WASHINGTON — It was one of Capitol Hill’s most salacious scandals, featuring a senator’s affair with a campaign aide, an outraged husband, tens of thousands of dollars in hush money, illicit lobbying deals with Las Vegas power brokers and a dramatic intervention by a leading Christian ministry.
Now, three years after the fall of former Senator John E. Ensign of Nevada, thousands of pages of previously undisclosed documents reveal new details about the evidence the F.B.I. gathered against Mr. Ensign, a onetime Republican presidential hopeful. The documents, which show that Mr. Ensign’s behavior was more brash than known at the time, also offer new specifics about why the Justice Department decided not to prosecute Mr. Ensign despite an aggressive F.B.I. investigation into the scandal.
Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, tried to steer lobbying work to the husband of his former mistress, records indicate.
E-Mail Messages Are Disclosed in Ensign’s Ethics CaseMARCH 10, 2010
Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, left, hired Doug Hampton, an old friend, as an aide in 2006. Mr. Ensign has admitted having an affair with Mr. Hampton’s wife, Cindy, his campaign treasurer.
Senator Helped Mistress’s Husband, Raising Ethics FlagsOCT. 1, 2009
The Justice Department recently turned over some 3,000 pages of internal documents from the case to a public watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, known as CREW, after the organization sued under the Freedom of Information Act. The group provided the files to The New York Times, which in 2009 published an investigation of the Ensign case that prompted the F.B.I. inquiry
WHAT CREW HAS LEARNED ABOUT THE JOHN ENSIGN INVESTIGATION AND WHY HE WAS NEVER PROSECUTED
What CREW Learned About John Ensign
WHAT CREW HAS LEARNED ABOUT THE JOHN ENSIGN INVESTIGATION AND WHY HE WAS NEVER PROSECUTED INTRODUCTION
Of all of the public corruption investigations the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) closed
without bringing charges, its investigation of former Senator John Ensign (R-NV) raises some of the most troubling questions. Although there appears to be a substantial record of criminal behavior by Sen. Ensign, including that assembled by the Senate Ethics Committee, DOJ declined to prosecute him, deciding instead to take action against his former top aide. Through
Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request
s of DOJ, CREW was able to uncover additional evidence, but questions remain about why Sen. Ensign was never prosecuted..