A longtime chief of staff to disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., approached House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office more than three years ago, repeatedly imploring senior Republicans to help stop Foley's advances toward teenage male pages, the staff member said Wednesday.Some one should check the bus for damage. It's undercarriage has been taking a beating this week.
The account by Kirk Fordham, who resigned Wednesday 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 who work 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.
Hastert's office shot back:
I would add that Fordham is the fourth Republican person to indicate that Hastert knew about this for at least a year. How can Hastert survive this? It'll be an amazing act of stubbornness if he pulls it out past this Friday. Regardless of whether we take the House, Hastert isn't Speaker next term.
Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, said in a statement, "What Kirk Fordham said did not happen.'' The speaker's office also said 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.''Fordham is the fourth person to indicate that Hastert or his staff was warned about Foley's questionable behavior months or years before the six-term lawmaker resigned Friday...