Wednesday, January 16, 2008



Denny Hastert, John Boehner, John Shimkus, Tom Reynolds, Ken Mehlman and the rest of the GOP leaders aware of Mark Foley's years of molesting young pages had no interest whatsoever in protecting the pages-- just in holding on to Foley's congressional seat. (Nor, for that matter, did the Democratic leader, Rahm Emanuel, who knew about Foley's escapades but was timing his assault on the GOP legislator to coincide with congressional elections.)

Foley is now long resigned. Emanuel outmaneuvered the Hastert and Reynolds and the rest and a quasi-Democrat, Tim Mahoney, is now the congressman from Foley's old Florida district. But Foley is still running around free as a bird. He's never even been brought up on charges, even though he was seducing underage boys. The political establishment-- and their collaborators in the corporate media-- have been happy to have passed this off as some "inappropriate e-mails." Many in the public think that's all it was. They're wrong. Many former pages have spoken out about Foley having sex with them and their friends. The collective wisdom in Congress is that if this were to get out, it would make the institution look bad. So they've stifled every investigation of Foley's criminal behavior.

Today's Congress Daily complains that Florida investigators have been consistently denied access to Foley's computers, presumably from the same person who is protecting Bush from impeachment.
For the second time in seven months, the House general counsel has denied a request by Florida law enforcement officials for access to computers from the office of former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned in 2006 after reports that he exchanged inappropriate e-mails with congressional pages.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey wrote to House Speaker Pelosi last month asking for help. The House counsel had said in July the agency could not examine the computers because they may contain legislative information that is protected by the Constitution unless Foley waives that privilege.

Pelosi referred the letter back to the Office of General Counsel, and Deputy General Counsel Kerry Kircher issued another denial that Bailey received Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Kircher suggested the Florida agency contact Foley's lawyers.

At the time of Foley's resignation, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., had asked the Florida department to investigate whether Foley committed any state crimes.
In an editorial today, one of the leading newspapers in Foley's old district, the Palm Beach Post demanded Pelosi stop protecting Foley from the criminal justice system.
Any American suspected of committing a crime has constitutional rights. But any American who also happens to be a member of Congress has extra constitutional rights. That fact should not prevent Florida investigators from having a look at former Rep. Mark Foley's congressional computers.

Last summer, attorneys for the House of Representatives denied the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's request to see Foley's computers. Investigators want to determine whether the computers contain evidence that Foley broke Florida laws against using the Internet to "seduce, lure or entice" a minor. Foley resigned in September 2006 after revelations that he exchanged many sexually explicit e-mails with underage boys.

So, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to grant access and, failing that, to explain why she won't grant it. On Tuesday, Rep. Pelosi announced that she has rejected FDLE's request because of constitutional issues.

In an otherwise divided Congress, members show bipartisan support for protection of their papers and computers. In 2006, Republicans who ran Congress went ballistic when the FBI raided the offices of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. He was hiding cash in his freezer. Now, Democrats in charge could protect Foley, a Republican.

Lawmakers have special protection under the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause, intended to prevent the executive branch from intimidating the legislative branch or snooping into its business through bogus criminal or civil proceedings. Courts have ruled that the clause blocks investigators from seizing legislative work materials, which include computer files.

Unfortunately, members of Congress have tried to use the "speech or debate" clause to avoid searches for incriminating material. A federal appeals court ruling this summer, associated with the Jefferson case, extended congressional rights so far that the Justice Department correctly has appealed it. Prosecutors fear that the ruling might prevent them from speaking with congressional aides, a practice vital to probes into the dealings of imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Judging by Pelosi's behavior she seems firmly committing to treating political insiders as though they were above the law-- whether we're talking about Bush and Cheney or child predator Mark Foley. Pelosi had so much promise when she became Speaker. What a terrible disappointment she's been ever since!

Labels: , ,


At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, it's the same reason that Republican legislators protested when the FBI raided William Jefferson's office, even though he's a Democrat: Congresscritters are apparently supposed to be given special (and nicer) treatment, something that members of both parties agree on.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foley's is the first sex scandal...without any actual sex! (This is, of course, not to dismiss or excuse what he did, but it is rather ironic.) Especially because there was a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, the first openly gay member as a matter of fact, who actually DID have sex with a male page. He was never forced to resign, nor did he. In fact, his district kept on re-elected him until he voluntarily resigned.

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more I hear about Pelosi, the more I hate that cunt.

Why is she getting no opposition in the primary?

At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because it's San Francisco and the Dems have a lock on the city. Cindy Sheehan is running in the general election as an Independent against Pelosi, although she probably won't win.


Post a Comment

<< Home