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Report: Ensign was confronted twice on affair

Sen. John Ensign’s housemates in a Capitol Hill Christian enclave had to intervene not once, but twice, in early 2008 to persuade him to cut off his extramarital affair, according to the New Yorker in a story this week.

A half dozen men awakened Ensign in his basement room and confronted him after learning he had not quit the affair, even after he had vowed to repent during an intervention several weeks earlier.

"This second intervention ended with Ensign sitting at the foot of his bed, weeping," according to the piece. “ ‘You’re right,’ he told his friends. ‘I’m going to end this craziness.’ ”

The article raises questions about the Nevadan agreeing to stop the affair in the first place, after he was confronted by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., several minsters and the woman’s husband, Doug Hampton.

According to the New Yorker, during the first intervention, Ensign was handed a pen and paper and was dictated a letter to Cindy Hampton, "declaring his intention to end the affair." Three ministers escorted him to FedEx, "and watched as he slipped the letter in the drop box."

But according to Hampton’s husband, Ensign subsequently telephoned her "and begged her to disregard the package he had just sent. He soon met her again, in Las Vegas, where they resumed the affair," according to the story.

A few weeks later, when word got back to Ensign’s housemates at the house on C Street, behind the Library of Congress, they were "astonished."

"At last, Steve Largent, a former Republican congressman and N.F.L. star — and one of the original C Street residents — spoke up. ‘Let’s go wake him up, right now,’ ” he said.

The Ensign story is the opening anecdote to a lengthy piece about the Fellowship, the mysterious ministry that has influenced numerous national figures dating back to the New Deal.

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