March 18th, 2010
04:19 PM ET
11 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. OhioCane

    Um, wait – I thought this guy was a Family Values Republican.

    Is this what they mean by that?

    March 18, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. angel

    These cheaters are every where, don't they?
    I wonder what happened to the word-fidelity? or may be Congress doesn't know that it exist any longer, or may be they really belive that the word doesn't apply to them or at least to some of them?
    Althougth, I wonder....these are the ones who got caught. What about the ones who don't? Uhm....

    March 18, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Pragmatic

    Fascinating to see republicans demanding the heads of democratic sinners on a silver platter ... and republican sinners keep their jobs & run for re-election! Maybe, with Ensign, there was a huge, collective republican sigh that at least he wasn't gay!

    March 18, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. ATL Guy

    Oh boy, this is going to become rather exciting pretty soon for the Republicans. Very, very interesting.

    March 18, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Richard L

    Republican Sen. John Ensign
    Republican Sen. David Vitter
    Republican Gov. Mark Sanford

    The three highest elected officials CURRENTLY IN OFFICE that have been exposed as guilty of adultery are all from the "family values" "Moral Majority" party that constantly trashes the morals of the other party. Both sides have people guilty of adultery, but ONE side is far more guilty of HYPOCRISY when it comes to those issues.

    March 18, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Mickey

    Buh-bye you corrupt Republican!

    March 18, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    While they are throwing this bum and all the other holier than though repugs who lie and cheat out of office how about more stories about the C Street gang CNN?
    Please include their so called pastor who has called for the president's death.

    March 18, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Equality for all

    It's about time this holier than thou hypocrite is investigated and punished for his crimes.

    March 18, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Center left-out

    Why? won"t Ensign resign. Oh, I forgot he's above everyone else. His C-street friends said it was his calling to lead. The Republicans are the biggest hypocrites.

    March 18, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Wisconsonite - Stop Smoking the Tea Bags!

    "a federal grand jury investigation "

    Uh-oh . . . I think John's in some BIG trouble. This is a baaaad day to be a Republican't!

    March 18, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. AngryVoter

    Lawyers mincing words does not a defense make! A payoff is a payoff is a payoff. If it is an illegal payoff then Ensign needs to accept responsibility and accept the consequences.

    March 18, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Coburn of Oklahoma was the one that suggested Ensign and his parents "pay off" the mistress and her husband and their family. Coburn needs to go to jail with Ensign. (C-Street Family morals – HA)

    The FBI and DOJ – ha ha ha ha ha ha They will put the guys in prison. Bend over guys. And don't bother wasting money to run for your seat again. ha ha ha ha ha ha

    March 18, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Alvin BInion

    To be honest with you is there one honest politician in Washington? some of them may have good perfume on and have ran themsleves under the water but some of the just reek.

    March 18, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Flyer69

    A la MAssa

    March 18, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Scott ATL

    His parents gave them a $96,000 gift? I mean... for real... A gift??? I guess Johnson in Louisiana had a gift in his

    March 18, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Blows my mind! Take a look at the size of this article but Charlie Rangel, who held a very high office of authority went on for years unfettered, uninvestigated, etc., UNTIL NOW. That man wrote tax law and cheated all the while you and I were dutifully paying our taxes! Let a republican err and, WOW, the article can't be any larger. Hypocrisy at the highest level.

    March 18, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Bill K NY

    We must be tollerant and accepting of life styles that are different from our own.

    March 18, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. NYbywayof Texas

    People living in glass houses.....

    March 18, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Family Values

    GOP Translation: Your family's net worth and the amount of liquid they have on hand with which to bribe people who have dirt on you.

    March 18, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Watch the bodies starting dropping because Ensign has played with the big boys and this isn' a laughing matter. Ensign will get prison time for this type of corruption and he deserves it and the Republicans aren't going to touch this one, IT'S TOO HOT TO HANDLE.

    March 18, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. ran

    were are the Republicans requesting hearings on this guy.

    Could it be because he is a Republican!

    March 18, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. SuperHiro

    Who does this guy think he's fooling? I mean.. I know he probably won't get any kind of punishment but don't try to act like we don't get it.

    March 18, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Robert T., New Orleans

    Republican family values.

    March 18, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. ray

    vote these raciats out. all of them from ever side.

    March 18, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. eli


    Nice. Right on.

    March 18, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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