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Ensign Issues Another Apology for Affair

Dogged by continued questions over his handling of an extramarital affair with a former campaign aide — and the departure this week of two key staffers — Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) issued a statement Friday night to his home-state media, apologizing once again for his behavior.In the statement, Ensign said his recent silence over reports that his parents paid the family of Cynthia Hampton, his ex-mistress, $96,000, was due to the fact that he has been “advised— not to comment ever since the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint against him last month with the Senate Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission.Until the affair ended last year, Hampton was the treasurer of Ensign’s campaign committee and his political action committee, and her husband was a top aide in his Senate office. Ensign also arranged for the couple’s teenage son to get a job at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, where the Senator was chairman during the 2008 election cycle.”I know there are questions regarding my affair with Cindy Hampton that people want to know the answers to,— Ensign said in the statement, which was published in two Las Vegas newspapers in their Saturday editions. “It was reported, however, that CREW was planning to file complaints with the Senate Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission, so I have been advised not to publicly comment further at this time. If any inquiries are undertaken, then I am confident they will be resolved in my favor and those questions will be answered. I am very sorry this issue has caused a great deal of embarrassment and pain for my family, the Hamptons, and many of my supporters. I remain committed to working hard for the people of Nevada on the important matters before the Senate.”Ensign is not up for re-election until 2012, but has said he plans to seek a third term then, despite the political scars.