Something’s been bugging me about this whole story. I keep hearing media accounts of how Hastert and Republican leadership knew of Foley’s inappropriate messages as far back as 2005. But the media and their liberal allies keep blending two issues to try and make this scandal bigger than Mark Foley.
First issue: Emails.
It’s undisputed that Mark Foley sent 5 emails to a page in 2005.
Campaign aides had previously acknowledged that the Republican congressman e-mailed the former Capitol page five times, but had said there was nothing inappropriate about the exchange. The page was 16 at the time of the e-mail correspondence.
Here is the text of the emails:
Email 1: do I have the right email
Email 2: Glad your home safe and sound… we don’t go back into session until sep 5… it’s a nice long break… I am back in Florida now… it’s nice here..been raining today… it sounds like you will have some fun over the next few weeks… how old are you now?
Email 3: I just emailed will…hes such a nice guy…acts much older than his age…and hes in really great shape…i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym…whats school like for you this year?
Email 4: I am in North Carolina…and it was 100 in New Orleans…wow that’s really hot…well do you missDC…Its raining here but 68 degrees so who can argue..did you have fun at your conference…what do you want for your birthday coming up…what stuff do you like to do
Email 5: How are you weathering the hurricane…are you safe…send me a pic of you as well….
Maybe these are weird communications from an elected official to a teenage page, but without more, would this be something that would make you call for a full-scale criminal investigation or ethical complaint?
Hastert has acknowledged knowing about these emails back in 2005, and in fact did take action.
Hastert’s office said in the fall of 2005 his staff referred concerns about contact between Foley and the page to the clerk of the House. The unidentified clerk asked to see the e-mail exchange but the request was “declined citing the fact that the family wished to maintain as much privacy as possible and simply wanted the contact to stop,” it said.
The clerk was told the exchange was not sexual in nature, but rather “over-friendly,” Hastert’s office said.
Officials then met with Foley to tell him to “avoid even the appearance of impropriety and at the request of the parents, Congressman Foley was to immediately cease any communication with the young man,” the statement said.
Even ABC news, who broke this story, called the emails “tame“:
Yesterday, we asked the congressman about some much tamer e-mails from one page, and he said he was just being overly friendly.
Second issue: Instant Messages.
But when ABC news ran their story this week and included information about disturbing instant messages that Foley sent to the pages, Hastert and Republican leadership again took action. On top of Foley resigning from Congress…
On Saturday, Hastert, House Majority Leader John Boehner and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt called for a criminal investigation into Foley’s actions.
“His immediate resignation must now be followed by the full weight of the criminal justice system,” the leaders said in a statement.
But the MSM and their liberal allies keep trying to make it appear that Hastert and others knew of the disturbing instant messages a year ago… which appears not to be the case.
An FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the field office concluded that the e-mails “did not rise to the level of criminal activity.”
So what were they supposed to do beyond that point? It doesn’t appear anyone really knew of the instant messages until this week when ABC news decided (after holding them for over a month) to release them.
The same Left that demanded an investigation into an elected official’s activities with a staffer be immediately ceased as it was a private affair (in 1998), are demanding that a full investigation of an elected official’s activities with a staffer should’ve been fully investigated in 2005-2006.
The same Left that is fighting against the President’s terrorist-surveillance program are demanding that Congressional leaders should’ve fully pried into private electronic communications between two American citizens, both of whom were of legal consenting age (it’s 16 in D.C.).
This story is about a single, sick, gay Congressman. But the investigation is focusing on the House, rather than on Foley. And all this is happening 4 weeks before an extremely important election. It’s no coincidence.