Dennis Hastert testified for roughly two hours and 40 minutes today before a closed session of the House Ethics Committee. The objectivity of the committee’s investigation into the Foley affair has been in doubt, especially in light of the fact that last year Hastert removed its then-chairman, Joel Hefley, for admonishing Tom DeLay.

New York Times:

Two weeks before Election Day, Mr. Hastert had planned to be hop-scotching from district-to-district across America, working to preserve a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and his own seat of power. Instead, he endured the political version of a perp walk as he made his way from the spacious speaker’s suite to a dim corridor in the basement of the Capitol, where the ethics committee was meeting behind closed doors.

With his position as speaker on the line, even if Republicans hold their majority, Mr. Hastert sought to clear the air by voluntarily appearing before the bipartisan panel that is working to determine whether Republican leaders and their staff members ignored warnings that Mr. Foley was making advances toward male high school students who work as messengers on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Hastert has maintained that he was personally unaware of such concerns until well after a former page from Louisiana disclosed e-mail messages sent by Mr. Foley, but fellow Republican leaders say they discussed the matter with him earlier this year.


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