AUGUST 20, 2009
The Republican senator who insisted Bill Clinton resign after a romance with a White House intern defended his own extramarital affair, explaining it was different from the former commander-in-chief’s because he never did anything “legally wrong.”
Nevada Senator John Ensign, a married father of three and renowned conservative family values advocate, explains that Clinton committed a felony by lying to a grand jury about his sexual escapades with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He, on the other hand, never lied about his illicit affair under oath and therefore “I haven’t done anything legally wrong.”
The senator did however, sleep with his close friend’s wife for several months then tried to hide the affair by paying the disgruntled husband (safe to say former friend) tens of thousands of dollars. The mistress was the senator’s campaign staffer and the husband was a top aide in Ensign’s Senate office. When the loyal aide discovered his boss was sleeping with his wife, the senator transferred him out of the office and offered him hush money through a second party.
This may all sound like a steamy, cheap soap opera rather than the real life story of a once-respected lawmaker who served in the House before getting elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A veterinarian by trade, Ensign is a high-profile member of a renowned Colorado-based evangelical ministry that ironically helps “men keep their promises.” His extramarital affair certainly contradicts that mission.
In a piece appropriately titled “The Tangled Web of Deception John Ensign Wove,” a Las Vegas newspaper offers the sordid details of the seamy events as well as the senator’s sleazy cover up effort. The story refers to Ensign as a manipulative narcissist willing to put two longtime loyal operatives and their business at risk to cover his tracks.
No big deal, according to Ensign, because at least he didn’t lie to a grand jury like a former president. Never mind the enormous ethics implications of his abhorrent actions.
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