House Staffer Ousted Over Handling of Foley Information

A senior House staffer has been forced out over his handling of the Foley scandal.

The chief of staff for Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds, Kirk Fordham, resigned after questions were raised about his role in the handling of the congressional page scandal, according to Republican sources on Capitol Hill.

Those sources said Fordham, a former chief of staff for Congressman Mark Foley, had urged Republican leaders last spring not to raise questionable Foley e-mails with the full Congressional Page Board, made up of two Republicans and a Democrat. “He begged them not to tell the page board,” said one of the Republican sources.

People familiar with Fordham’s side of the story, however, said Fordham was being used as a scapegoat by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. They said Fordham had repeatedly warned Hastert’s staff about Foley’s “problem” with pages, but little was done.

Given that the information reached top House leaders, including Speaker Hastert, it’s unclear what more Fordham could have been expected to do.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. One thing that has bothered me since this story broke on Friday was the alleged crime. That is, what crime did Foley commit? I’m not excusing what he did, but I don’t see how emails and instant messages, not matter how explicit are a crime. My reply to madmatt: Gosh he could of gone to the FBI… Was a crime committed? Was involving the FBI warranted? William Jefferson is caught with $100k in his freezer and Foley has Internet “Sex” with male pages. One of these warrant an investigation,

  2. madmatt says:

    Gosh he could of gone to the FBI… oh no that was a liberal group that informed the FBI months ago and which the FBI obviously did blindfolded or outright ignored!

  3. Anderson says:

    Yes, but it’s clear what he could’ve been expected *not* to do:

    Fordham offered ABC News a deal if it would not publish the content of the instant messages.

    “He said we could have the exclusive on the resignation if we did not run direct quotes from the instant messages,” said Maddy Sauer, the ABC News producer who dealt with Fordham.

    ABC News refused to make any such deal.

  4. Fersboo says:

    Gosh he could of gone to the FBI…

    Was a crime committed? Was involving the FBI warranted? William Jefferson is caught with $100k in his freezer and Foley has Internet “Sex” with male pages. One of these warrant an investigation, but I doubt we would agree which one did.

  5. Conservative paper calls for Hastert’s resignation over Foley scandal…

    House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other GOP leaders are dismissing suggestions that they should have …

  6. Steven Plunk says:

    Does informing a congressman’s staff guarantee that the congressman received the information? I don’t know the answer.

    If staffers were all exchanging information about Foley should we assume all the congressmen knew what they knew? I don’t know that either. Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t.

    It seems we are all assuming a lot about who knew what and when without any real evidence.

    I’m sure the congressional leadership should have known but that doesn’t mean they did.

  7. Anderson says:

    One of these warrant an investigation, but I doubt we would agree which one did.

    One? Why not “both”?

  8. Fersboo says:

    One of these warrant an investigation, but I doubt we would agree which one did.

    One? Why not “both”?

    What crime did Foley commit?

  9. Fersboo says:

    Well ain’t this the shizznit:

    Sez Gateway Pundit

    Radical Gay Rights Activists held on to information about Representative Foley for months and years. These “Rights Activists” knew that representative Foley had relationships with “young men less than half his age.” They did their own investigation on Foley. They even flew in their sources in to be interviewed about the Representative. They shared this information with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They held on to the information for over a year. They wrote about how they would break the story at midterm elections.

    This is important from Macsmind-

    “However, I do know that the specific focus of the FBI at this point is to determine who knew about Foley’s activities, when they knew it and specifically who withheld evidence in what may be a Federal Crime. Yet like in many investigations, there is sometimes the uncovering of other crimes that takes place. It should be said at this point that the attempt to extort or influence, or threaten a US congressman, in order to influence legislation, or an election is a Federal Crime, and if in fact principals were involved in such an orchestrated plan it will be discovered.”

    emphasis mine.

    Hmmm, seems there is possibility of a crime here after all. Poor Dems, hope they weren’t “rope-a-dope”d again.

  10. Rob M says:

    I hope he can show that he told Haster and his staff. I hope he gives the information out.

    Everyone knew about Foley being gay. They probably knew about the pages but I have nothing to prove that. But you can bet that if the Dems knew then so did the Repubs.

  11. Fersboo says:

    Come on lawyer-man Anderson, what crime did Foley commit? Can’t think of one?

  12. Alternate Headline:

    Embattled House Republicans Shoot Messenger

  13. legion says:

    Fersboo,
    IANAL, but I believe I recall an early reason for the FBI’s interest being that soliciting someone under the age of 18 for sex, across state lines, is against federal law _regardless_ of state laws on such things…

  14. just me says:

    Legion was he soliciting for sex in the emails?

    THe IMs had tons of sex talk in them, and probably do violate the very law Foley helped write, but I don’t recall anything explicit in the emails.

    Which means that I am not sure the emails alone were enough to warrant a legal investigation-although the Page board I think could have looked more closely into whether Foley was contacting any current or former Pages in a similar manner and conducted a sort of informal investigation.

  15. legion says:

    I haven’t had the stomach to look through all the IMs and emails. But there’s damn sure enough there to justify an investigation. As for having actually committed a crime – that’s for a court to decide.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Just me,

    Let’s say your 16 year old child is getting provocative messages from his gym teacher. Would a “sort of informal investigation” satisfy you? I think not.

    GOP family values at work…

  17. just me says:

    Let’s say your 16 year old child is getting provocative messages from his gym teacher. Would a “sort of informal investigation” satisfy you? I think not

    1. The family involved with the emails didn’t want any investigation, they just wanted the emails stopped.

    2. The emails don’t appear to have any criminal content, so a legal investigation probably wouldn’t have happened.

    Which is why I said they should have done an informal investigation-you know talk to other Pages etc.

    But some of you seem to be confusing the emails, which were given to various newspapers who chose not to run the story, because they couldn’t get anymore information beyond the actual content, and the IMs which look as if they weren’t in anyone’s hands other than the Page’s before they were given to ABC.

    I don’t see what the basis would have been for a legal investigation here-they were creepy, weird and suspicious, but to be accused of doing something sexual, you actually have to do something sexual.

  18. lyssad says:

    Why is everyone saying “underage” if the age of consent in DC is sixteen?

  19. Bithead says:

    Let’s say your 16 year old child is getting provocative messages from his gym teacher. Would a “sort of informal investigation” satisfy you? I think not

    What about age 17?

    Does the name Gary Studs ring any bells there, Pavlov?

  20. They just keep cumming…ummmmm, coming…

    Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to focus on other issues, because despite what the Democrats would like to think, there ARE many other issues we are facing as a country than who knew what and when….

  21. anjin-san says:

    Bit,

    Gary studs “affair” was what, 30 years ago? While I agree he should have faced much harsher discipline, it pretty much qualifies as ancient history. You are grasping at straws.

    At any rate, what are you saying, that the actions of one slime bucket somehow excuse the actions of another?

    Justme,

    I don’t think the wishes of the parents in question supersede the responsibility of the house leadership to make damn sure that there is not someone preying on children under cloak of authority in their midst.

    Even if a criminal investigation was unwarranted, the leadership had a clear obligation to investigate and get to the bottom of what was going on, followed by taking any necessary action against Foley.

    The seriousness of Foley’s actions called for, at the very least, an official investigation within congress. The parents wish for the whole mess to go away should not have resulted in leaving Foley free to seek new victims, and Hastert’s inaction should not be laid at the feet of the boy’s family.