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Sen. John Ensign’s re-election campaign fund paid out nearly $18,000 in legal fees in the last quarter of 2009, according to his most recent Federal Election Commission report.The Nevada Republican, who has faced media scrutiny over his handling of an extramarital affair with the wife of a former aide, is the focus of a Senate Ethics panel investigation.Ensign reported three payments to the Boston-based firm Fish & Richardson, including about $8,700 in October, $6,800 in November and $2,300 in December.In his FEC reports covering the first three quarters of 2009, Ensign reported five payments of $425 to the same firm between April and August, totaling a little more than $2,100.Greg Giroux contributed to this report.

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