A top staffer to former Rep. Mark Foley
(D-FL) testified yesterday that he alerted House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL)'s chief of staff to Foley's inappropriate contact
with Congressional pages as early as 2002. Kirk Fordham, who once served as Foley's chief of staff, spent nearly five hours
in closed-door testimony before the House Ethics Committee as the investigation into Foley's conduct and the GOP's handling
of the situation continued.
Tue Oct 10, 7:41
The saga of Rep. Mark Foley
(news, bio, voting record) dates to at least five years ago. U.S. News has assembled a timeline about Foley, his personal involvement and electronic
communications with current and former pages in the House of Representatives, and what other members of Congress knew about
2003: Foley, a Florida Republican, reportedly writes sexually explicit
instant messages to a male House page using the screen name "Maf54." (Associated Press)
May 2003: Foley faces questions about his sexual orientation as he prepares
to run for a Senate seat in Florida. He later drops out of the race. (AP)
Fall 2005: A former page contacts the office of his sponsor, Rep. Rodney
Alexander (news, bio, voting record), a Louisiana Republican, about E-mails he had received from Foley that asked about the boy's age, then 16, and his birthday
and requested a picture. (AP)
Fall 2005:Alexander's chief of staff calls House Speaker Dennis Hastert's
office about the E-mail exchange. Alexander's aide declines to show the message to Hastert's staff and to the clerk of the
House, who administers the page program, but says it is not of a sexual nature and that the family simply wants the contact
Hastert said in September
2006 that he was not aware of "a different set of communications which were sexually explicit ... which Mr. Foley reportedly
sent another former page or pages."
The clerk and Rep. John
Shimkus (news, bio, voting record), an Illinois Republican who heads the House Page Board, meet with Foley, who assures them he was only acting as a mentor
to the boy. Shimkus orders Foley to cease contact with the boy, and Foley agrees. (AP)
November 2005: The St. Petersburg Times assigns two reporters to investigate
after being given copies of the E-mail exchange with the Louisiana teenager. The paper said on Sept. 30, 2006,
that it decided not to publish at the time because of the seriousness of what would be implied and because the boy and the
family would not go on the record.
The Miami Herald
also had a copy of the E-mail but decided not to go public because the message was not sexually explicit and was subject to
Spring 2006: Alexander mentions the Foley issue to Rep. Tom Reynolds, a
New York Republican and chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee. Reynolds says he raises the issue at a meeting
with Hastert. The speaker later says he does not explicitly recall this conversation but does not dispute Reynolds's recollection
that he reported on the problem and its resolution. (AP)
July 2006: Foley attends the White House ceremony where the Adam Walsh Child Protection
and Safety Act of 2006 is signed by President Bush.. Foley was the chairman of the House panel on missing and exploited children.
The FBI begins an investigation after receiving
copies of E-mails sent in 2005 by Foley to a page from Louisiana. ( Washington Post,Oct. 3, 2006)
Sept. 28, 2006: ABC News reports on the E-mail exchange with the Louisiana teenager. Foley's Democratic challenger, Tim Mahoney, calls for an investigation
into the exchange. (AP)
Sept. 29, 2006: Revelations emerge of sexually explicit instant messages Foley
sent in 2003 to former pages. Foley resigns. The House votes to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee. (AP)
Sept. 30, 2006:
Hastert says he is setting up a hot line for
current and former pages and their families to report problems about the page program. (AP)
The Florida Department of
Law Enforcement opens an inquiry into Foley's online communication with the former House pages. ( Miami Herald)
Oct. 1, 2006:Hastert writes a letter to Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales asking for an investigation of Foley's conduct. Hastert writes a similar letter to Florida Gov. Bottom
An FBI spokesman confirms
the agency is "conducting an assessment to see if there's been a violation of federal law." (AP)
Oct. 2, 2006: Foley's attorney says the former congressman is battling alcoholism
and has checked into a rehabilitation facility. He says, "Based on the information that I have, Mark Foley has never, ever
had an inappropriate sexual contact with a minor in his life. He is absolutely, positively not a pedophile." (Scripps Howard
Oct. 2, 2006: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issues a statement claiming
GOP leaders knew about Foley for up to a year and calls for their investigation under oath by the Ethics Committee.
Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee
(news, bio, voting record), the only Democrat on the House Page Board, is left out of a Hastert-Shimkus meeting regarding page safety. Kildee, a member
of the board since 1985, was not present when Hastert and Shimkus announced a revamped effort to secure the safety of pages.
Kildee had earlier expressed outrage that he was left out of the discussion about Foley when Shimkus was first told of the
matter nearly a year earlier.
Oct. 3, 2006: The Washington Times calls for Hastert's resignation.
His spokesman, Ron Bonjean, issues a statement that says the speaker "has and will lead the Republican conference to another
majority in the 110th Congress."
President Bush, in a speech
at the GeorgeW.BushElementary
School in Stockton, Calif., says, "I was dismayed and shocked to learn about Congressman
Foley's unacceptable behavior. I was disgusted by the revelations and disappointed that he would violate the trust of the?of
the citizens who have placed him in office." He continues, "I fully support Speaker Hastert's call for an investigation by
law enforcement into this matter. This investigation should be thorough, and any violations of the law should be prosecuted."
(Federal News Transcripts)
House Majority Leader John
Boehner, an Ohio Republican, in an interview aired on Cincinnati radio station WLW, said of Hastert and the Foley issue, "I believe I talked to the speaker and he told me it had been
taken care of. My position is it's in his corner, it's his responsibility. The clerk of the House who runs the page program,
the Page Board?all report to the speaker. And I believe it had been dealt with." (Bloomberg News) Three days earlier, the
Washington Post had reported that Boehner first told the paper he had informed Hastert of the Foley issue, then called
later to say that he hadn't.
Foley's lawyer says that
his client, now in an alcohol treatment center, was molested by a clergyman when he was a teenager, has never engaged in sex
with a minor, and is gay.
Kirk Fordham, chief of staff
to Rep. Tom Reynolds, resigns, reportedly for his role in the investigation of Foley. Fordham previously was chief of staff
for Foley. (In the spring, Reynolds had raised the issue of Foley's E-mails with Hastert.) (AP)
The Florida Department of
Law Enforcement confirms that it has begun a preliminary inquiry. (AP)
John McCain, an Arizona
Republican, calls for a group of former senators and others to investigate how the House handled the Foley matter. (AP)
Oct. 5, 2006:
Former congressional page Tyson Vivyan says he received sexually suggestive e-mail from Rep. Foley in 1997. (AP)
The House Ethics Committee
opens an investigation into the unfolding scandal. (AP)
Oct. 8, 2006: A former House page discloses to the Los Angeles Times that he had sex with Foley at Foley's house in Washington in the fall of 2000. The page was 21 at the time and had
graduated from college, but Foley had sent suggestive instant messages to him soon after he had left the page program.
Oct. 9, 2006:
A CBS News-New York Times poll shows that 46 percent of respondents believe Hastert should step down; 79 percent believe
that the House Republican leadership is more concerned with politics than the safety of congressional pages.
The Washington Post reports
that Rep. Jim Kolbe (news, bio, voting record), an Arizona Republican, allegedly reported Foley's inappropriate electronic exchanges with pages as early as 2000. Kolbe's
spokesperson confirmed that at that time a former page spoke to Kolbe's office about messages from Foley that made the page
uneasy. Kolbe forwarded the complaint to Foley's office and the clerk of the House.
The House ethics committee
asks members of Congress to survey current and former House pages as well as aides to find out whether others knew of Foley's
inappropriate conduct or communication with male pages.
Oct. 10, 2006:
Hastert warns his staff that anyone found to have covered up information regarding Foley's conduct will be dismissed.
Former page Jordan Edmund
and his attorney, Stephen Jones, meet with federal officials in Oklahoma City. Edmund allegedly received inappropriate instant messages from Foley which were made public on
Kolbe issues a clarification
about his actions previously reported in the Washington Post. After receiving a complaint from the former page, Kolbe
says that "it was my recommendation that this complaint be passed along to Rep. Foley's office and the clerk who supervised
the page program. This was done promptly. I did not have a personal conversation with Mr. Foley about the matter.