Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hastert's Story Crumbling

ABC News this afternoon announced it has a source who confirms earlier reports in the Washington Post [boldface emphasis supplied, for those in a rush]:
"A current House staffer has told ABC News that Scott Palmer, House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) chief of staff, met with disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to discuss the time and attention he was giving House pages many months before the Speaker's office has said it became aware of the issue.

"The staffer, who asked not be identified because of the ongoing FBI and House Ethics Committees invesgitations, told ABC News that the meeting between Palmer and Foley came to light in November 2005, around the time when Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), head of the House Page Board, and then-House Clerk Jeff Trandahl, who was administrator of the page program, met with Foley about an e-mail exchange Foley had with a former page, sponsored by Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA).

"'At that time, I became aware that there was a previous meeting' between Foley and Palmer, the staffer told ABC News.

* * *
"Earlier, sources had told ABC News that Trandahl had called Fordham several times to complain that Foley was paying too much attention to pages. Fordham would talk with Foley about the matter, according to these accounts. Usually, Foley's behavior would change for a short time only to return--and Trandahl would call Fordham again. After this happened several times, the sources said, Fordham and Trandahl discussed seeking the help of Hastert's office, which led to Fordham's meeting with Palmer."
The thing that brings this so much closer to House Speaker Dennis Hastert is that Hastert's roommate in Washington D.C. is his chief of staff, the very same Scott Palmer.

As Lawrence O'Donnell asks at the Huffington Post:
"[W]hat are the odds that Palmer did not tell Hastert? *** Many chiefs of staff are close, very close, to their bosses on Capitol Hill. But none are closer than Scott Palmer is to Denny Hastert. They don't just work together all day, they live together."

No comments: