Let the scrambling begin. The AP reports:
Rep. Thomas Reynolds (news, bio, voting record), head of the House Republican election effort, said Saturday he told Speaker Dennis Hastert months ago about concerns that a fellow GOP lawmaker had sent inappropriate messages to a teenage boy. Hastert's office said aides referred the matter to the proper authorities last fall but they were only told the messages were "over-friendly."
So naturally, they undertook a thorough investigation, right? Wrong.
After the issue was referred to the clerk, it was passed along to the congressman who oversees the page program, Rep. John Shimkus (news, bio, voting record), R-Ill.
Shimkus has said he learned about the e-mail exchange in late 2005 and took immediate action to investigate.
He said Foley told him it was an innocent exchange. Shimkus said he warned Foley not to have any more contact with the teenager and to respect other pages.
Well I guess that settles it, eh? "I didn't do anything wrong"...."Okay, well just don't do what you didn't do again." No ethics committee investigation. No report to the police about a possible crime. No request, much less a subpeona, of the logs of the emails and text messages from either the victim or from Foley. Hey, he said it was an innocent exchange. What more do you want? Well, how about an actual investigation? I know it would be inconvenient at a time when you're fighting to hold on to control of the house, but it's still the right thing to do.
Remember, this is the same group that went insane about Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, who was an adult. But when reports come in concerning one of their own legislators and a 16 year old congressional page, the most they could do is ask him about it and when he said it was okay, they believed him and went about their business. It's a little late to hear them feign outrage at what Foley did.
ABC News reported last night that GOP leaders in the House knew as far back as 2001.
Oh, and Tony Snow claimed that this was nothing more than "simply naughty emails"
How dare those godless Democrats out the pedophiles that we've been shielding? I'm outraged...OUTRAGED!
This is great news for anyone running against any Rep... The Reps dirty tricks bag just got a lot lighter, and the phrase Pot-Kettle-Black just got a lot stronger. And I think they know it. As a result, I think we need to watch out for more dirty tricks, "we are under attack" rhetoric before Nov.
Hastert on Foley, today: "Hastert said Foley was right to quit just before ABC News made the instant messages public on Friday, adding, 'If he had not, I would have demanded his expulsion.'"
Hastert on Rep. Bob Ney, after Ney plead guilty to corruption charges: "The illegal behavior that Congressman Bob Ney has admitted doing is unacceptable. I am glad he has recognized and accepted the consequences of his actions."
...By stepping down from his committee chairmanships and ending his re-election bid. Ney remains in office, unexpelled.