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Ethics Committee Leaders to Speak on Ensign Case

Senate Ethics Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) are expected to speak on the Senate floor around 2:30 p.m. Thursday about the conclusion of the committee’s investigation of former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who resigned at the beginning of May.

For nearly two years, the committee has conducted an inquiry into the actions of the embattled Nevada lawmaker, following Ensign’s admission that he conducted an affair with the wife of an ex-aide, Doug Hampton, who was indicted in March for lobbying Ensign during a mandated cooling-off period after he left the Hill. Hampton has said Ensign helped him establish his lobbying business and funneled clients to him. Ensign’s parents also gave Hampton $96,000 following his departure.

Boxer and Isakson indicated at the time of Ensign’s resignation, which he announced in late April, that the committee would continue its investigation. Though the Ethics panel will not be able to discipline Ensign now that he has left the Senate, it is expected that they will issue a report detailing any wrondoing. The committee could also refer its findings to law enforcement if it concludes Ensign committed a crime.

“The Senate Ethics Committee has worked diligently for 22 months on this matter and will complete its work in a timely manner,” Boxer and Isakson said in a release at the time of Ensign’s resignation.

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