FBI To Investigate Foley
If Foley thought that he had hit rock bottom, that things could not possibly get worse, well… I guess he has to change his belief system: The FBI has announced that it will examine Foley’s notorious e-mails.
The FBI announced last night that it is looking into whether former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) broke federal law by sending inappropriate e-mails and instant messages to teenage House pages.
Republican leaders continued to insist yesterday that it was understandable that the “over-friendly” Internet e-mails they had seen did not set off alarm bells. But one House GOP leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job, conceded that Republicans had erred in not notifying the three-member, bipartisan panel that oversees the page system. Instead, they left it to the panel chairman, Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-Ill.), to confront Foley.
Also yesterday, a former House page said that at a 2003 page reunion, he saw sexually suggestive e-mails Foley had sent to another former page. Patrick McDonald, 21, now a senior at Ohio State University, said he eventually learned of “three or four” pages from his 2001-2002 class who were sent such messages.
He said he remembered saying at the reunion, “If this gets out, it will destroy him.”
House officials have already removed Foley’s nameplate from his Cannon Office Building door and shut down his House Web site, while in Florida, GOP leaders prepared to meet at an Orlando airport hotel today to select a replacement candidate for the November election.
This will get extremely ugly both for Foley and for the Republican party as a whole. Strangely most people are not exactly fond of people like Foley nor of their apologizers.
Demanding political responsibility, though, is something quite different from a criminal justice approach to it all. I am not willing to hold him responsible in that respect: innocent until proven guilty. Not the other way around as seems to be the most popular approach these days.
Foley has resigned, other politicians who seem to have known about it, however, remain in power. Were I American, I would demand their resignation as well. Again, this is not the same as saying that someone is guilty under the law: it is a question of political responsibility.