Sunday, October 01, 2006

Text of Speaker Hastert's Letter to U.S. Attorney General Gonzales

10/1/2006 9:30:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: Ron Bonjean or Lisa C. Miller, 202-225-2800,
both of the Office of Speaker of the House J. Dennis
Hastert

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Speaker of the
House J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) today sent the
following letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales: Dear Mr. Attorney General: Former
Representative Mark Foley resigned from the House of
Representatives on Friday, September 29, 2006, after
improper and illicit communications between Mr. Foley
and former House pages were made public. While the
House of Representatives on that day voted to refer
this matter to the Committee on Standards of Official
Conduct for investigation, they do not have
jurisdiction over federal law or over him upon his
resignation from office. As Speaker of the House, I
hereby request that the Department of Justice conduct
an investigation of Mr. Foley's conduct with current
and former House pages to determine to what extent any
of his actions violated federal law. As I am sure you
are aware, there are two different and distinct
communications at issue here. First, Mr. Foley sent an
email to a former page of Representative Alexander in
the fall of 2005. This email was determined to be
"over friendly" by Representative Alexander's office
but was not sexual in nature. Second, based on media
reports, there is a different set of communications
which were sexually explicit instant messages which
Mr. Foley reportedly sent another former page or
pages. These communications, of which no one in the
House Leadership was aware to my knowledge, reportedly
were sent sometime in 2003. According to an Editor's
Note that appeared on the St. Petersburg Times'
website yesterday, the Times was given a set of emails
from Mr. Foley to Representative Alexander's former
page in November of 2005. (See "A Note From the
Editors" located at http://blogs.tampabay.com/buzz/ --
visited on September 30, 2006). The editors state that
they viewed this exchange as "friendly chit chat" and
decided not to publish it after hearing an explanation
from Representative Foley. Acting on this same
communication, the Chairman of the House Page Board
and the then Clerk of the House confronted Mr. Foley,
demanded he cease all contact with the former page as
his parents had requested, and believed they had
privately resolved the situation as the parents had
requested. Unlike the first communication, the second
communication was a set of instant messages that
contained sexually explicit statements and were
reportedly generated three years ago. Last week, ABC
News first reported these sexually explicit instant
messages which led to Representative Foley's
resignation. These sexually explicit communications
warrant a criminal referral in two respects.
Initially, since the communications involve interstate
communications, there should be a complete
investigation and prosecution of any federal laws that
have been violated. In addition, since the
communications appear to have existed for three years,
there should be an investigation into the extent there
are persons who knew or had possession of these
messages but did not report them to the appropriate
authorities. It is important to know who may have had
the communications and why they were not given to
prosecutors before now. Therefore, I also request that
the Department undertake an investigation into who had
specific knowledge of the content of any sexually
explicit communications between Mr. Foley and any
former or current House pages and what actions such
individuals took, if any, to provide them to law
enforcement. I request that the scope of your
investigation include any and all individuals who may
have been aware of this matter-be they Members of
Congress, employees of the House of Representatives,
or anyone outside the Congress. Your attention to this
serious matter is appreciated. I am also sending to
the Department of Law Enforcement for the State of
Florida a request to investigate whether or not any
state laws were violated by Mr. Foley or anyone else
with respect to this matter. Sincerely,

J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker

http://www.usnewswire.com/

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/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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