By J. Taylor Rushing - 06/22/09 08:26 PM EDT
The Nevada Republican showed up at his first-floor office in the Russell Senate Office Building in the afternoon, declining to comment in detail to reporters.
A handful of reporters and photographers had kept watch over Ensign’s office from the end of a hallway connecting it to the Senate subway for about two hours.
Ensign repeatedly resisted commenting when asked details about his affair with a staffer and reports that extortion was involved. He instead referred reporters to his public statement in Las Vegas last Monday, at which he refused to take questions.
“I have no more other comments to make,” he said. “I have nothing further to add.”
The senator repeated variations of that statement seven times when asked about the affair and whether he would resign. He has already resigned as GOP policy chairman, the Senate’s No. 5 leadership position among Republicans
Ensign was greeted warmly by his Republican colleagues when he walked on to the Senate floor.
Under the watch of Senate reporters, GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) made pointed displays of shaking Ensign’s hand and grasping his shoulder. The senator retreated to his desk, sitting next to Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.), his D.C. housemate, for an extended conversation.