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Husband of John Ensign’s ex-lover calls for resignation

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Leila Navidi

Doug Hampton is a former senior aide to Sen. John Ensign and is married to the woman with whom the senator admitted to having an affair.

Updated Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | 3:02 p.m.

Ensign Announcement

U.S. Sen. John Ensign announces he will not seek another term in 2012 during a news conference at the Lloyd George Federal Building in Las Vegas on Monday, March 7, 2011. Ensign's wife, Darlene, stands by him at left. Launch slideshow »

The man whose wife had a monthslong affair with Sen. John Ensign said in a rare statement Wednesday that the Republican should immediately resign to shield the family from an ongoing ethics investigation stemming from the extramarital relationship.

Doug Hampton, Ensign's former co-chief of staff, said Ensign's "callousness and lack of remorse" has prolonged the anguish caused by the 2008 affair.

Ensign announced on Monday that he wouldn't pursue a third term to protect his wife and children from "exceptionally ugly" campaign attacks. The Senate Ethics Committee is investigating whether Ensign tried to hide the affair by securing Hampton a lobbying job.

Hampton said he, his wife and others close to them are being forced to cooperate with the investigation, a process that continues to reopen old wounds.

"His selfish, steadfast refusal to resign immediately prolongs the pain and anguish he caused," Hampton said. "It also requires us to continue to cooperate with the Senate Ethics investigation, including disrupting our lives by requiring myself, Cindy and others close to us to return to Washington D.C. to be deposed."

Hampton dismissed the ethical questions driving the investigation. Ensign's parents provided the Hampton family with $96,000 described as a gift and federal criminal law prohibits congressional aides from lobbying their ex-bosses or office colleagues for one year after departing their Hill jobs.

"The cost to the taxpayers of this fruitless exercise flies in the face of John's claim of being fiscally conservative and a protector of the taxpayer's money, much like his affair with my wife flew in the face of his claim to moral righteousness," Hampton said.

Daniel Albregts, a Las Vegas lawyer representing the Hamptons, told The Associated Press that Doug and Cindy Hampton have both been subpoenaed and could return to Washington soon.

"It's imminent," he said.

Albregts declined to name the others who have been questioned or discuss investigators' questions.

The Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission also investigated the scandal, then dropped the cases with little explanation. The Senate ethics panel, however, recently named a special counsel to look into the matter.

Ensign's spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Albregts said the Hamptons recently relocated to California to start a new life together, but Ensign's continued presence in Washington - a constant reminder of the affair - has prolonged their healing process.

"They lost everything," Albregts said. "They are trying to rebuild their lives."

Ensign acknowledged the relationship with Cindy Hampton in June 2009. The Ensigns and the Hamptons had been close friends and Cindy Hampton also worked for Ensign in Washington.

The affair and the legal problems that followed ended talk that Ensign might make a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and forced him to resign his position as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Through it all, Ensign insisted he would seek re-election until his announcement on Monday, when he reiterated that he had not violated any laws or ethics rules. He also said the investigation did not influence his decision to retire from politics after 2012.

"If I was concerned about that I would have resigned, because that would make the most sense because then it goes away," Ensign said.

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  1. He should sue Ensign for legal expenses. Is Hampton still a "Famiy Values" Christian conservative republican? Maybe Fox will give him a job.

  2. I don't get it. It takes two to tango, right?

  3. Both wives are pretty hot....just throw me in there somewhere.

  4. I guess Doug may be a better man than me because I would have stomped John's Butt and then tossed my wife's tail on the street. You know every time Doug goes to kiss her that image of her doing well...... will come across his mind and it has to lay heavily on his mind. And you know that John's Wife is thinking the same thing like don't kiss me with those lips I know where they have been. Yep it's like swapping partners.

    And I don't know what Doug's wife looks like but John's wife is pretty hot buddy yes sirre she is a good looking mother I like to go out with if I were single.

  5. Alex still not the same as feeling your knuckles opening up his lips and hanging a sign on his eye closed for the weekend. lol

  6. Can anyone else hear that ZZ TOP song in the background "Pearl Necklace"

  7. Clearly Ensign is an idiot,...he's proved that over and over,...but why cheat on a wife that looks like his? If she was smart,...she'd be divorcing him as fast as she could. It would serve Johnny right.

  8. I have problems feeling sorry for a man that was more then happy to take the big payday from Mr. Ensigns parents after he found out his wife was playing around with Mr. Ensign.

    Maybe if he returned all that money I might gain a bit of respect for him.

    It takes two to play, his wife was on board for the play and the payday.

  9. John Ensign should resign. This is the right thing to do. An elected official breaking the trust of the voters must be held accountable. Ensign must resign, today!