You may remember former Sen. John Ensign from the time he had an affair with his best friend's wife and was accused of campaign finance violations and obstructing justice in his efforts to cover it up. Yesterday, the Senate released a full report of his dirty dealings. Allow us to share with you some highlights.
On how it all started
In November 2007, the Hampton home in Summerlin, Nevada was burglarized during the daytime. Although they were in Nevada at the time, none of the Hampton family members were home at the time of the incident. The burglars entered the home by breaking into the downstairs guest bathroom, and they stole electronics and jewelry. When Mr. Hampton came home, he saw that the front door to the home was left open, and suspected that something had occurred. Ms. Hampton was afraid to stay in the home, and the Ensigns offered to let the Hamptons stay in their home until the door was repaired and Ms. Hampton felt safe to return to the home. Senator Ensign said "well, you guys are going to have to come and stay with me."
The extramarital affair between Senator Ensign and Ms. Hampton began after the Hamptons moved into the Ensigns home following the burglary.
On the dangers of sexting
Mr. Hampton found out about the affair on December 23, 2007, while he and his wife were on the way to the airport to pick up their son for the holidays. Senator Ensign was in a separate car on the way to the airport to greet the Hamptons son as well. While waiting in his car as Ms. Hampton went to pick up their son s girlfriend from her home on the way to the airport, Mr. Hampton saw that his wife left her cell phone in the car and he viewed a text message from Senator Ensign to Ms. Hampton that made clear an affair was occurring. Press reports indicate the text message stated "How wonderful it is ... Scared, but excited."
A chase scene
When Ms. Hampton came back to the car, Mr. Hampton stated I know what you and John are doing. Mr. Hampton then called Senator Ensign and said that he knew what was happening. Senator Ensign did not inform Darlene Ensign at the time. When the cars were parked in the airport parking lot, Mr. Hampton jumped out of his car and chased Senator Ensign in the airport parking lot. Ms. Hampton went into the airport and sat there for "hours."
On more sexting and the toll of deception
In January 2008, Senator Ensign began texting Ms. Hampton again, and the affair resumed. Ms. Hampton was very despondent during this time frame. Senator Ensign gave Ms. Hampton $3,000 in cash to purchase items for herself and to use for hotel rooms in Las Vegas that Ms. Hampton reserved in her name at his request for their clandestine meetings, because "it always had to be under my name, it could never be under his name."
Senator Ensign told Ms. Hampton on more than one occasion that he wanted to marry her. Senator Ensign told Ms. Hampton that he wanted to marry her while they attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.
On Jesus, just take away this guy's cell phone
Mr. Hampton, who was also on the trip, became aware of the continued contact between Senator Ensign and Ms. Hampton. He asked to borrow Senator Ensign s cell phone to call Ms. Hampton, and Senator Ensign scrolled to a name listing for "Aunt Judy" rather than Ms. Hampton's real name. The call history on the phone also disclosed to Mr. Hampton that the affair was continuing.
On putting your pants back on
On February 16, 2008, two days after the intervention, Tim Coe received a call from Doug Hampton. Mr. Hampton was looking for the Senator to have him sign some documents for the NRSC, and saw his car and Ms. Hampton's car parked in a parking lot of a hotel close to their Summerlin neighborhood. Mr. Coe pleaded with him [Hampton] to go home. Mr. Coe called Senator Ensign and stated "I know exactly where you are. I know exactly what you are doing. Put your pants on and go home." Senator Ensign initially said he would not leave the hotel room, telling Mr. Coe "I can t, I love her [Ms. Hampton]." Senator Ensign ultimately agreed to leave the hotel. After he left the hotel, Senator Ensign told Mr. Coe that he wanted to marry Ms. Hampton.
The two did not marry. After asking Sen. Ensign never to contact her again (to which he finally agreed), Cindy Hampton filed for bankruptcy and divorce. According to the report, she "is presently moving out of California to work for a Christian organization." Ensign resigned from the Senate on May 2, likely to avoid being kicked out. In a speech that day, he said,
Unfortunately, I was blind to how arrogant and self-centered I had become. I did not recognize that I thought mostly of myself. This is how dangerous the feeling of power and adulation can be.