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« Nappy Headed Hoes | Main | Can even the Mighty Rush Limbaugh Save Denny Hastert and the Bush Congress »
Thursday
Oct052006

Foley Timeline

2001: A Republican staff member tells congressional pages to "watch out" for Foley, according to ABC News.

2003: Foley reportedly writes sexually explicit instant messages to a young man who formerly served as a House page. In May, Foley faces questions about his sexual orientation as he prepares to run for a Senate seat in Florida. He later drops out of the race.

Summer 2005: Foley exchanges e-mails with a former page from Louisiana. The e-mails ask about the page's age (then 16) and his birthday and request a picture.

Fall 2005: The former page contacts the office of his sponsor, Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), about the e-mails. Describing the e-mails, the boy writes, "Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out."

Alexander's chief of staff informs the office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office about the e-mail exchange, but declines to show the message to Hastert's staff and to the clerk of the House, Jeff Trandahl, who administers the page program.

Alexander's chief of staff describes the e-mails as being "over friendly" but not of a sexual nature. The chief of staff says that the family simply wants the contact to stop. Hastert said last week he was not aware of "a different set of communications which were sexually explicit ... which Mr. Foley reportedly sent another former page or pages."

Trandahl and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), chairman of the House Page Board, meet with Foley, who assures them he was only acting as a mentor to the boy. Shimkus orders Foley to cease contact with the boy. Foley agrees.

November 2005: The 16-year-old Louisiana boy gives copies of Foley's e-mails to the St. Petersburg Times, describing them as "very inappropriate." The paper assigns two reporters to investigate. The paper says it decided not to write a story because of the seriousness of what would be implied, and because the boy and the family would not go on the record.

The Miami Herald says it, too, received a copy of the e-mails, but it decided not to go public because the messages were not sexually explicit and were subject to interpretation.

Spring 2006: Alexander mentions the Foley issue to Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee. Reynolds says he raised the issue at a meeting with Hastert. Hastert says he does not explicitly recall this conversation, but he does not dispute Reynolds' recollection that he reported on the problem and its resolution.

Alexander's office also tells the office of House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) about the e-mails. Boehner has given conflicting statements, but on Tuesday, he told an Ohio radio station that he discussed the matter with Hastert, who told him it had been resolved.

July 2006: The FBI receives some Foley-related e-mail correspondence in July, but concludes that no federal law had been violated, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. The FBI official would not detail how many e-mails the FBI initially received, or whether they came from multiple sources.

A group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington now says that it forwarded the messages to the FBI on July 21, requesting an investigation. The group did not disclose how it obtained the messages.

Sept. 28, 2006: ABC News reports on Foley's e-mail exchange with the Louisiana teenager. Foley's Democratic challenger, Tim Mahoney, calls for an investigation.

Sept. 29, 2006: Revelations emerge of sexually explicit instant messages Foley sent in 2003 to former pages. Foley resigns. The House votes to refer the matter to the ethics committee.

Sept. 30, 2006: Hastert says he is setting up a hot line for current and former pages and their families to report problems about the page program.

Oct. 1, 2006: Hastert writes a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking for an investigation of Foley's conduct. Hastert writes a similar letter to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The FBI reopens its preliminary investigation.

Oct. 2: Foley's attorney says the former congressman is battling alcoholism and has checked into a rehabilitation facility.

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