Nevada Senator John Ensign announced his resignation today amid an on-going ethics investigation. The Republican said he plans to send Vice President Biden a formal letter tomorrow, making it official.
He is currently under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. In 2009, he admitted to having an extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton, a former member of his campaign staff, and that he helped her husband/member of his staff, Doug Hampton, get lobbying work.
In a statement released today by his office, Ensign maintains his innocence:
It is with tremendous sadness that I officially hand over the Senate seat that I have held for eleven years," said Ensign. "The turbulence of these last few years is greatly surpassed by the incredible privilege that I feel to have been entrusted to serve the people of Nevada. I can honestly say that being a United States Senator has been the honor of my life.
I know that my staff has been devoted to helping those in our state when they needed our assistance the most, and I hope that this will be the enduring legacy that we leave behind. As I close the door to this chapter of my life, I am left with memories that I will forever treasure. Traveling across our state during the years, I have heard incredible stories of strength, of struggle, and of compassion. I have met people who have forever changed me, and I can say that I will go through life a better person because of the struggle that I have been through and the support that I have received.
While I stand behind my firm belief that I have not violated any law, rule, or standard of conduct of the Senate, and I have fought to prove this publicly, I will not continue to subject my family, my constituents, or the Senate to any further rounds of investigation, depositions, drawn out proceedings, or especially public hearings. For my family and me, this continued personal cost is simply too great.
His resignation is effective as of May 3.