It seems everybody in Republican D.C.’s covering their asses after attempting to cover up Mark Foley’s penchant for young boys for years. Hastert is doing this perhaps with the greatest hypocrisy. But even the FBI is getting into the act.
The Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) apparently provided the initial e mail and instant message traffic between Foley and the pages to the FBI on July 21, 2006. The Feds are trying to cover their ass saying the e mails were “redacted” i.e. not full versions and that CREW stonewalled when the FBI requested further information. CREW accuses the FBI of lying. This is strong stuff:
CREW wrote to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General’s (I.G.) office today to ask for an investigation into why the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has fabricated and disseminated a cover-up story as to why it never investigated the Foley emails sent to it by CREW.
CBS News has reported that according to the FBI when CREW gave the Bureau the original set of emails from Rep. Mark Foley to a former House page, they were “heavily redacted.” The FBI is also claiming that it came back to CREW and asked for more information so that it could follow up, but that CREW refused to provide anything further. Reporters from several other news organizations have repeated this allegation. The FBI is lying.
On Monday, October 2, CREW sent a letter to the DOJ I.G.’s office, attaching exact copies of the emails CREW had sent to the FBI on July 21, 2006. Both the former page’s name and the person to whom the page forwarded Rep. Foley’s emails were clearly visible. Moreover, after CREW sent the emails to the FBI, CREW’s only subsequent contact with the Bureau was one telephone call from the special agent to whom CREW had sent the material confirming that the emails were from Rep. Foley. CREW had no further contact with the FBI.
The Feds used another excuse for their inaction:
Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse…defended the FBI’s handling of the original e-mails: “The e-mails, while inappropriate, did not contain a criminal predicate to allow the FBI to move forward in an investigation.”
The Post also sneakily undermines the FBI claim in this passage:
Law enforcement officials said then that the e-mails did not provide enough evidence of a possible crime to warrant a full investigation. In the e-mails, Foley praises the physical attributes of one page and asks another teenager for his picture.
Interesting that the e mails supposedly did not provide enough evidence to prove a criminal case. Perhaps if the jackasses had done their job they would’ve discovered the more explicit e mails revealed by ABC News, which strangely enough the FBI is now investigating for criminal prosecution. At the very moment the FBI was telling CREW there was nothing there, there were smoking gun e mails around and about waiting for the Feds to find. But they didn’t find them because they didn’t try.
Why didn’t they try? That’s an easy one. You have a Congress both of whose Houses are controlled by Republicans. They hold the purse strings over the agency. In addition, Mark Foley is a member of the Republican House leadership. I’m sure Director Mueller or whoever made this decision found this a no-brainer: “I’m gonna investigate one of Denny Hastert’s main guys with this little evidence? No way.” Interesting that during the Clinton Administration, Louis Freeh seemed to have had a lot more balls in being willing to resist the Dems. After all, it was he who refused to certify that Al Qaeda had perpetrated the African Embassy bombings which would’ve permitted using U.S. military forces to attack Afghanistan during the Clinton Administration. So if Louis Freeh could buck a trend why couldn’t Mueller?
The FBI makes the claim that the e mails didn’t provide them enough evidence to act. But you’d think that in that circumstance they might send an agent to talk to Foley just to make him aware that they were aware of his behavior. That would’ve gotten him to straighten up and fly right I’m sure. And it would’ve taken the heat off the agency now that the lid’s blown off the case. But they didn’t do that either.
Since we’re talking about Republicans taking responsibility for their negligence by falling on their swords, maybe it’s time for an FBI director to consider doing the same.
Kirk Fordham’s bombshell yesterday that he reported suspicions about Foley possibly as early as 2001 to one of Hastert’s senior deputies does quite a bit of damage to Hastert, whose demise as Speaker, if not House member, seems only a matter of time. But Fordham’s turning on Hastert has an element of cold calculation about it too since he’s implicated in the scandal as well. The L.A. Times reports:
Fordham…on Friday joined in a conversation at the congressman’s Capitol Hill town house advising Foley to resign. Fordham counseled his former boss as the story began breaking last week…He asked an ABC News reporter to not publish the messages, a protective role Fordham had performed for years as he sought to prevent mainstream media reports about his ambitious boss’ sexual orientation. Democrats charge that Fordham’s involvement reflected the GOP’s desire to minimize the political fallout by, at least initially, keeping the issue quiet.”
Fordham claims he resigned to protect his boss, Tom Reynolds, which is somewhat true. But Fordham really resigned because, though he’s coming forward now to clear his name somewhat, he became part of the whole dirty business by trying to negotiate a deal with ABC News whereby he would give them the inside scoop on Foley’s resignation if they wouldn’t go public with the most sordid of the e mails. Thankfully, ABC refused the generous offer.
It looks like there are few, if any Republican good guys on this one. Even those who appear at first blush to be that turn out not to be. I read somewhere on the web today that if Hastert stays the Republicans lose 50 seats and if he resigns they lose 20. Sounds like music to my ears. The longer Denny tries to stay the stronger the story’s “legs” and the less likely he’ll even be in the House come the new session.