Sunday, October 08, 2006

More Crumbling of Hastert's Story

Newsweek Magazine and Monday's edition of the Washington Post separately are reporting more Page-gate facts that severely undercut the story told last week by Republican congressman Dennis Hastert.

Hastert currently is Speaker of the House of Representatives. U.S. law currently designates the Speaker of the House as third in line to become president.

Late last week, Hastert said he was 'taking responsibility' but no consequences for allowing disgraced ex-Florida congressman Mark Foley to send sexually explicit messages for years to under-aged House pages. Hastert claimed he only recently learned of Foley's peculiar predilictions and so he wasn't to blame.

But in tomorrow's WaPo Jonathan Wiseman reports that yet another page showed Foley-authored messages to congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ). Kolbe told the page to "take the matter to the clerk of the House... ."

Wiseman writes:
"The revelation pushes back by at least five years the date when a member of Congress has acknowledged learning of Foley's questionable behavior. A timeline issued by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) suggested that the first lawmakers to know, Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-Ill.), the chairman of the House Page Board, and Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), became aware of "over-friendly" e-mails only last fall."
We also learn in the current issue of Newsweek that two sources have confirmed to reporter WaPo reporter Evan Thomas --
"On one night in 2002 or 2003, an allegedly inebriated Foley showed up at the pages' dorm after a 10 p.m. curfew and tried to gain entry... . Foley was turned away by a guard. It is not known if the pages were ever aware that Foley lurked outside their door, but word of the incident reached the House Clerk, who notified Foley's chief of staff, Kirk Fordham."
Josh Marshall's staff at TPM Muckraker offers a synopsis of what happened next:
"According to Newsweek, Fordham, then Foley's chief of staff, approached Scott Palmer after Foley's now-infamous drunken visit to the House page dorm. But most significantly, Fordham says that after the meeting, Palmer told him that he'd 'informed the Speaker' about the problem -- and this was 'sometime in 2002 or 2003.'"
Bottom line: A lot of lower-level staff are stepping forward to say that House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) lied to the press and public at his infamous news conference last Friday; and Scott Palmer, his chief aide, lied along with him.

No comments: