In a story published in today’s Washington Post, Kirk Fordam, former chief of staff to disgraced pedophile Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), said he approached the office of Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) in 2003 with information about Foley’s inappropriate conduct toward underage male pages.
That’s three years ago, if you’re doing the math with me.
The account by Kirk Fordham, who resigned yesterday from his job with another senior lawmaker, pushed back to 2003 or earlier the time when Hastert’s staff reportedly became aware of Foley’s questionable behavior concerning teenagers working on Capitol Hill.
It raised new questions about Hastert’s assertions that senior GOP leaders were aware only of “over-friendly” e-mails from 2005 that they say did not raise alarm bells when they came to light this year.
“The fact is, even prior to the existence of the Foley e-mail exchanges, I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest levels of the House of Representatives, asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley’s inappropriate behavior,” said Fordham, who was Foley’s chief of staff for 10 years…
Fordham says his warnings to Hastert’s office dealt with a different matter: reports of Foley’s troubling interest in male pages working in the Capitol Hill complex. He says he implored the highest ranks of the GOP leadership to intervene to thwart behavior that he had been unable to stop after multiple confrontations with his boss. Sources close to the matter say a meeting took place between a senior Hastert aide and Foley before Fordham’s January 2004 departure, probably in 2003, in a small conference room on the third floor of the Capitol.
But the matter appears to have been dropped.
The response from the office of Speaker Hastert?
Hastert’s chief of staff, Scott Palmer, said in a statement, “What Kirk Fordham said did not happen.” The speaker’s office also said that the entire matter has been referred to the House ethics committee, “and we fully expect that the bipartisan panel will do what it needs to do to investigate this matter and protect the integrity of the House.”
So let’s get this straight.
Fordam, who just resigned his congressional staff position, who was a longtime friend and aide to Foley, and who has really got nothing official to lose– is just making things up. And Hastert, who has everything to lose, is entirely blameless for the whole situation, even in face of the fact that as the Speaker, he’s ultimately responsible for everything that transpires in the House.
This is not a partisan issue; it’s a trust issue. It’s an issue of protecting our children, making sure they are safe from child preadators everywhere from the streets even to in the halls of Congress. Hastert clearly can’t recognize this– hence the obfuscation and spin and denial of clearly established fact.
How do NJ’s Republican Congressmen feel about him continuing to lead their Caucus and the US House of Representatives? Use this as an open thread…let’s get them on record:
Frank A. LoBiondo (R-02):
Jim Saxton (R-03): As of 10/3, office unprepared to comment
Chris Smith (R-04):
Scott Garrett (R-05):
Michael Ferguson (R-07):
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11):