Sunday, October 01, 2006

Text of Speaker Hastert's Letter to Florida Governor Jeb Bush

10/1/2006 9:37:00 PM

To: National Desk

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

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Speaker of the
House J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) today sent the
following letter to Florida Governor Jeb Bush: Dear
Governor Bush: 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
state law or over him upon his resignation from
office. As Speaker of the House, I hereby request that
you direct the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
to conduct an investigation of Mr. Foley's conduct
with current and former House pages to determine to
what extent any of his actions violated Florida 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. In
one of these messages, Mr. Foley stated that he was in
Pensacola. 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 so doing, 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 U.S. Department
of Justice a request to investigate whether or not any
federal laws were violated by Mr. Foley or anyone else
with respect to this matter. Sincerely, J. Dennis
Hastert, Speaker

http://www.usnewswire.com/

-0-

/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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