NRSC Subpoenaed In Ensign Probe

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury that’s investigating the John Ensign sex-and-lobbying scandal, reports Politico.

Federal investigators asked the NRSC for documents relating to the Nevada senator’s 2007-08 tenure as chair of the committee.“The NRSC has responded appropriately to questions concerning matters related to the 2008 election cycle timeframe,” Sean Cairncross, the NRSC’s general counsel, told Politico.

The Justice Department has been looking into whether Ensign violated lobbying rules in seeking to set up Hampton, a former aide, as a lobbyist. Hampton left Ensign’s office in the aftermath of the senator’s affair with Hampton’s wife.

It’s not clear what the investigators might be looking for in the NRSC records. But a Las Vegas news station, which last night reported the existence of six other subpoenas to Nevada businesses, also noted that the Feds are interested in allegations that Ensign offered to help a Nevada credit card company block proposed new regulation in return for a $28,000 donation to the NRSC.

That raises the possibility that the probe could be mushrooming into a bribery inquiry that could ensnare the NRSC as it gets set for this fall’s election.

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