- 1 Background
- 2 Relationship to #Pizzagate
- 3 Needs Integration
- 4 Associated locations
- 5 See also
Generally Accepted Facts from Wikipedia
Mark Adam Foley (born September 8, 1954) is a former member of the United States House of Representatives. He served from 1995 until 2006, representing the 16th District of Florida as a member of the Republican Party, before resigning due to scandal. After several years removed from the public eye, Foley resurfaced as a supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
Foley resigned from Congress on September 29, 2006 acting on a request by the Republican leadership after allegations surfaced that he had sent suggestive emails and sexually explicit instant messages to teenage boys who had formerly served and were at that time serving as Congressional pages. As a result of the disclosures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted investigations of the messages to find possible criminal charges. Each ended with no criminal finding. In the case of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the "FDLE conducted as thorough and comprehensive investigation as possible considering Congress and Mr. Foley denied us access to critical data," said FDLE commissioner Gerald Bailey with the closure of the case. The House Ethics Committee also conducted an investigation into the response of the House Republican leadership and their staff to possible earlier warnings of Foley's conduct.
Separate Wikipedia Article: Mark Foley Scandal
The Mark Foley scandal, which broke in late September 2006, centers on soliciting e-mails and sexually suggestive instant messages sent by Mark Foley, a Republican Congressman from Florida, to teenaged boys who had formerly served as congressional pages. Investigation was closed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) on September 19, 2008 citing insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges as both "Congress and Mr. Foley denied us access to critical data", said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. The scandal grew to encompass the response of Republican congressional leaders to previous complaints about Foley's contacts with the pages and inconsistencies in the leaders' public statements. There were also allegations that a second Republican Congressman, Jim Kolbe, had improper conduct with at least two youths, a 16-year-old page and a recently graduated page.
The scandal led to Foley's resignation from Congress on September 29, 2006. In some quarters, the scandal is believed to have contributed to the Republican Party's loss of control over Congress in the November 7, 2006 election, as well as the end of House Speaker Dennis Hastert's leadership of the House Republicans. Kirk Fordham, chief of staff to Rep. Tom Reynolds and former chief of staff for Foley, also resigned as a result of the scandal. Newsweek's June 7, 2010, issue's BACK STORY listed Foley, among others, as a prominent conservative politician who had a record of anti-gay legislation and was later caught in a gay sex scandal.
The questionable conversations, which took place between 1995 and 2005, were investigated by the FBI for possible criminal violations. In September 2008, Florida officials investigating Foley decided not to charge him, citing a lack of evidence and the expiration of the statute of limitations. The House Ethics Committee investigated the response of the House Republican leadership and their staff to earlier warnings about Foley's conduct. In early October 2006, two news organizations anonymously quoted former pages who said that they had sexual liaisons with Foley after turning 18 and 21. Foley was chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, which introduced legislation targeting sexual predators and created stricter guidelines for tracking them.
Additional Relevant Facts
Relationship to #Pizzagate
Connection to Dennis Hastert
Dennis Hastert, who himself would be later revealed to have molested boys, allegedly acted to protect Foley.
Dennis Hastert claimed at first that he had learned of the e-mails only when the news broke on September 29, 2006 and repeated this declaration on October 5. Two other top leaders in the House, Boehner and Reynolds, however, have stated that they told Hastert about the Foley emails in the spring of 2006. Boehner added that Hastert replied that the complaint "had been taken care of", and confirmed his account under oath before the House Ethics Committee. A September 30 statement by the Speaker's office said that Hastert did not "explicitly recall" the conversation with Reynolds but "has no reason to dispute" it. Hastert's office concedes, in its own chronology, that his top staffers Mike Stokke (deputy chief of staff), Ted Van Der Meid (legal counsel) and a lower placed assistant named Tim Kennedy were told about the Foley emails by Rep. Alexander's chief of staff in November 2005. They deny that Scott Palmer knew about the emails until they were made public, though. Hastert is unusually close to his top staffers; he lives with Palmer and Stokke, who have worked for him for decades, and they commute back to Illinois together on weekends. Fordham, who had been Foley's chief of staff until January 2004, and chief of staff to Congressman Reynolds from 2005 until he resigned on October 4, 2006, said that he told Scott Palmer about Foley's interest in pages in 2003, that Palmer met with Foley, and that Hastert knew about the meeting. Palmer replied that "What Kirk Fordham said did not happen", but on October 6 a second congressional staffer corroborated Fordham's account, claiming that a 2003 meeting took place between Palmer and Foley specifically to discuss complaints about his behavior towards pages. At an October 2 press conference, Hastert called the IMs "vile and repulsive." He also said that had Foley not resigned, he would have demanded his expulsion from the House. He also condemned Foley for misleading him, Shimkus and the organizations with whom he'd worked to strengthen laws against exploiting children. Hastert requested a criminal investigation of the explicit IMs, but not of the earlier, less explicit e-mails exchanged between Foley and the page sponsored by Alexander. The following day, on The Rush Limbaugh Show Hastert claimed that leadership "took care of Mr. Foley. We found out about it and asked him to resign. He did resign." On October 3, the Washington Times called for Hastert's resignation as Speaker over his handling of the scandal. Prominent conservatives also have called for Hastert's resignation, such as David Bossie, president of Citizens United; conservative columnist Richard Viguerie; and conservative columnist Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan. Hastert has rebuffed these calls to resign, arguing he did nothing wrong and is committed to investigating the scandal and leading Congress. Boehner also defended Hastert in a letter to the editor of Washington Times. A conference call on October 2 with about 100 House Republicans had no calls for a resignation. On October 5, Hastert accepted responsibility for the scandal but refused to step down. He said, "I haven't done anything wrong" and re-affirmed that he had only recently learned about any problems involving Foley and the pages: "I learned of this last Friday... I don't know who knew what or when – that's why we've asked for an investigation."