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Ensign Quits Senate GOP Leadership Post After Admitting Affair

DAVID ESPO   06/17/09 02:01 PM ET   AP

Ensign

WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has stepped down from his leadership post one day after admitting he carried on a marital affair with a woman who was on his campaign staff.

Ensign conveyed his decision in a phone call with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he had accepted the resignation.

Ensign was chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-ranking spot in the leadership.

He remained away from the Capitol during the day, and aides declined to answer additional questions about the affair.

A timeline issued Tuesday said Ensign was involved in a "consensual affair" from December, 2007 through August, 2008. There has been no indication of why the senator decided to announce his infidelity when he did.

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Filed by Susan Crile  |