Sunday, October 01, 2006

FBI examining Republican Foley's e-mail to teens

The AP reported today that:

WASHINGTON - TheFBI is examining former Rep. Mark Foley's e-mail exchanges with teenagers to determine if they violated federal law, an agency spokesman said Sunday.

"I hereby request that theDepartment of Justice conduct an investigation of Mr. Foley's conduct with current and former House pages to determine to what extent any of his actions violated federal law," Hastert, R-Ill., wrote in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko confirmed Sunday that the FBI is "conducting anassessment to see if there's been a violation of federal law." He had no further comment.

The White House and Democratic leaders in Congress also called Sunday for a criminal probe. White House counselor Dan Bartlett called the allegations against Foley shocking, but saidPresident Bush hadn't learned of Foley's inappropriate e-mails to a 16-year-old boy and instant messages to other boys before the news broke last week.

"There is going to be, I'm sure, a criminal investigation into the particulars of this case," Bartlett said. "We need to make sure that the page system is one in which children come up here and can work and make sure that they are protected."

Foley, R-Fla., quit Congress on Friday after the disclosure of the e-mails he sent to a former congressional page and sexually suggestive instant messages he sent to other high school pages.

A law enforcement official, who asked for anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said agents from the FBI's cyber division are looking into the text of some of the messages and checking to see how many e-mails were sent and how many computers were used. They are also looking to see if some of the teens who were sent messages will cooperate with the probe.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada called the Foley case "repugnant, but equally as bad is the possibility that Republican leaders in the House of Representatives knew there was a problem and ignored it to preserve a congressional seat this election year."

Reid said the case should be handled outside Congress.

"Under laws that Congressman Foley helped write, soliciting sex from a minor online is a federal crime," Reid said. "The alleged crimes here are far outside the scope of any congressional committee, and the attorney general should open a full-scale investigation immediately."

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."

The complete story may be found here:


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