Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | 6:45 p.m.
Previously undisclosed e-mail messages turned over to the F.B.I. and Senate ethics investigators provide new evidence about Senator John Ensign’s efforts to steer lobbying work to the embittered husband of his former mistress and could deepen his legal and political troubles, the New York Times is reporting.
Ensign, Republican of Nevada, suggested that a Las Vegas development firm hire the husband, Douglas Hampton, after it had sought the senator’s help on several energy projects in 2008, according to e-mail messages and interviews with company executives.
The messages are the first written records from Mr. Ensign documenting his efforts to find clients for Mr. Hampton, a top aide and close friend, after the senator had an affair with his wife, Cynthia Hampton.
Ensign's communications director, Rebecca Fisher, released the following statement Wednesday night in response to the New York Times story:
"Any allegation or inference that Senator Ensign’s motivation for doing his job as a Senator was anything but for the good of his state is completely false and misleading. He did everything necessary to ensure there was no impropriety whatsoever in this matter. He not only returned the donation, but also informed the company that his office could not be of assistance in any capacity due to the connection of a fundraiser and legislative requests made by any employee of the company. Public records clearly show that Senator Ensign did not take any legislative action at the behest of this company.
"No one is more anxious for this investigation to be completed and for the facts to come out than Senator Ensign. He is hopeful that politics will stay out of the investigation so that he can continue to focus on his job as Nevada’s Senator."