John Ensign in 1998:
"I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it's because of what [Bill Clinton] put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through," Ensign said Thursday, becoming the first member of the Nevada delegation to call for Clinton to quit. "He has no credibility left."
As an up-and-coming Republican, John Ensign came to the very serious conclusion that Bill Clinton needed to resign because he engaged in consensual sex with another adult. Obviously he thought long and hard about it, just like every other Republican and Joe Lieberman at the time who came to the same conclusion did.
And now, after getting caught in an affair of his own and subsequent Senate Ethics Committee investigation, he's resigning:
Senator John Ensign's departure from the Senate, after more than a year of insisting he would not resign but would fight to defend his name, almost certainly marks the end of his political career. But the embarrassing spectacle is not necessarily over for the Nevada Republican.
The Senate Ethics Committee will now have to decide if it wants to make public any of the evidence it turned up in a year and a half spent investigating the aftermath of an affair Mr. Ensign had with the wife of a former top aide, Douglas Hampton.
Technically, once Mr. Ensign formally resigns -- which is scheduled to take place on May 3--the Senate Ethics Committee can no longer take disciplinary action against him, and it must wrap up its investigation. But nothing prevents the committee from deciding to release a statement of some kind that details what it has found. It also could still refer the matter to the Department of Justice.
I don't know what the committee found, and maybe there's something truly scandalous there (there was a $96,000 payment made by Ensign's parents to the husband of the woman Ensign had the affair with).
Since he resigned, one would think that they found something pretty serious behind that affair, the job Ensign got for his lover's husband, and the $96,000, and it seems like we're going to find out soon enough anyway. Even though I doubt this is the first unethical thing the man has done, it's interesting that it started with an affair and the media scrutiny that surrounds that, which is something he so maturely and uprightly decided required resignation a decade ago.
John Ensign is a member of the Promise Keepers, a misogynist organization, and the Family, a secretive group of powerful Christians best known for promoting homophobia in Africa. He also voted for DADT repeal. The Republican governor of Nevada will appoint a replacement.