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. Reagan was wrong

    You know things aren't looking good when even an ultrapartisan ideologue like John Kyl says he'll “wait and see what happens”.

    I wouldn't worry if I was John Ensign, though. Rick Perry will soon take the title of "Most Disgraced Republican" when he's revealed to be the first US governor to have presided over the execution of an innocent man.

    October 4, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. CM

    Whether a Democrat or a Republican there should be an intvestigation. I am also fed up with the blame and hate on both parties. If the shoe fits wear it.

    October 4, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Grow Up Republicans

    This just show that all republicans are cheaters and hypocrites!

    October 4, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Jim in Minneapolis

    And yet were it a Democrat being investigated, the Republican commentators on this board would be throwing a fit. You clowns ran the country into the ground and were purged accordingly; get over it.

    @Keith in Austin: which party's administration caused everything you mentioned to be an issue in the first place? Think before you type.

    October 4, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Celestine

    This is a disgrace to all of y ou who waiste valuable time to make partisan attacks and then quote the constitution to support the wrong.Keith in Austin, Edward was not a senator at the time his case was reported and he is facing a grand jury, i guess the Bill Clinton Affiar was a great Media stunt and not a partisan ploy.Well if you want the democrates to do something, they have to do it by the merit and throught the democratic process.Do you want them to stuck it down our necks?No thats is why i am an independent.Work with facts not by emotions you all, that is why America is behind mostindustrial nations in civility and responsibility.

    October 4, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. joyce

    mrs boxer oops senator boxer she needs to look into mr rangle especial o yes senator reid putting into a bill for health care exemption for nevade while i am at it how about ethics of mr graysonand the biggest is giving congress a rise while the average tax payer is struggled to find or keep a job.

    October 4, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. reese

    Boxer and the Dem's wasting money on the investigation of a Republican? Not a big shocker... Once again, the Dem's are skirting their duty with this kind of crap when America is faced with more critical issue of simply surviving!!! I just hope Ensign was not a retired Military; you do remember how much she despises our Military women and men...


    October 4, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. MillsJ

    Dems demonizing Repubs and vice versa. Face it; this is what our 2 political party has turned into. People say "vote them out"; with what, more of the same?

    October 4, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Rob

    These investigations against Republicans are seen by voters for what they are: a smokescreen for the democratic party's failure to use their majorities to actually do something for Americans. The backlash in the 2010 mid-term elections against democrats will be huge as a result.

    October 4, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. D. D.

    And what took so long? I'm not in Washington and knew there was a reason to look closely when his parents paid the mistress a great deal of money. If this was a charity gift, please give them my name and address so they can donate to my cause- cause I am broke.

    October 4, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Reasonable Observer

    Go ahead with investigation of Ensign to determine if he did something wrong. Just explain why the esteemed Mr. Rangel from NY is not being investigated or censured for his known wrongdoing.

    October 4, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. Kate in SW Fla

    Yeah, the Republican "Family Values" theme now looks kind of stupid, doesn't it? Let's see what they cook up next, bacause NO ONE is going to believe that now.

    October 4, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Pat

    I wonder if this is just an excuse to furthur delay the Ethics Committee "investigation" of Charlie Rangle and the way he's been breaking the law for over 10 years. Maybe the committee should also investigate sexual harrassment charges against David Letterman, too. CBS is a virtual wing of the Democrat Party, they could say it is an "internal investigation" All this, and the Dems still can't understand why they don't get any "bipartisan" help with health care reform.

    October 4, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Michael Sheridan

    I'm absolutely convinced that the people whining about how this is all Democratic partisanship were loudly decrying the Republican witch hunt of Bill Clinton during the 90s, because otherwise they would be complete and utter hypocrites. It would be nice if GOP partisanship would stay out of the way of investigating Ensign's alleged crimes, but I won't hold my breath.

    As for the irrelevant raising of former Sen. John Edwards and Rep. Grayson, who have nothing to do with Ensign – talk about trying to distract from real issues!

    October 4, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. "Death Panal Sarah" is a moron

    Typical liberal hate without any attempt of rational thought. Thank-you for showing what being a liberal really is. Sick, pathetic, and corrupt.

    October 4, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. LeeH1

    Keith in Austin said: "This is a typical Democrat ploy to shift attention from our Nation's most pressing issues"

    Where was Keith during the Clinton impeachment (where Ensign voted to have him removed for sex)? The war in Iraq? The Bush tax cuts?

    Republicans have been doing this for decades. You're just not used to having it come back at you!

    October 4, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. HarryB

    While there's enough marital infidelity to go around in both parties, the GOP leads the civilized, and probably the uncivilized world in hypocracy by beating their breasts during prayer groups and then doing the opposite of what they tell us God prohibits. Ensign, Vittert, Giuliani, Gingrich, and of course, that pill-popping, multiple marriage leader of the party, Rush Limbaugh are just the tip of the iceberg. Even Tom Colburn, their self-proclaimed moralist, is covering for the oyher guys, which makes him just as guilty.
    None of you loudmouths have given a single reason for why Ensign shouldn't be thrown out of Congress for condoning extortion. Alan Grayson has nothing to do with John Ensign, and if you think that his act was disproved of by a majority of Americans, you're watching too much Fox.

    October 4, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Florence

    I guess we resolved all the issues and the only problems left are the ones that are inside people’s underwear. Congratulations Democrats, we voted for you so you too could have a turn in bending over and sniffing butts. You learned well from the Republicans and Kenneth Star.
    I’m just so sick and tired of most of you members of senate. What a bunch of worthless jerks you are.

    October 4, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. dinah

    Can we please just forget about affiars and get down to business?

    October 4, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Fitz in Texas

    This is disgusting that the Democrats are more concerned with something like this as opposed to the real issues......Afghanistan, Iran, crime in our cities, unemployment and the list goes on.

    Perhaps the Democrats should be a little more concerned with Congressman Charles Rangel and a little less concerned with Sen. John Ensign!

    October 4, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Chris

    The title "GOPer under investigation, Dem says" on the main page is pretty ridiculous. What happened is that the Senate Ethics Committee started to investigate Ensign, who may have tried to hush up an affair with illegal activity. Both parties should agree that Ensign's alleged behavior is shameful and unethical. The head of the Senate Ethics Committee is in a position to start an investigation.

    So please change the title on the main page to make this not seem like a partisan witch hunt, which it is most definitely not. Ensign would get voted out of office in the next election anyway because of this scandal, hopefully he would lose the Republican primary.

    October 4, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. chris

    Family Values at its best again in the GOP... they should really drop that and "Pro America" slogans

    October 4, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Marty, FL

    The GOP should have already asked Sen. Ensign to resign over his inappropriate use of the National Republican Senatorial Committee funds for his marital indiscretion.

    Then again, Sen. Vitter is still allowed to remain in office after admitting illegal activity with prostitution. Is it any wonder why many Americans have left my former Republican Party?

    October 4, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Lissa in Houston

    Why do republicans write in and say we aren't allowed to look at or correct problems, because we ourselves have associates with similar problems?

    If my aunt cheated on a test once, can I not point out that the person next to me now is cheating? If I once did not pay the correct amount of income tax, can I not vote against a corrupt politician who cheats on his taxes? How does saying, "but he did it too!" change the current situation? It's your wife and your constituents you are dealing with, not his.

    And if someone does point out a problem, why do republicans feel like its ok to not address the actual problem, but instead make comparisons and redirect any responsibility or blame back onto the messenger? Don't they know that phrase....?

    Why is it that democrats have partners and lovers and spouses all they want, and don't worry too much about it as long as people are adults and work things out? Yet republicans try to hide and subdue their sexuality and desires, and then get defensive when they are caught cheating....

    And then rather than own their desires, and make the changes in their life to embrace who they are, why do republicans say it was just a mistake, they didn't really mean it, throwing everyone, including themselves under the bus? I'm just saying...

    October 4, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Mark

    Big Deal Senator Dodd did back door handshaking with tax payer money and got away with it.

    Want to talk about Obama and Acorn CNN?

    October 4, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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