March 18th, 2010
04:19 PM ET
13 years ago

Sources: Subpoenas issued relating to Ensign

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" At least one company and the NRSC have been issued subpoenas requesting documents in a federal grand jury investigation related to GOP Sen. John Ensign."]
Washington (CNN) - At least one company and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have been issued subpoenas requesting documents in a federal grand jury investigation related to Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada.

The Senate Ethics Committee also is investigating Ensign, who has been dogged by allegations of improper conduct stemming from an affair with the wife of a former aide. An Ethics Committee spokesman has declined to comment on precisely what its members are looking into.

A spokesman for the NRSC, which works to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate, said the organization had received a subpoena related to Ensign.

Another NRSC official, general counsel Sean Cairncross, would not confirm that the subject of the subpoena was Ensign, but he noted that the 2008 election was cycle was the time when Ensign chaired the committee.

"NRSC has responded appropriately to questions concerning matters related to the 2008 election cycle timeframe," Cairncross said.

The U.S. Attorney's office had no immediate comment. Neither did Ensign's staff.

A source from one of the companies linked to the probe into Ensign's business dealings told CNN that the company had been issued a subpoena to produce documents to a federal grand jury.

The subpoena was for documents only, and no company officials have been asked to testify, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because that person is not authorized to speak on the record. The grand jury is scheduled to meet March 31 in Washington, the source said.

The source also said the company will comply with the request and has received no information that it is a target of any criminal prosecution.

Earlier, CNN affiliate KLAS-TV of Las Vegas, Nevada, posted online what it says is a grand jury subpoena asking for documents related to Ensign.

Ensign told CNN in January that he would cooperate with any investigations that may be underway.

"We have said we will cooperate with any investigations," he said in January, "but at this moment, I'm just going to focus on being the best senator that I can be for my state."

KLAS reported Wednesday that subpoenas have been issued to local businessmen who may have dealt with Ensign and his Senate staff since January 2008. The station said an FBI agent and Justice Department prosecutor served subpoenas March 8 in Nevada, requesting documents on Ensign and current and
former top aides.

The two-term Republican admitted last June to an extramarital affair with Cindy Hampton, his onetime campaign treasurer. She is the wife of top aide Doug Hampton.

The document that KLAS posted online asks for "any documents relating to or regarding" Cindy and Doug Hampton as well as John Lopez and Michael and Lindsey Slanker.

Lopez was the senator's chief of staff. The Slankers were political advisers who run the consulting firm November Inc. The document on the television station's Web site also seeks information about November Inc.

Ensign and his family were longtime friends with the Hamptons. Doug Hampton has given interviews stating his family has received money and employment offers from Ensign after he and his wife left the Senate staff in April 2008. Ensign admitted his parents gave the Hamptons $96,000 but said the money was a gift, not an effort to suppress word of the affair.

"Each gift was limited to $12,000," said a statement from Ensign's lawyer last July. "The payments were made as gifts, accepted as gifts and complied with tax rules governing gifts." Under U.S. tax laws, gifts of up to $12,000 are tax-exempt.

According to the statement, Ensign's parents learned of the affair from their son and decided to make the gifts "out of concern for the well-being of long-time family friends during a difficult time."

Prior to the senator's admission of an affair, he was considered a rising political star and possible Republican presidential candidate for 2012.

Filed under: John Ensign • NRSC • Popular Posts
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    All these Republicans are just a bunch of hypocrites.

    They say one thing and do another, because they're all a bunch of loser cowards who hide behind their so-called "Christianity" and use it as an excuse for all of their bad behavior.

    Pathetic little weasels!

    March 18, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. michaelam

    Values, morals, and ethics brought to us by the C Street Klan!

    March 18, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. FredGarvin

    Yeah he values other peoples families.

    March 18, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Texas Jack

    AMERICANS get rid of all these lying incumbents be it Democrat or Republican. UNLESS you want more of the same. The man who walks on water was supposed to bring change. SO FAR HE HAS NOT BROUGHT ANYTHING EXCEPT SHAME TO HIS OFFICE. Feet on the Oval Office's desk, will not salute the flag during the playing of the National anthem. Will not bow to the Queen of England but he will kiss a Muslim's hand. This man needs to be rode out of the country on a greased pole.

    March 18, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. maripil

    Sen. Ensign is a disgrace for the state of Nevada and the U.S. senate. He should resign and get out PRONTO!!!!

    Such a shameful behavior and so unforgiving, not only to his wife and family but to his constituents!!

    March 18, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. John

    Another Republican involved in a sex scandal.

    Imagine that!

    March 18, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. chuck

    Isn’t it amazing that all the wing-nutt pundits harping for the scalp of democrats for their transgressions overlook the transgressors in the Repug party.

    Apparently “Family Values” only matter to wing-nutts in their opponents’ portfolio.

    March 18, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. A. Goodwin

    Family Values for the Republican's means cheating on their wives and telling the rest of us we're sinners.

    March 18, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    Craig, Vitter, Stanford, and Ensign all still in office after claiming to be righteous while being a scumbag.
    And all are roomies of the "C Street Frat house" which used to be a church that illegally subsidized politicians rent out of the goodness of their heart.
    How many ways can you say "arrogant and destructive self-righteous hypocrite"? And these guys think they should be back in power after screwing up everything that is "American".
    Nasty little parasites.

    March 18, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    If this is just about an affair, then they have no right investigating him. If it is about illegal payments being made, that is a different story. From what I gather, gifts up to $12,000 are not taxable, but you can give 8 $12000 gifts to the same person. If that is the law, that is beyond ridiculous, and typical of the way this country runs.

    March 18, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Gil Oberdas

    What else can one expect from the Party of "NO!" What are their family values and their religious beliefs to act this way and be super hypocrites all the time saying No to help middle class Americans!

    March 18, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. joe_conservative

    I'm a strong conservative. I would like to see him resign and do so very quickly. He has shown himself untrustworthy for the office he holds.

    Most if not all conservatives I know would agree. So before you call hypocrisy of conservatives check out what we actually think about what a fellow Republican has done.

    March 18, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |

    Both Nevada US Senators are crooks and liars. Both of them need to be replaced....

    March 18, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. Buddy

    Another Edwards case.

    March 18, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. VikingsLost

    Oh for Pete's sake! Another Party of No guy caught with his pants down. lol So much for family and christian values.

    This guy should resign and save taxpayers money.

    March 18, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. Nick San Diego

    Our Country is Sick . Our representatives are morally corrupt,we torture people,kill innocents and call it collateral damage, streets not safe ,pedofilia in churches, politcal parties arguing senseless points . Where and when will we the people rise up not as tea baggers or Democrats or Republicans, but as ALL AMERICANS and DEMAND better. In Europe the governments FEAR the people. Here we fear the government. Thats whats wrong.

    March 18, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. Dems&GopRtheSame

    Apparently some of you holier than thou Democrats conveniently forget the sins of John Edwards, Clinton, Massa...the list goes on and on

    Get off your high horses. People have sex & People misbehave. This is what people do when they are granted power. Political persuasion has NOTHING to do with personal conduct. Either you're scum, or you're not.

    March 18, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. cspurgeon

    Just another politician with the ethics of slime ....

    March 18, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. The Calabash Kid

    Let's think about people who run for office. They pose as statesmen who are concerned only with the welfare and future of the nation. And when I have a job interview I pretend to be a person who wants the exciting challenges of working for whatever boring position I am applying for. In truth, what I want is job security, good benefits, good pay, and not much work

    In truth, what the politician craves is status, power, income, and applause. Lots and lots of applause. Men who crave status, power, income and public approval are suckers for intelligent, good looking, cooperative women who will stroke their egos. Their politician's weakness is his ego. There is nothing more tempting than a lovely, interesting woman who is interested in YOU – as most men know.

    It is fun when a Conservative gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. They are so self-righteous and so impatient with the weaknesses of others. My favorite was that toe-tapping Senator from Idaho. Second is that hooker-loving Senator from Louisiana. Ensign has to be third, but the man from Argentina is a close fourth.

    I can't wait for the next one.

    March 18, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Dems&GopRtheSame

    Are the Dems so afraid of Rielle Hunter and Dora the Explorer that they have to harp on less disgusting behavior from a rival? Pathetic. A democrat who cheats on his cancer stricken wife with a new age loonie bird and makes yet another unwanted baby who will live a life of shame because of his conduct. Ensign looks like a choir boy in comparison.

    The Democrats would be much better served by not being hypocrites the same way Republicans are.

    March 18, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. JonDie

    John Ensign is a Republican, so not only will he not be hounded by the media for his adultery, he'll probably become a leading Republican.

    March 18, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. John

    It's time for a corrupt republican politician to go to jail – I'm available for jury duty!

    March 18, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. GoneRogueInTX

    Hey what happened to the CONTRACT WITH about sticking to the contract with your wives and family first republicans

    March 18, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. m smith

    Hey no big deal it is a repo. Only news if it is a demo. Then they rant and rave and holler about family values .

    March 18, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Old Artillery Man

    Re Sanford

    A man who was considered a presidential candidate by his Republican Party, “The Party of Family Values,” stole tax money from the people of this state to go to Argentina in first class to see and pay his hoar for her services. However, the Republican legislature would not remove him from office. Yet for eight years and 10 million dollars, they went after Bill Clinton. Republicans, the party of hypocrisy!!!

    March 18, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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