[Update:  Hastert and Boehner scrambling for cover, calling for criminal investigation, per the front page of the LA Times.  I don't think this thing is going away.]

Who knew about Mark Foley and his inappropriate online sexual contact with House pages, and when did they know it?

This morning John Boehner threw Dennis Hastert under the bus, then walked it back for reasons still unknown (but those who suspect that Hastert knows where a few bodies are buried and made that clear would not be accused of being naive).  Also the boss of the page in question, Rep. Rodney Alexander, let it be known that he had reported the matter to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds today.  How praytell shall we read this?

Reynolds released this statement:

Rodney Alexander brought to my attention the existence of e-mails between Mark Foley and a former page of Mr. Alexander's.

Translation:  In bringing this to the attention of the NRCC, the sole purpose of which is the election of Republicans to Congressional seats, Alexander obviously thought that the overriding concern in this matter was the effect it could have on  elections. 

Despite the fact that I had not seen the e-mails in question, and Mr. Alexander told me that the parents didn't want the matter pursued, I told the Speaker of the conversation Mr. Alexander had with me.

Translation:  Abuse of power and inappropriate sexual solicitation are no big deal if the parents don't care, and hey, there's a fat man standing over there.  Ask him.

Mr. Alexander has also said he took the matter to the Clerk of the House. An investigation was then conducted by the Clerk and John Shimkus on behalf of the House Page Board.

"On behalf of the House Page Board?"  I don't think so (via email):

Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI), the Democratic Member of the House Page Board, released the following statement today:

"As the Democratic Member of the House Page Board, any statement by Mr. Reynolds or anyone else that the House Page Board ever investigated Mr. Foley is completely untrue

 "I was never informed of the allegations about Mr. Foley's inappropriate communications with a House Page and I was never involved in any inquiry into this matter. 

"The first and only meeting of the House Page Board on this matter occurred on Friday, September 29 at approximately 6 p.m., after the allegations about Mr. Foley had become public."

Translation:  Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to our scapegoat, John Shimkus.  

Reynolds is also claiming he told Hastert.  Hastert says he doesn't remember (are there so many GOP sex scandals being reported that they no longer stand out in his mind?  I might actually believe that.) Meanwhile, watch video at Crooks & Liars of Nancy Pelosi calling for an investigation as all the Republicans boo loudly.  Of course the shamelessly culpable Boehner tries to block the resolution.

Translation:  Accountability?  Never heard of it. 

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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