GOP Leaders Knew About Foley Page Solicitations for Months
The resignation of Rep. John Foley over soliciting gay sex from underage pages has taken an even more bizarre turn. It seems that House Republican leaders knew about Foley’s conduct for months.
House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate “contact” between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.
It was not immediately clear what actions Hastert took. His spokesman had said earlier that the speaker did not know of the sexually charged online exchanges between Foley and the boy.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took the House floor last night to demand an investigation into the Foley matter. But Boehner headed her off, calling on the House to refer the matter to the ethics committee, which the House promptly voted unanimously to do.
Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), who sponsored the page from his district, said he had learned of some of the online exchanges from a reporter some months ago and passed on the information to Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, the Associated Press reported. Alexander said he did not pursue the matter further because “his parents said they didn’t want me to do anything.” [emphasis mine]
John Aravosis alleges that the leadership knew even earlier and asks:
Tell me why Denny Hastert shouldn’t be forced to immediately resign. They left your kids with this man AFTER they knew what he was doing. They let him stay in the GOP leadership. They let him remain the chair of the child sex offender caucus. Jesus Christ.
Fair questions all. Due process might explain keeping things close to the vest and exercising every caution in making sure Foley was in fact guilty of this conduct before letting word get out. I’m at a loss to explain why he was allowed to remain in charge of making laws to protect our children. Absent some incredibly good explanation, Hastert and Boehner need to go.