DECEMBER 12, 2006
A long-awaited ethics report on the Mark Foley page sex scandal reveals that high-ranking Democrats not only knew about the Florida Congressman’s inappropriate activities, they pushed newspapers to write stories before the midterm elections.
The 92-page House Ethics Committee report says Democratic campaign operatives heavily lobbied newspapers to publish stories about Foley’s romantic affairs with teenaged Congressional pages in an effort to launch a Republican scandal right before the midterm elections.
The report also says that the communications director of the Democratic Caucus leaked the graphic e-mails that Foley exchanged with young male Congressional interns and that high-ranking Representative Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had prior knowledge of Foley’s unethical and horrendous behavior yet denied knowing anything.
In fact, the Illinois Congressman repeatedly denied any knowledge of Foley’s affairs or sexual email exchanges with young interns during a television news interview in October. He adamantly said he never saw any e-mails and had no involvement although the ethics report includes testimony from one of Emanuel’s top aides who says his boss knew all about the inappropriate exchanges between Foley and various pages.
Republicans are also criticized by the ethics committee for taking no action, despite their concern over Foley’s behavior towards pages during a 10-year span. The report theorizes that Republicans took no action out of fear that it would create a scandal for the party.
Testimony from victims is also included, although their identities are kept confidential because many are still underage. One 16-year-old boy said he was afraid of Foley and that the Congressman’s behavior was “starting to freak me out.”
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