin: " Where is the Democrat outrage re: John Edwards?"

    John Edwards is so popular with Democrats that he is the sitting Senator from Nevada . . . oh, wait! John Edwards holds NO elected office and JOHN ENSIGN is the family values Senator from Nevada whose Mommy and Daddy paid off his mistress and her family and is still in his Senate seat. Why would anybody find that the least bit odd?

    October 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. Ed in Reno, NV

    I agree with Keith in Austin. This is all a vast left wing conspiracy to distract us from cleaning up the great piles of fecal matter left to smother our country as President Bush walked away from the White House.

    The Liberals clearly held a gun to John Ensign's head and forced him to have sexual relations with his, now former, friend's wife. They then forced Ensign and his parents to give the woman, her husband and their son money, promotions, jobs, and let's hope not...influence over his voting record.

    October 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Proud member of "Global Zero:

    I do not think this man should have a vote on MY health care. Most of these people need to be replace.

    October 4, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. dave

    I think the fuinniest thing (and the most disgusting) is that Ensign let his PARENTS pay off this woman to the tune of $96,000 in hush money. Wouldn't you think that if you are a 50 something US Senator and you are going to do somthing slimy like this that you would at least have the courtesy to pay the hush money from you OWN account? Republican Senate rule # 1: Pay for your OWN affairs out of your OWN bank account.

    October 4, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Patrick Lewis

    This is a story? There wasn't an investigation before, like when he was found to have been paying off the woman he was sleeping with and her husband? What do you have to do to start an investigation? Kill puppies on TV or something?

    October 4, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. If the insurance companies win, YOU LOSE

    I just shook my head at how shameless and morally bankrupt Sen John Ensign (R-NV) isas I watched him smugly and arrogantly help to derail the 2 public health insurance option plans that were before the Senate Finance Committee last week.

    Well, seeing how we can't prosecute Sen John Ensign (R-NV) for his sleazy actions, I suppose prosecuting him for the cover-up will have to do.

    By the way, does Sen John Cornyn (R-Texas) really think that his being a deacon excuses him from actively participating in the cover-up?

    Shouldn't he be investigated too?

    October 4, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Liberal in Nebraska

    Keith in Austin: You are ignorant. This isn't just a Republican problem. Both parties have dabbled in this area of extramarital affairs. But, come on. Someone violates the law and you want them to look the other way? Ensign belongs in prison. Along with his cronies Bush, Cheney, etc.

    October 4, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. More silly politics...

    I find it amusing how easily people fall into the you versus us argument. If people would realise that politics is a cog in a machine that intentionally divides a populous. If people would only realise that they have the power, and can oust these "representatives". Then and only then will the government work for the people again. Unfortunately, we spend our time squabbling over inane and pointless topics, instead of holding our "leaders" accountable. This country will start progressing again when we tear down this childish left v right argument. You are all arguing over NOTHING. By arguing over nothing, you are playing their game. The only loser in the game are the people.

    October 4, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. CB

    Humans are sexual and social creatures, so another politician... caught with "his" pants down... its hardly news anymore... what is news! is when they promoted the standard "do as I say, not as I do". One cannot have it both ways. Either accept we all are social and sexual beings, and that these false morals and values projected by certain elected and political elite are lies for the sake of control of is people. Yes we do need a rules, laws, and folkways for safety of all people, but these double standards should be the crime.

    October 4, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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