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May 3, 2011

Communication from the Honorable John Ensign

[Page: S2585]  GPO's PDF 


Mr. REID. I understand, Mr. President, you are going to make a report to the Senate.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair lays before the Senate a communication regarding the resignation of Senator Ensign.

Without objection, the letter will be printed in the Record and spread upon the Journal.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:


Washington, DC, April 22, 2011.
Vice President Joe Biden,
The White House, Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. VICE PRESIDENT: I am writing to submit my resignation from the United States Senate, effective close of business May 3, 2011. The short time before I leave is necessary to ensure the smooth transition of my office and to assist the dedicated people who work in the office the time to arrange their next positions.

The decision to leave the Senate before my term has expired is the most difficult decision I have had to make in public life. I am immensely proud and honored to have served the people of Nevada for more than 10 years. I do not easily or lightly forego the obligation to fulfill the term to which I was elected. However, as my colleagues, friends, and constituents know, my family, my staff and I have gone through an emotional, personal and professional rollercoaster of inquiries by the Department of Justice, the Federal Election Commission, and the Senate Ethics Committee. These inquiries have been time-consuming and distracting to everyone involved and, not unimportantly to me, have been financially very costly.

I am gratified that, after extended investigations, both the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission saw no grounds on which to charge me with improper conduct. I was hopeful that, with the closure of these investigations against me the wear and tear on me and on my family and staff would soon be over. That was not the case.

As is its right, the Senate Ethics Committee is continuing its investigation of issues into which it has been inquiring for the past year and a half. Indeed, the Committee even decided recently to devote more resources to its investigation by hiring an outside special counsel, even though the issues have been viewed and reviewed by so many others.

I firmly believe that I have not violated any law, rule, or standard of conduct of the Senate. But even to prove this publicly I will not subject my family, my staff, my constituents, or the Senate to any further rounds of investigation, depositions, drawn out proceedings, or, especially, potential public hearings. For my family, my staff and me, the continuing personal cost would simply be too great. For my constituents, for the Senate, and for my colleagues and friends in this great institution, they should not have to endure any further distraction from the many, many critical issues on America's agenda. Not another day of effort should be spent on my case when we face the pressing issues of the National debt, tax reform, the next budget, and military conflicts in so many places in the world.

Therefore, with the greatest personal sadness and reluctance, I am taking this step of resignation to allow my family and me finally to move on and so that the Senate, in the months to come, may attend fully to the crucial business of the Nation. I cannot thank all my colleagues and constituents enough for the honor of serving and of contributing whatever I have been able to contribute to this body and to the people of the State of Nevada and of the United States of America.


John Ensign,
United States Senator.

(Senate - May 02, 2011)

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