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Politico reports new Ensign allegation

Politico is all over embattled Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., a week before Nightline is expected to air a story about Ensign’s extramarital affair and subsequent ethical allegations.

Of note in the latest Politico story is a new allegation from Doug Hampton, a former Ensign staffer and husband of Cindy Hampton, another former employee and woman with whom Ensign admitted the extramarital affair.

Here’s the new material from Politico:

"The New York Times reported that Ensign and Hampton took an official congressional delegation to Iraq in February 2008 and that Ensign called Hampton’s wife there by telephone. POLITICO has learned that Hampton was brought on the trip, which also went to Afghanistan, despite the fact that he did not have a security clearance — and that Ensign was the only senator not to bring a military adviser on the trip.

After the trip, it became apparent to people who knew both men that they had feuded abroad, sources said. Days later, there was a major confrontation at the Capitol Hill home where Ensign lived with several senators, including Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), another trip attendee.

Ethics experts say the (congressional delegation) — which records show cost more than $10,000 per person — could cause additional ethical problems for Ensign if investigators look at how Ensign used his public office during the affair."

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