Ensign Returning to Capitol Hill on Monday

Posted June 20, 2009 at 6:47pm

Sen. John Ensign (R), who went into seclusion in his home state of Nevada this week after admitting to an affair with a former campaign staffer, plans to return to Capitol Hill on Monday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Ensign missed all of last week’s Senate floor votes, but an appearance on Monday would be a relatively quick return under the circumstances.Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) missed over a week of Senate action after acknowledging a relationship with a prostitute in 2007. Former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) missed about two weeks in September 2007 after Roll Call reported on his arrest in a Minneapolis airport men’s room.Ensign’s staff had suggested the Senator would not be back in Washington until after the upcoming July Fourth recessEnsign has given no indication that he plans to resign his seat in the wake of the scandal, although he did relinquish his position in the Senate GOP leadership.On Tuesday, Ensign acknowledged having an affair with a former campaign aide, subsequently revealed to be Cynthia Hampton. Her husband, Doug Hampton, was Ensign’s former administrative assistant. Ensign decided to publicize the affair after learning that Doug Hampton was shopping the story to the media, according to a source close to the Senator. The Las Vegas Sun reported that Doug Hampton had written to a Fox News anchorwoman asking her to publicize Ensign’s affair with Cynthia Hampton. The network has acknowledged it did not follow up on the story.On Friday, Ensign charged that an attorney for Doug Hampton sought a payment from the Senator.