CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Ex-Aide to Senator Pleads Guilty in Scheme That Snared Only Him"

From the New York Times:

If Mr. Hampton’s plea deal with federal prosecutors provides a cautionary tale about the abuse of political power, it is a complicated one that has left a number of legal and political observers befuddled by the Justice Department’s contrasting treatment of Mr. Hampton and his onetime boss.

Mr. Hampton faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine after admitting that he lobbied Mr. Ensign, a Nevada Republican, within days of leaving his Senate staff — in violation of a federal “cooling off” period that prohibits such contacts for a year.

Mr. Ensign, for his part, has returned to his veterinary practice in Nevada and told an interviewer in February that he was “having a ball” caring for animals again. He has not been charged by the Justice Department, despite findings last year by Senate ethics investigators that his own role in directing the lobbying scheme broke the law.

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