Did Hastert know last year that Foley was a pervert? Update: Pelosi wants GOP leaders questioned under oath (Bumped)

posted at 2:34 pm on October 1, 2006 by Allahpundit

I hate having to defend Hastert, partly because he’s a jackass and partly because it’s bad form to defend anyone in any way associated with a child molestation scandal, no matter how much the facts are in their favor. But I think he’s getting a raw deal here, at least based on what we know thus far.

Let’s back up. Two strands of Foley e-mail messages have emerged in the past two days. One was the explicit, super-pervy “take off your boxers” strand that ABC revealed yesterday. The other was published the day before and was not explicit. It involved him asking a kid from Louisiana how he was holding up during Katrina, whether he had fun at a conference, what he wants for his birthday, and then telling him to “send me an email pic of you as well.” Which, I think we can all agree, is odd — the kid himself was apparently “freaked out” by it — but not something upon which we’d base an accusation of pedophilia without further evidence. In fact, as I said yesterday, I saw the Blotter item on Thursday afternoon and didn’t post on it because it “[s]ounded reasonably innocuous to me.” Turns out it wasn’t, but based on what I knew then, it didn’t necessarily suggest something untoward.

Flash forward to today. Tom Reynolds, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, says he told Hastert about the e-mails last year. Last year? Denny Hastert’s let a degenerate child predator roam the halls of Congress for a year without moving on it? Well, not exactly. Because as tomorrow’s page one of the New York Times reveals, Hastert apparently was made privy to only one of those two strands. And it wasn’t the one Democrats wish wish wish it was:

Aides to the speaker and other Congressional Republican leaders said that the messages brought to their attention — described as “over friendly” — were much less explicit than others that came to light after ABC News disclosed the first e-mail correspondence. In those messages, Mr. Foley asked about the well-being of the boy, a Monroe, La., resident, after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph.

He wrote: “How are you weathering the hurricane. . .are you safe. . .send me a pic of you as well.”

“No one in the speaker’s office was made aware of the sexually explicit text messages which press reports suggest had been directed to another individual until they were revealed in the press and on the Internet this week,” the statement from Mr. Hastert’s office said.

Captain Ed is outraged that Hastert’s office yesterday denied knowing about Foley’s e-mail exchanges, and cites this paragraph from Friday’s WaPo:

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.

Yeah, I didn’t know of the sexually charged online exchanges when I declined to post that Blotter item on Thursday, either. You don’t throw a guy under the bus on the most serious accusation there is in American culture without a little better evidence than “send me a pic of you.”

As for what actions Hastert took, the Times fills in the blanks. FYI, “Alexander” is Rep. Rodney Alexander, the Congressman the Louisiana page worked for.

Mr. Alexander called the boy’s parents, who, he said Saturday, told him they did not want to pursue the matter but wanted Mr. Foley to stop.

Mr. Alexander’s office also contacted staff members in Mr. Hastert’s office for guidance on what to do and. According to the speaker’s account, his aides put Mr. Alexander’s staff in contact with the clerk of the House, who oversees the page program. The clerk, who at the time was Jeff Trandahl, referred the matter to Representative John Shimkus, the Illinois Republican who is the chairman of the House Page Board, in late 2005, a spokesman for Mr. Shimkus said.

Mr. Trandahl and Mr. Shimkus confronted Mr. Foley, who insisted he was simply acting as a mentor to the former page, officials said. He assured them nothing inappropriate had occurred.

“They asked Foley about the email,” the speaker’s statement said. “Congressman Shimkus and the clerk made it clear that 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.”

Did Hastert do enough? In bizarro world, where he and Foley are both Democrats, yes. In our world — no, not nearly enough!

To be clear: if it turns out that Hastert or Boehner or whoever else knew about the sexual e-mails or knew that Foley had a history of being “overfriendly” with pages and chose not to investigate that, they’re done. But if this was the first they’d heard of it, then I think it’s time to send the firing squad home. High moral dudgeon over child abuse is a lovely thing, but we’ve got to be a little fair here.

Now that we’ve dispensed with that, go read this post at Moran’s and pay special attention to Update II. Who was ABC’s source for those e-mails? And for how long, exactly, was that source sitting on them while filthy Mark Foley was busy ogling the pages?

Update: Clarice Feldman’s piece on this is up at the American Thinker. Read it.

Update: Wow. At the rate we’re going here, the left is going to end up being hurt more by this scandal than the right is.

Update: Maguire notes that dKos was awfully far ahead of the curve in picking this story up and says he smells a rat. Meanwhile, according to Fox, Nancy Pelosi has issued a statement calling on the GOP House leadership to answer — under oath — what they knew and when they knew it.


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This is so ridiculous.

Via the Associated Press:

Hastert’s office said aides referred the matter to the proper authorities last fall but they were only told the messages were “over-friendly.”

And yes, Allah is correct. Nobody will be asking why the “source” held on until what they believed to be just the right time before the mid-terms to have the greatest impact.

Gregor on October 1, 2006 at 12:26 AM

I commented yesterday that the ‘kid’ sat on the information for so long, using the information as political gold. It unfolds that he didn’t but democratic operatives did.

Why the release of the emails and IM’s now is a question that answers itself 40 days before an election. And if it turns out that the GOP leadership is blameless in this – if Foley carried on his perversions in secret with only the terrified children knowing of his activities – then the question rightly arises why a Democrat connected organization allowed someone they knew as a pervert to continue to stalk children in the House of Representatives, failing to release the information until maximum political damage could be done to the opposition.

By: Rick Moran at 8:48 am

Let’s wait a few days and see what unfolds to be the truth. If the above quote turns out to represent the truth, then Mr. Moran’s question will be answered “because nothing, nothing, nada, not even the safety and protection of children, is more important to them than smearing the opposition and winning”.

I hope that will be the answer and the sword will be turned onto them, in addition to the primary pervert, Mr. Foley.

Entelechy on October 1, 2006 at 12:36 AM

Will Foley be going the “NAMBLA” route, and have the ACLU to defend him if this gets really messy?

RightWinged on October 1, 2006 at 4:42 AM

See: http://www.macsmind.com/wordpress/2006/09/30/foley-setup/

and

http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2006/09/30/foley-matter-proves-republicans-support-perverts/

The breaking of the news now is clearly a DEMOCRATIC PARTY SETUP!

Foley is a CREEP and a pervert who should have been outed a year ago — when this informationw as available to the press. Entelechy is right, the DEMOCRATS sat on it to cause the maximum amount of damage, and to HELL WITH THE BOY!

Every day, between now and the election, the media and the Democrats are going to be dropping these bombs. THIS IS THEIR OCTOBER SURPRISE.

Dean, Emmanuel, and the rest of the Democrats are “swiftboating” the entire Republican party – WITH THE OPEN AND BLATANT ASSISTANCE OF THE PRESS.

georgej on October 1, 2006 at 6:48 AM

How could it be the DNC when it was Karl Rove….

unless….

they’re in cahoots!!

SHINNANIGANS!!!

Robb H on October 1, 2006 at 7:33 AM

I think we should just tell the Democrats “it was only about sex” It seems they have no problem when it’s about a Democrats personal sex life. ///s

And I waiting to see when tha ACLU steps up to defend Foley. They have the time to defend NAMBLA, so I’m sure they can help him.


Gary Studds of Massachusetts seduced a young male House page, defied the House when it censured him and was re-elected several times. But Dan Crane of Illinois had sex with a female page, cried and begged forgiveness on the floor of the House and lost his next election.

Democrats and Double Standards

Bob on October 1, 2006 at 7:36 AM

Well not only is Foley a pervert, but so is Frank and a large group of congress. And don’t foreget, Bush invited Elton John and his boyfriend to spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom to committ sodomy. And why don’t we require all of congress to take unannonced drug tests. Guarantee you 30 percent are using.

LZVandy on October 1, 2006 at 7:51 AM

Dennis Hastert… Yet one more embarrassment to come out of Illinois.

john98 on October 1, 2006 at 8:25 AM

“because nothing, nothing, nada, not even the safety and protection of children, is more important to them than smearing the opposition and winning”

Although this entire story is disgusting, I think that is what disgusts me the most. It doesn’t surprise me, but it does disgust me. The fact that the Democrats can never really reach an all-time low on any issue. They’re already there. If they really cared about the children, this story would have come out as soon as the found out. But it’s not about children’s safety, it’s about politics.

tiekitwist on October 1, 2006 at 8:32 AM

Aren’t the Democrtas the same people who want Homosexuals to lead boy scout troops…. hmmmm seems they think going camping is not a problem but a pervert sending an email is over the top and Bush’s fault!

Bob on October 1, 2006 at 9:01 AM

John Podhoretz mentioned something on The Corner on National Review Online yesterday, and I was thinking the same thing. Foley didn’t just get this way overnight. How do these perverts progress so far in their high fallutin careers without someone looking askance at their personalities or tendencies? No one notices anything that may give them a clue that maybe this person has a little baggage problem and may not be suited for the job? It doesn’t dawn on anyone that this guy might have a small problem? On the other hand, maybe he doesn’t have a problem. It’s just one of those alternative lifestyles that we hear so much about. A lifestyle that, if my take on their political beliefs is correct, the Left, and especially Barney Frank, would bravely defend.

Jeff on October 1, 2006 at 9:04 AM

Dennis Hastert… Yet one more embarrassment to come out of Illinois.

john98 on October 1, 2006 at 8:25 AM

Is the liddle ex-pat cheddarhead still a bit cranky because DA-BEARS kicked the CRAP out of the GB (nose)Pickers in the opener?

Too bad, so sad.

;^)

Hastert isn’t half as obnoxious as Feingold or Doyle, though Roddy “The Red” Blagojevich and Dick “The Turbin” Durbin are right up there.

It’s gonna be a tight race between Blago and Doyle as to who gets indicted first, me thinks.

Regardless, Blago is almost certainly going to live on the exclusive ILLINOIS GOVERNOR’S CELL BLOCK, home of Ryan, and former home of Walker and Kerner, before it’s all over; and maybe Richie Daley may join the rest of his staff in the joint.

As far as Hastert is concerned, he relied on DeLay to “catch the spears” tossed at him and take the heat. Still, quietly, behind the scenes he runs the House for the Republicans like it is their private fiefdom.

He’s not the flamboyant Irishman like Tip O’Neill, that’s for certain. But he’s been very effective in getting the House to pass tough legislation on immigration and detainee tribunals.

And as this Foley “scandal” is being ginned up by the Democrats — like they ginned up the truck driver indicent in iraq last week that was on ABC news video — like they openly misrepresented the NIE summary a week ago, this “scandal” will probably have as much staying power as the Jim Gannon one.

georgej on October 1, 2006 at 9:34 AM

How do these perverts progress so far in their high fallutin careers without someone looking askance at their personalities or tendencies? No one notices anything that may give them a clue that maybe this person has a little baggage problem and may not be suited for the job?

What do you do about it with an elected official? Probably a third of them have baggage problems and aren’t suited for the job, but people keep reelecting them anyway. There’s got to be some sort of psychological correlation between the desire to hold a powerful office and the desire to behave inappropriately with subordinates.

Pablo on October 1, 2006 at 9:57 AM

There is Pablo, it’s called “power hungry, egotistical arrogance”. The same thing that infects William Jefferson Clinton.

Jeff on October 1, 2006 at 10:13 AM

You said it Bob,

“Aren’t the Democrats the same people who want Homosexuals to lead boy scout troops…”

Not just lead, but infiltrated by legal FORCE.

And it points out an all too obvious fact, that as long as the perverted sex lovers, or blacks, or anyone else for that matter, are voting democrat, then liberal minds are all for them. Whoever isn’t a God hating pro baby killer anti gun democrat had better watch out.

And since we all know that if NAMBLA was a big enough voting block, the democrats would be falling all over each other bending over for their agenda too, it seems interesting that they appear to be purposely ignoring the fact that that the target of this guys lust wasn’t actually a “child”, but more a “young man”. Sort of makes him more after homosexual sex than child sex, but democrats will choose to view it whatever way they can to make hay out of it.

But someday, when it is politically expedient for liberal democrats to consider pedophiles to be their voting toadies too, this will all change, it’s just a matter of time and how desperate the liberal minds become.

NRA4Freedom on October 1, 2006 at 12:14 PM

Bush invited Elton John and his boyfriend to spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom to committ sodomy.LZVandy on October 1, 2006 at 7:51 AM

Is this true? IF so it is damned shame.

Soothsayer on October 1, 2006 at 2:06 PM

I think the democrats will over-react to this story as they usually do. They run the risk of alienating their gay base. I can see the dems now…”Who knew what, and when did they know it?”

Not defendinf Foley, but Michael Savage was right. Something is fishy here…

SouthernGent on October 1, 2006 at 3:01 PM

Well wasn’t it in the 80′s when some Dems had sex with pages and they certainly didn’t resign. One was male the other female. While I find what Foley did (writing explicit emails to a minor) disgusting the fact that he’s gay doesn’t bother me because I just always thought that he was. He did so much good work with the missing children/predator laws that it makes me wonder if he’s not a Jekyl and Hyde.

Catie96706 on October 1, 2006 at 3:18 PM

There’s alot of questions I want Pelosi & Co. to answer under oath, in open session.

You know those videos of the guys trying to jump off roofs, onto trampolines, and into pools but miss? That’s my mental image of the Dems with these scandals.

Iblis on October 1, 2006 at 4:43 PM

NRA4 said gays have “infiltrated by force” the boy scouts.

eeeeewwwwwwwwwwww! That just doesn’t sound right!

Then he said something about democrats bending over for gays. We all know this happens every time there’s an erection, ooops I mean election.

Florida is better off without Foley.

Also in Florida: Cops kill copkiller in a hail of bullets. Police fired 110 rounds at a “suspected” copkiller and hit him 68 times. Good job guys, he deserved it. Now shoot his rotten corpse again, I “suspect” he may still be alive. This is what ya get for killing a cop: BAM! And THIS is what ya get for killing a police dog: BAMBAMBAMBAM!! … BAM! Later, tough guy.

Tony737 on October 1, 2006 at 5:04 PM

The mind behind this coordinated attempt to take down Foley is Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose job it is to regain the House for the Democrats — by any means necessary.

Emanuel was part of Clinton’s advisory staff as a “Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy,” and was part of Clinton’s inner circle.

He was known as Clinton’s spinmeister, and was known to be vicious and vindictive at it. When he worked for Clinton, he started a “dirt machine” designed to dig up dirt on Clinton’s opponents — of either party.

Sound familiar?

Emanuel was Clinton’s “hit man,” who led the spin assault on Kathleen Wiley after she went public and accused Clinton of groping her and trying to get her to stroke his penis in the Oval Office pantry.

Rollingstone Magazine says this about Emanuel:

Intense to the point of ferocity, he was known for taking on the most daunting tasks — the ones no one else wanted — and pulling off the seemingly impossible, from banning assault weapons to beating back the Republican-led impeachment. “Clinton loved Rahm,” recalls one staffer, “because he knew that if he asked Rahm to do something, he would move Heaven and Earth — not necessarily in that order — to get it done.”

Those who who have been savaged by him say he is an “expert blackmailer.”

Emanuel was one of those many Clintonistas who developed amnesia when testifying about his knowledge of the Lewinsky affair. And he is known as the man behind the White House led, coordinated, smear of Special Prosecutor Ken Starr.

And lest you think I’m exaggerating, the Democrat-friendly Rollingstone mag BOASTS about “Rahmbo’s” exploits:

There’s the story about the time he sent a rotting fish to a pollster who had angered him. There’s the story about how his right middle finger was blown off by a Syrian tank when he was in the Israeli army. And there’s the story of how, the night after Clinton was elected, Emanuel was so angry at the president’s enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting “Dead! . . . Dead! . . . Dead!” and plunging the knife into the table after every name. “When he was done, the table looked like a lunar landscape,” one campaign veteran recalls. “It was like something out of The Godfather. But that’s Rahm for you.”

And like the Godfather, he is an expert in getting his way through any means he deems necessary. More from Rollingstone:

Emanuel got his political education working as a fund-raiser for Mayor Richard Daley’s re-election campaign in Chicago, where he learned how to twist arms and knock heads. Donors were used to giving $5,000 — but Daley needed more. “Rahm took it up a notch,” Daley’s brother William recalled several years ago. “He told many of them they easily had the ability to give twenty-five grand.” When contributors didn’t pony up, Emanuel would tell them he was embarrassed that they’d offered so little and hang up on them. The shocked donor would usually call back and sheepishly comply. In thirteen weeks, the thirty-year-old raised $7 million — an unprecedented sum at the time. His fund-raising skills eventually earned him a job in the Clinton campaign.

Unlike past DCCC chairmen, who simply dispersed money without demanding anything in return, Emanuel approaches the job with the sensibility of a Mob bookie. He forces candidates in the most competitive races who receive money to sign what he calls a “Memo of Understanding,” delineating exactly how many fund-raising phone calls and appearances they will make in exchange for the committee’s support. To seal the pact, Emanuel then signs the memo himself. “I want to make sure everybody is doing everything they’re supposed to be doing,” he says.

I have no doubt whatsoever, that if we dig into what happened we will find all 9 of Rahm Emanuel’s fingerprints on it.

Foley’s seat, which was considered “safe” by the Republicans is now likely to go Democrat, thanks to this “well timed” outing of Foley.

georgej on October 1, 2006 at 5:08 PM

Anyone that knew about the second set of messages and kept their mouths shut should be kicked out of office. I don’t care what their party affiliation is.

This is what our government has been reduced to. Letting a pedophile run free for political gain.

Benaiah on October 1, 2006 at 5:32 PM

Jennifer Verner, posting at “Justoneminute, I smell a rat” wrote:

It has been less than a day, and the blogsphere is on the verge of showing how this was orchestrated–of how the democrats and their operatives had this info FOR MONTHS–and sat on it, until they could be assured of screwing up the ballot in Foley’s district.

The follow up demand for an investigation by Reid and Pelosi is targeted at Hastert.

The page who was the target of Foley’s IM’s, was assaulted twice. Once by Foley, assuming that the IM’s are not “fake but accurate.” And a second time by the Democrats who sat on the knowledge until they could use it for political gain.

georgej on October 1, 2006 at 6:16 PM

American Politics – Dumb vs Dumber

Just when you think the Republicans have claimed the title of dumber…the Democrats come fighting back and reclaim their title.

Marvin on October 1, 2006 at 6:42 PM

From Pelosi’s letter:

I am writing to insist that the Ethics Committee act as directed and immediately form the investigative Subcommittee and begin work on the preliminary report in 10 days.

And in the spirit of the 9/11 commission they will no doubt recommend Barney Frank and Mel Reynolds for said subcommittee.

B Moe on October 1, 2006 at 6:50 PM

Who was ABC’s source for those e-mails? And for how long, exactly, was that source sitting on them while filthy Mark Foley was busy ogling the pages?

This a classic application of turnspeak.

The people who leaked the explicit IMs are the ones who manipulated the scandal for maximum political impact. So they insulate themselves by accusing the House Republicans of doing just that.

This reeks of an orchestrated dirty trick. I wouldn’t be surprised if they arranged for Hastert to get just enough sanitized information so they could make a case the he "knew".

dinasour on October 1, 2006 at 6:55 PM

Now this is interesting … in 1998, during the Clinton Affair the WaPo published an article about Congressional sex scandals since 1974, 21 of them in which little or no official action was taken. Over half, 13, have a D following their name. So much for Lefty claims that it seems that it’s always Republicans getting caught with their pants down. But even more interesting is that 9 of these scandals came to light in August, September or October. What are the odds?

LissaKay on October 1, 2006 at 8:24 PM

HASTERT CALLS FOR A FULL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION:

“In his letter to Gonzales on Sunday, Hastert asked the Justice Department to investigate “who had specific knowledge of the content of any sexually explicit communications between Mr. Foley and any former or current House pages and what actions such individuals took, if any, to provide them to law enforcement.”

Jason Leopold or whoever the leftist blogger is who sat on the IMs should be pretty scared right now.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 1, 2006 at 10:41 PM

Well wasn’t it in the 80’s when some Dems had sex with pages and they certainly didn’t resign. One was male the other female.

Catie96706 on October 1, 2006 at 3:18 PM

Yes, Catie – here’s the link.

Also, FBI opens preliminary investigation and Mr. Hastert asked the Justice dept. to investigate.

I agree also that an open-to-the-public-and-media hearing should take place right away in the House, so that we can all see on C-Span who had the informatio and sat on it.

There is nothing like the sunlight to get rid of mold. Let’s air it all, and soon! I have a hunch it will be damaging to both parties and will show once again where the priorities of each lie, and who’s more hypocritical.

Nothing should excuse Mr. Foley – but also nothing should excuse not protecting minors in the name of political timing, ploys and winnings. And maybe the media is complicit too. All should testify openly!

Entelechy on October 1, 2006 at 10:45 PM

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy, great minds :) you beat me by minutes…your excerpt will be very telling in a few days. I can just see the dems eating their request of today. And their wish shall be done.

Correction for my post, above “who had the information and sat on it” –fumble-fingers :( and excitement to post supercedes quality check…

Entelechy on October 1, 2006 at 10:53 PM

Thank you.

There are usually interesting debates going on at Patterico.com, Etelechy, if you ever head that way.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 1, 2006 at 11:12 PM

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy, I visit Patterico Pontifications, mostly when I see his name on HOT AiR – I do love him because he’s so reasoned and checks the facts for all of us. I’ve also heard him on the “John & Ken” radio show and he came across very level-headed.

I’ll make an effort to check in more often.

I believe in this story the media will be found guilty too. Alas, nothing ever happens to them. I think they s/b free to speak, but not free to cover up the abuse of underaged.

Do you live in Canada and are you also Australian? Love both countries, having visited both extensively for work and pleasure.

Entelechy on October 1, 2006 at 11:42 PM

Here’s my story, Entelechy:

lovingjacqui.net

(on the right, the “About Me” part)

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 1, 2006 at 11:57 PM

Chris, I would have such a hard time choosing between Victoria and Perth – they are both some of the nicest places on Earth. I’ve visited Butchart gardens and your town a few times and spent 10 days in Perth and surroundings. Only driving on the left side was odd – it is a sister city of San Diego, where I live. Love the black swans in Perth too.

Bear looks like a very nice and fun girl. All the best in resolving where you will live, or shuttle :)

Entelechy on October 2, 2006 at 1:33 AM

I keep hearing GOP associated with Foley – can he just be called by definition what he is – pedophile?

Also, apparently, he wasn’t married. Was he a homosexual. If so or if that can be established, then he would be by definition a homosexual pedophile.

ar_basin on October 2, 2006 at 11:44 AM

Oh Nancy, just STFU. How about we put you under oath and ask you some questions about all the skeletons in your closet.

Yes, Foley is a creep. But you are even creepier

stm on October 2, 2006 at 4:01 PM