- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Senate ethics committee may open a full-scale investigation of Sen. John Ensign’s reported flouting of ethics rules, Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, said Sunday.

The committee is completing a preliminary investigation of Mr. Ensign, Nevada Republican, said Mrs. Boxer, who declined to discuss details of the inquiry.

“Because I’m the chair of the Senate ethics committee, I can’t discuss this with you, other than to say that there is a preliminary investigation going on and we will look at all aspects of this case, as we do whenever there’s a case before us, and try to get to the bottom of it as quickly as we can, in fairness to all,” Mrs. Boxer said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican and the Senate’s second-ranked GOP member, did not defend Mr. Ensign on Sunday, choosing instead to remain noncommittal.

“I respect what Senator Boxer said, and I think that’s probably a good practice for all of us, is to wait and see what happens,” Mr. Kyl said.

According to a New York Times report, Mr. Ensign, whose affair with a campaign aide led him to resign his post in the Senate Republican leadership, secured a lobbying job and steered clients to his aide’s husband, Doug Hampton.

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