Saturday, September 30, 2006

NRCC Chairman Reynolds Says Hastert Did Know About Rep. Foley's Sexually Explicit Emails To Underage Boy

The Washington Post reported this morning that Speaker of the House Denny Hastert denied knowing that Representative Mark Foley (R-Fl) had sent an underage boy sexually explicit emails. House Majority Leader John Boehner told the Washington Post last night that he had told Hastert about the allegations against Representative Foley in the spring of this year but then Boehner later called the Post back to say he couldn't remember if he had told Hastert or not.

But now National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Thomas Reynolds (R-NY) has released a statement saying he had told Hastert about the emails:

WASHINGTON Sep 30, 2006 (AP)— Rep. Thomas Reynolds, head of the House Republican election effort, said he told Speaker Dennis Hastert after learning a fellow GOP lawmaker sent inappropriate messages to a teenage boy.

Reynolds, R-N.Y., was told months ago about e-mails sent by Rep. Mark Foley and is now defending himself from Democratic accusations that he did too little. Foley, R-Fla., resigned Friday after ABC News questioned him about the e-mails to a former congressional page and about sexually suggestive instant messages to other pages.

The boy who received the e-mails was 16 in summer 2005 when he worked in Congress as a page. After the boy returned to his Louisiana home, the congressman e-mailed him, and the teenager thought the messages were inappropriate, particularly one in which Foley asked the teen to send a picture of himself.

The teen's family contacted their congressman, Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who then discussed it with Reynolds sometime this spring.

"Rodney Alexander brought to my attention the existence of e-mails between Mark Foley and a former page of Mr. Alexander's," Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a written statement Saturday.

"Despite the fact that I had not seen the e-mails in question, and Mr. Alexander told me that the parents didn't want the matter pursued, I told the speaker of the conversation Mr. Alexander had with me," Reynolds said.


Democrats charged Reynolds did far too little and said more digging should be done.

"Congressman Reynolds' inaction in the face of such a serious situation is very troubling, and raises important questions about whether there was an attempt to cover up criminal activity involving a minor to keep it from coming to light before election day," said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney.

New York Democrats hoping to unseat Reynolds blasted the congressman, saying they call into question the Republican's values.

"Mr. Reynolds knew about these allegedly inappropriate emails from a fellow congressman to a minor for months and didn't lift a finger," said Blake Zeff, a spokesman for the state Democrats.

The whole thing smacks of a cover-up. Hastert says he didn't know about the email. Boehner says Hastert did, then he changes his story and says he's not sure if he told Hastert. Now Reynolds, fighting for his political life in a very close race (latest Survey USA poll had Reynolds leading only by two points) releases a statement defending his own actions and essentially calling Hastert a liar.

These boys need to come clean and since it is obvious they won't come clean by themselves, an independent investigator needs to be appointed to get to the bottom of who knew what when and who did what when.

This is a major scandal. It's not just a sex scandal involving a 52 year old man and underage boys - it's also starting to look like a cover-up and/or conspiracy by the Republican leadership to hide the criminal activity, keep both voters and their Democratic colleagues in the dark about the incidents and enable Representative Foley to continue sending sexually explicit emails and instant messages to underage boys.

It is just unconscionable that the same Republicans who couldn't wait to try and impeach President Clinton for lying about having consensual sex with an adult woman did nothing for months while Representative Foley continued to send these kinds of sexually explicit messages to underage boys.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?