U.S. Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) reported $551,000 in payments from his campaign fund to 12 different law firms in the third quarter of this year, and $118,000 to an e-discovery firm as the senator faces multiple ethics investigations.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Sunday that the uptick in payments results from an offer Ensign made to his staff, pledging to pay their legal fees if any of them get drawn into the ethics investigations. The Senate Ethics Committee and the U.S. Justice Department are investigating whether Ensign violated ethics rules or federal law in an attempt to cover up his affair with a woman who was then on his staff.
So which law firms did Ensign end up paying? Here’s the full list, according to a 50-page report his campaign filed Friday.
Wiley Rein, $244,443.08
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, $147,515.97
Fish & Richardson, $69,393.69
Covington & Burling, $25,000.00
Katten Muchin Rosenman, $15,202.14
DLA Piper, $10,327.20
Trout Cacheris, $10,296.00
Law Office of Elliot S. Berke, $8,561.69
Gray Plant Mooty, $8,219.79
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, $8,166.50
Bernadette Sargeant, $2,364.00
Holland & Knight, $1,645.07
The Review-Journal has reported that Locke Lord partner Paul Coggins, previously of Fish & Richardson, is representing Ensign in the DOJ investigation and that Robert Walker, of counsel at Wiley Rein, is representing him in the Senate investigation. Covington partner Robert Kelner is representing Ensign’s chief of staff, John Lopez.
An Ensign spokeswoman did not respond to a request about whom the other firms are representing. Several of the firms also did not respond to requests for comment.
The campaign reported paying an additional $117,821.06 to Equivalent Data, an e-discovery company in Texas.