The Federal Election Commission “has dismissed a complaint against Sen. John Ensign over a $96,000 payment his parents made to his former mistress and her family,” the AP reports.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a campaign finance watchdog group, announced Friday that the commission had dismissed its complaint against Ensign, his parents, his campaign and his political action committee over the money paid to Cynthia Hampton, with whom the Nevada Republican has admitted having an affair. CREW contended it amounted to an illegal political donation to Ensign.
The FEC said in a written statement explaining its reasons that Ensign’s parents considered the April 2008 payment to Hampton, her husband and their children a gift given out of concern for longtime family friends. Hampton is a former Ensign campaign aide, and her husband Doug Hampton used to be an Ensign congressional staffer.
The commission’s action “doesn’t mean the government is finished investigating John Ensign.”
He has been under criminal investigation by the Justice Department’s public integrity section and the Senate ethics committee. The inquiries revolve around whether Ensign helped Doug Hampton violate federal lobbying restrictions.
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