More bad news for John Ensign — and perhaps his former buddy Doug Hampton too?
The Las Vegas Sun has taken a look at the Senate disclosure form that Hampton filed when he left Ensign’s office — he says he and his wife Cindy were terminated — in spring 2008.
The form is signed April 30, 2008, and gives Hampton’s termination date as May 1, 2008. It asks: “Did you, your spouse or dependent child receive any reportable gift in the reporting period (i.e. aggregating more than $335 and not otherwise exempt)?”
Hampton has checked “no.”
Ensign, through his lawyer, has said that in April 2008, his parents made gifts to the Hamptons totaling $96,000. If these were indeed gifts, why didn’t Hampton disclose them as such?
The danger for Ensign here, as the Sun makes clear, is that Hampton’s failure to disclose the payments could mean they’ll be seen as severance paid by Ensign, not as gifts. And if they’re severance, then Ensign could have criminally violated campaign-finance law by not having himself reimbursed by the political committee for which Cindy Hampton worked.