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Doug Hampton: Money From Ensigns Was ‘Severance’

Doug Hampton, the former top aide to Sen. John Ensign whose wife had an affair with the Nevada Republican, is alleging the nearly $100,000 that the lawmaker’s parents paid him from their personal accounts after he discovered the affair was “severance— and not a gift as Ensign has claimed.Hampton’s allegations, which were made during an interview with ABC’s “Nightline— set to air Monday, could constitute a violation of federal law if proved true.In the Nightline interview, Hampton says the series of payments to himself and his family by Ensign’s parents were intended to be a payoff and not, as Ensign has claimed, a gift.“Crystal clear … I took notes. I’ve shared those notes. They’re well-documented. They were clearly what he deemed as severance,— Hampton told Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden.Hampton also ridiculed the Ensigns’ claim that the money was simply a gift and part of a “pattern of generosity— displayed by Ensign’s parents. “Pattern of generosity? Oh, hey, listen, ‘We realize our son’s having an affair with your wife, maybe some money will help.’ It’s ridiculous!— Hampton said.According to ABC News, which reported some key details of the exclusive interview Thursday evening, Hampton will also reiterate his accusation that Ensign helped find him a job with a lobbying firm, urged top donors to his campaign to hire Hampton and then did legislative favors for those clients following his discovery of the affair.Ensign admitted the affair with Cynthia Hampton, a former campaign aide, earlier this year. He has steadfastly denied charges that he sought to bribe Hampton or that he has violated any Senate ethics rules or federal laws.The Senate Ethics Committee has an ongoing preliminary investigation into the matter.A spokesperson for Ensign declined to comment on Hampton’s latest revelations.

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