Democratic Leadership Knew About Foley E-mails

Dec 8, 2006 5:51pm

The House Ethics Committee Report includes new information that top Democrats were also aware in 2005 of Mark Foley’s inappropriate e-mails to congressional pages at about the same time as outgoing Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office was informed. While the report is critical of Hastert and his staff for not taking sufficient action, nowhere is there any evidence that the Democrats followed up.  According to the Committee’s report, "the communications directors for both the House Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee" in the fall of 2005 also had copies of e-mails written by Mark Foley to a congressional page, which the high school student described as "sick, sick, sick, sick." THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Foley Investigation: Willful Ignorance But No Rules Broken Discretion Advised Read the Instant Messages That Forced Foley to Resign Click Here to Check Out Who’s Blowing Hot, Cool and Smoke on the Brian Ross Homepage While Foley’s staff and members of the House Republican leadership originally sought to downplay the original e-mails, describing them as overly friendly, the Ethics Committee report concluded, "The e-mails reflect inappropriate communications between a middle-aged congressman, through his private e-mail account, and a young male who had just left the employ of the House." The Ethics Committee found the "e-mails clearly provided a sufficient basis to at the very least confront Rep. Foley, demand an explanation" and "make him aware he could face serious consequences if the conduct did not stop." Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage on the Brian Ross Homepage. But while the report is highly critical of the shortcomings of Hastert and the Republican leadership, there is no follow-up to the brief one sentence mention on page 76 that powerful Democratic committees also knew about the e-mails except to note that Matt Miller, the House Democratic Caucus staff member, sent the e-mails at some pont to various news organizations.

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