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. A Proud American THIS TIME!!

    The Party of No Morales once again!

    October 4, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. johnnie w

    While the ivestigation on ethics is pending on John Cheater Ensign, this is not to SHIFT attention about Health Care Reform, or the WAR ,and the ECONOMY , with the SWIFT action of President Obama , has turn the TIDE to the POSITIVE. Barbara Boxer , is doing the RIGHT thing to a Senator ,that thinks he is ABOVE the law. Why do SOME people think that Republicans are not the cause for the America for being in this TOMB of DEBT, WAR, LIES, and bush – chenney almost AYBSS. HE should RESIGN, and will be soon taken down SHORTLY. This is not A BLAME game, it is FACTS. and while they are at it , Jon Kly should be investigated for being a CLOWN MORON..

    October 4, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Vermonter

    Keith in Austin, hardly "typical" as Ensign's behavior is beyond the pale. He is entitled to "fair hearing" as is anyone. We've had a spate of GOP "blow ups" with personal behavior, but they're not alone.

    I would also state that Nancy Pelosi and the House Leadership to remove Charles Rangel from his leadership posts until an investigation of his actions is completed. Only then will public respect for the Congress begin to improve.

    October 4, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Liberty Queen

    Ensign should be removed and go far away...FAR, FAR AWAY.

    October 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Tim From Texas

    Keith is Fed Up in Austin-How can credible politicians of either party focus on the issues and produce bills that take on our national problems when certain members can't put their state, let alone their country, before their own sordid pursuits? Perhaps frustration in their own lives would cause fed and keith to act like rodeo clowns, trying to distract the attention of an angry population, while a fallen congressman crawls through the manure, discarded Redman, and sawdust of the arena floor, seeking the shelter of the "your party is worse so ignore my crimes" gang. Any fool would know that Congress's own integrity, which at times is shaky at best, must be maintained as best as possible. If Senator Ensign is guilty of these alleged crimes, complete moral lapses as well as felonious behavior, he is the current issue. He is the blockage that needs to be removed by enema, since he seems unable to remove himself. The Congress need clear minds and bodies to do a difficult job. Call for this man to resign not for this country to ignore.

    October 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    @ Keith in Austin,
    There was plenty of Democratic Party outrage over John Edwards. He's a despicable cad.
    What do you mean hypocrisy? The attacks from republicans, accusing President Obama of being a socialist, comparing him to Hitler (i.e. Congresswoman Virginia Fox and Congressman Pence), if anybody needs to learn the definition of hypocrisy it would be the Republicans.
    If someone in the Republican Party had the guts to tell Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity to shut up then maybe you guys would receive a little more respect.

    October 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Susan

    Gosh, Keith, you must have missed the liberal outrage at Edwards...he will never hold office again. We deplore this kind of behavior too...and Grayson should not have referenced the Holocaust, but otherwise, is telling the truth. 45,000 American citizens DIE in this country every year because their plans denied coverage, or they could not afford health care. Where is the hypocrisy in that? I realize the Republicans make their points with lies and exaggerations; I find Grayson kind of refreshing actually.
    And this investigation must be done, as any other is done...the Congress will still be working on other things too. You expect that every member of Congress has just dropped everything to dig into Ensign's misbehavior? Not the way things work, just like the whole Congress is not focused on health care until an actual bill is before them, and they can't do anything about the wars either, without bills from the committees. I know, why don't you Google Schoolhouse Rocks: I'm a Bill and see how it works.
    And Fed Up, so are we! The reason nothing is being passed is because it would be nice to have some actual AGREEMENT on what is passed, so the Dems are playing nice...too nice. They need to take a page from the Rove playbook and just ram things through.

    October 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. An Ex-NC-Pub

    And this is the man, who "knowing what is best for American families" is voting against everything in insurance reforms. I guess he needs the money to pay off his affairs.

    October 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Joe M

    It is all "EYEWASH" they want every one to think they are doing something....It is like Al Capone, investigating himself.. Let's see if we can FOOL THEM AGAIN TODAY.....

    October 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Veralani

    Jeez....have they nothing better to do than form committees to hash out past foul deeds? And then there's Rangel who actually did break the law yet his cronies sure are silent about that cheat. Term limits!!!

    October 4, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Jeremiah

    When is the ethics investigation going to begin on half of the democrats currently in the senate? and the president? oh wait, that's right, only the repubs are evil. I forgot. Democrats are guardian angels that do no wrong.

    October 4, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. gino

    Ensign is a scurrilous low-life who bribed a husband cuckolded by him (What a piece of work he is, too) Ensign should resign now.

    October 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Donald. Cameron, NC

    Its about time something was done. Enough of the shenanigans of him and rest of his conspirators for breaking laws, hiding the truth, and lying.
    Oh, yeah, what's going on with the great Senator Larry Craig who was going to resign for his disgraceful conduct and admission of guilt, as well as family man Senator Vitter.
    NOONE Republican or Demorat is above the law or from being held accountable for their conduct while in office. Particularly, when Senator Craig flashed his US Sentate business card to the interviewing officer in an attempt to get favorable treatment.
    All of them are a disgrace and have not place in the US Senate. Examples must be set and offenders held accountable. After all, aren't these the same ones that claim if a "closet homosexual" serves in the military they could be subject to extortion by foreign governments? These Senators are no better.

    October 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    Here we go again. It is not the government's business or anyone elses' what people do in their personal lives. Leave these people alone. They will answer when the great Judge has his day during 'JUDGEMENT DAY'.

    October 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. ann lord

    Hey Fed Up....You call Alan Gray words of truth an outlandish attack? He is my new hero. I call racists republicans who draw signs of our President as Hitler and a monkey a disgrace beyond belief. republicans have been so good at lying for so many years that they believe it to be true. Move to another country if you can't respect the voice of the majority. Take your guns, your racism and judgement on others and get the heck out.

    October 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. 7pesos

    contract with america...

    family values....

    the moral majority...

    what a laugh!

    that's those republicans for you, folks!

    October 4, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Stu

    Another politician messing around. Big deal. Democrats do it too. Think John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Jerry Hart, the Kennedy's, and the list goes on.

    October 4, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. linda

    where is the outrage over john edwards, or grayson, what of the years of theaft and corruption of charlie rangle it has gone on for years and the democrats are too afraid to hold him responsiable because he spreads his money among them and knows too much. you guys are all guilty of deceit and are crooks and liarers. shame on you all you are supposed to be working for your country not to line your pockets.the democrats control everything and they have the congress throughout the bush years so stop the lying you made the mess of fanny mae and freddie mac when you didn't want to regulate it may be the public should see the videos again now that their eyes and ears have been opened now obama isn't such a god to everyone they will see who really caused the fall of these banks due to democrats and their pal acorn

    October 4, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. david

    "re there ANY republiCONS who aren't being investigated for something? What a 'values' party!!!
    Most of them are in trouble for having extra-marital sex with the opposite(or even same) sex, and maybe even animals!!
    I reiterate…..What a 'values' party!!!!"

    Yeah, you're right .....that aren't any Dems who hid bribe money in their freezer or potential presidential candidates that knocked up another woman while his wife was fighting cancer. Yep, you're right.

    October 4, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. My two cents

    About time. Add a few more to the list....both Repubs and Dems. I'm sick of the corrupt old boys/girls club in Washington. Clean house!

    October 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Daniel Schlafer

    It is sad that John Ensign needed to enlist his parents to buy silence from his campaign staffer lover and her husband . It would not surpise me at all if he violated senate rules and I am glad that he may be potentially investigated . Why is it that Republicans can't seem to get the "family values " theme to be part of their personal lives ?

    October 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. debbie, Las Vegas

    Those of us that live in Nevada know that John Ensign is not a very nice man and is very arrogant so I'm not surprised to find him in this position. Unfortunately, too many constituents care more about how a politician votes more than they care about his hypocrisy, ethics or the fact that he may have broke the law.

    October 4, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. JOY

    Ensign should resign and save himself the country and the party the embarrassment . It is a pity the morals and values they preach so vociferously they can't put it in to practise. if I was his wife i would bid him good bye long ago , HE IS MESS.

    October 4, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. Joe

    I'm all for investigating corruption and Ensign is an idiot. But when are they going to start to investigate the real corruption? When is anyone going to start looking into the relationship between GE and this administration? That relationship makes the Bush, Cheney, Haliburton love triangle looke like a summertime highschool fling. Come on America wake up, they are wasting our time with bickering between parties and ignoring the real corruption. If the healthcare bill passes GE is looking at making all sorts of money and no one is talking about it.

    October 4, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Chicago11

    Re John Edwards- Unless you arehis wife or children, who cares? He is not an elected official and his political future is over. repeat-over. Sen. Ensign has allegedly conducted himself in an extremely dubious way. No, this isn't about the unseemly sex – try pay-offs to the family to keep it quiet. Maybe even using campaign funds. While in office. Get the difference?

    October 4, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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