New court date for Ensign's former aide Hampton

WASHINGTON -- The arraignment of former U.S. Senate aide Doug Hampton on charges of violating federal lobbying law has been set for Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Hampton will enter a plea in a 1:30 p.m. appearance before U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, according to an entry in the court's docket on Wednesday.

A former administrative assistant to Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., Hampton is charged with seven counts of violating the federal "revolving door" law that forbids high-ranking Senate aides from lobbying the Senate for a year after they leave Capitol Hill.

Hampton originally was to be arraigned today . His attorney, Federal Public Defender A.J. Kramer, sought a continuance and help from the court with Hampton's transportation from Los Angeles after the defendant was declared indigent and eligible for a court-appointed lawyer.

On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate John Facciola issued an order instructing the U.S. Marshals Service to provide Hampton with round-trip transportation for the arraignment.

Hampton, who was a close friend of Ensign's, was administrative assistant to the Nevada Republican until May 2008. He left Ensign's staff several months after discovering his wife, Cindy, and Ensign were having an affair.

Ensign helped Hampton find clients as a new lobbyist. According to his indictment, in the ensuing months Hampton contacted two of Ensign's aides on behalf of clients in what appears to be a violation of the law.

Hampton has said that Ensign took part in the arrangement, though the senator has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing. Ensign is under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee on matters stemming from the affair.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760.


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