The Senate ethics committee is referring its investigation of former Sen. John Ensign (R., Nev.) to the Justice Department:
“We had reason to believe Senator Ensign violated laws,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairman of the panel, said Thursday afternoon.
The Senate Ethics Committee is unveiling its findings from its nearly two-year investigation into the actions following then-Sen. Ensign’s affair with a political aide, in a rare set of public speeches on the chamber floor.
Boxer and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), the chairman and ranking member of the committee, respectively, announced Thursday that they would speak about their investigation of Ensign (R-Nev.), who resigned effective May 3 rather than continue to face the heat of the ethics panel probe.
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The committee will not be able to formally rebuke Ensign, because it lost its jurisdiction in the case once he left the Senate. However, it had several options, including a public summary of the findings that could include allegations of violations by Ensign.
It is taking the route of sending the evidence and testimony gathered in the case to the Justice Department, which has been conducting a parallel criminal inquiry.