Foley Scandal: Ethics Committee Chastises to No Avail
Having just finished its investigation of the Mark Foley coverup, the House Ethics Committee said lawmakers behaved inappropriately, but that no rules were broken: “In all, a pattern of conduct was exhibited among many individuals to remain willfully ignorant of the potential consequences of former Representative Foley’s conduct with respect to House pages.”
’TIS THE REASON…
New York Times:
“Some may have been concerned that raising the issue too aggressively might have risked exposing Rep. Foley’s homosexuality, which could have adversely affected him both personally and politically,” the ethics panel said. “There is some evidence that political considerations played a role in decisions that were made by persons in both parties.”
And the wishes of one former page’s family for privacy could have provided “a convenient justification” to not aggressively investigate Mr. Foley’s activities “for those who were already so inclined,” the committee said.
A four-member subcommittee of the 10-member ethics committee interviewed House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois and dozens of other witnesses to determine whether Republicans were aggressive enough after they first learned of Mr. Foley’s conduct, long before it became public.
“In its review of this matter, the investigative subcommittee was disturbed by the conduct of some of those who dealt with allegations regarding the conduct of former Representative Foley,” the committee said today in its 91-page report.
When confronted with the allegations, some lawmakers tried to shift responsibility, while others took more direct action but declined to probe deeply or follow up to see if their efforts had any “positive results,” the summary said.
“Others tried repeatedly to elevate the matter but encountered obstacles in the chain of command,” according to the summary. “In all, a pattern of conduct was exhibited among many individuals to remain willfully ignorant of the potential consequences of former Representative Foley’s conduct with respect to House pages.”
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