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. Calidan

    I think by now, everyone knows that all crooked Republicans are dishonest, lying crooks.

    October 4, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Blue Dress

    What hypocrisy!

    I...I did not have sex with that women... When the most powerful man in the world has an extramarital affair in the Oval Office, lies to his wife, the country and purjors himself lying about it you Dems fall all over yourselves separate professional from personal.

    Gimme a break!

    October 4, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Barry In Las Vegas

    And how are the ethics committee's findings on Charlie Rangel coming along – it's only been 2 years.

    Oops – forgot he is a Democrat – and CNN forgot what asking questions about Democrats ethics violations is all about.

    October 4, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. If the insurance companies win, YOU LOSE

    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 Tom Coburn (R-OK) 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 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Ben Hillis

    John Ensign has spent more time on his affairs than he has trying to help the people of Nevada. If he does not step down, Nevada needs to elect someone else in 2012. He is supported by casinos and crooked investors in Incline Village. Its time for this hippo Christian to go.

    October 4, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Roger

    Why isn't Charles Rangel being investigated for his tax evasion which is being hushed up by the Democrats?

    October 4, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Peggy

    Let's just stop the nonsense about democrats and hypocrisy (some of you can't even spell the word correctly). Republicans have a total corner on that market and Senator Ensign is a prime example. They say they are for family values - wonder how they feel about the families of the over 4,000 Americans killed in the totally bogus Iraq war???? And can you name JUST ONE THING the republicans have cooperated on since President Obama took office????? Talk about partisan politics - they are the poster guys!!!!!

    October 4, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. dallaswebmarketing

    It is sad to see that Republicans are protecting Sen. John Ensign for what is clear to the common person. All you have to do is listen to Sen. John Ensign youtube videos comments about President Clinton’s impeachment. But no Republicans believe the rules should apply to them.

    The truth is this guy was covering up something he knew was illegal and devastating for his political life. All I hear from Republicans is he country is in war, people are loosing job, etc. In other words, we shouldn’t worry about these Republicans ethics stories. I just call it “100% HYPOCRISY”

    October 4, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Farrell in Houston

    Kyl sounds like he doesn't want to comment on his buddy Ensign and usually that's a sign he's got something to hide also. I smell a coverup.

    October 4, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. Hopeful in America

    I hope they will also include Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK) in this investigation. What is a sitting US Senator doing taking part in a cover up of this affair and participating in negoitating the "settlement"???

    October 4, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Rose

    Want to bet the Dems will get this though asap while the Rangel investigation has been going on for a year now and he refuses to give up his gavel.

    October 4, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. John,Black Hills/SD

    Both sides (Dem. & Rep.) have proven that their extremes aka Liberals & Conservatives, are unhealthy for our nation in every aspect.
    I would ask Americans on all sides to push for new rules associated with term limits, because it's a proven fact that career politicians become disassociated with the real issues, and then it becomes all about them. They loose their purpose by believing that it's all about them, and not about the 300 million Americans who are watching the process turn ugly, and vile. Americans deserve better, we don't want immature foot stomping, name calling, that leads their path to re-election. All of this at the expense of civility, and American pride, and I'm embarrassed by their behaviors. Grow up Washington.

    October 4, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Grace

    If someone thinks that the power of the DC lobbyists is not behind a good percentage of our nation's problems, you'd better think again. Big business lobbies ( energy, health insurance, pharmaceuticals, etc) run this country aided by their bought and paid for politicians as evidenced by the Republican mentality that says NO to everything except what will benefit big business. The fact that some immoral politicians place themselves on the trading block because of their hypocritical life style only magnifies the problem. Ensign is a disgrace as is every other every other person who breaks their vows or oaths of office and makes themselves vulnerable to extortion. He should do the country a favor and resign.

    October 4, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Snicker

    Another family values Christain Republican – down the toilet as so many have gone before him.....that party is in serious deep doo-doo...

    October 4, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Rosa, b'ham al

    What took them so long. This has been out for awhile. If he were a democrat he would have been crucified by now.

    October 4, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Burns NH

    Gee whiz,now all if a sudden we have rules in congress. I don't know
    any of the specifics in this earth shaking event,other than God forbid
    someone has broken the rules of the Senate. Give us all a break,
    the rules in congress of either house is only in the minds of the folks
    in the majority,be it dem ore repub. Thats what we voters get with
    every party in or out of power. We need "CHANGE",bit not as it is be-
    delt out. We want the Congress to be for the people,not their own
    party's agendas. What does it take to do the peoples business. I
    feel we as taxpayers and voters need to have some,"no" a lot of
    justice from those who say they work for us. Time is running out on
    this issue.

    October 4, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Mike

    Keith in Austin:
    The Democrats didn't screw the wife of his staff – he did. The Democrats didn't double her salaries when she was a member of two of his PAC's – he did.
    The Democrats didn't double her husbands salary – he did.
    The Democrats didn't pay her off – his family did.
    and also – John Edwards is not an elected official – he is.

    October 4, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Burns NH

    We need folks in Congress who have a dedicated resolve for the
    people they represent. It is not apparent to most of us in regards
    to this service that is so lacking from those who hold our lives and
    Liberties in their hands.

    October 4, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. No Hillary = No Obama

    This is becoming old hat. Don't these people who get elected to congress have anything better to do than indulge themselves in sex and money scandals? The whole congressional body needs an ethics overhaul.

    October 4, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. File under "Sarcasm"

    Democrats cheat on their taxes and Republicans cheat on their wives. Given the ratio of stories in the press, I guess cheating on your wife is the worse offense.

    October 4, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. cora

    instead of pointing the finger at Democrats because they didn't hold Ensign hand while he had his other hand out of his zipper is wrong. Democrat's don't baby sit Republicans.

    October 4, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Bill of Florida

    I voted for Barack Obama and the current leadership in Congress and Senate. I'm glad to see them there, and hope they will succeed; however, I have to give credit where credit is due. The republicans rightly point out that the democrats are in charge, and lack the will to get anything done. That is a bona fide problem, and they will be out in 2010 if they don't get their act together before the end of this year. It's time to put down our differences and act on something for the good of the entire nation. Furthermore, that good has to be substantive change. I urge Congress and Senate to work in a bipartisan effort to accomplish that good. Set your corporate interests aside for a change and work for us. By the way republicans, if you think 2010 belongs to you, think again. We're tired of politics as usual, but that doesn't mean we're going to put the republicans back in charge. They were and are a large part of the problem. Finally, I think that Ensign is not a distraction. He should be fully investigated and probably serve some time. Edwards is scum. Grayson is probably right, but he shouldn't have used Congress as his forum and he should probably apologize.

    October 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. James Michael Roberson

    It is a shame that some politicians believe they are above the law. This is yet another example. Sen. John Ensign will have to face up to what he has done. It is time to get the crooks out of Washington. Thank God we have responsible leaders in both houses of Congress and in the White House to help guide our country forward. My biggest hope is that we can move the Supreme Court away from the radical right slant it now has.

    October 4, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Burns NH

    I feel that our elected senators and reps are not effective for us. Many times I have written to them with specific questions on matters that
    were important,and I get a generic letter not even in answer to my
    subject or reference to it. I know they have a thankless job. I also
    know that they wanted the job. Once in office all the spin for us is
    lost. We need someone,not just anyone to really do the work for us
    that is right and just. We don't ask to much in my opinion. God,
    family and country are the basics.

    October 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Andi

    Could Congress do some work, please.

    October 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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