Friday, May 7, 2010

Lawyers for ethics committee in Vegas about Ensign

Attorneys for the Senate Ethics Committee were in Las Vegas questioning executives from Nevada companies and others about U.S. Sen. John Ensign's efforts to find work for his former mistress's husband, a Las Vegas television station reported Thursday.

Cynthia Hampton entered a hotel with her husband's attorney, Dan Albregts, and did not leave for two hours Monday, according to KLAS-TV.

Albregts declined to comment Thursday evening when reached by an Associated Press reporter.

Republican strategist Sig Rogich and his chief assistant Chris Cole say they were asked by attorneys at the same hotel about Ensign's attempts to have them hire his former aide, Doug Hampton.

The station used hidden cameras to document potential interviewees going to and leaving the hotel. A reporter also sought comment from an ethics staffer who declined.

The FBI and Senate Ethics Committee are investigating whether Ensign tried to limit political damage from the affair he had with Cynthia Hampton by conspiring to help Doug Hampton find work as a lobbyist. That might have violated lobbying restrictions.

A federal grand jury previously issued subpoenas to a Republican campaign committee and companies in Nevada related to the probe.

Federal criminal law prohibits congressional aides from lobbying ex-bosses or other office colleagues for one year after they have left their jobs.

Ensign acknowledged the relationship with Cynthia Hampton last June. He helped Doug Hampton gain employment with a lobbying firm. His parents provided the Hamptons with a $96,000 payment they described as a gift.

Ensign is married. The affair ended in 2008.

The affair and its legal fallout have ended talk that Ensign might try for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and forced him to resign as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Information from: KLAS-TV,

By The Associated Press

Source: Google News

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