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Mark Foley cover-up Scandal timeline

1995: Pages Were Warned About Foley. "In 1995, male House pages were warned to steer clear of a freshman Republican from Florida, who was already learning the names of the teenagers, dashing off notes, letters and e-mails to them, and asking them to join him for ice cream, according to a former page." [Washington Post, 10/4/06]

1996: Foley Suggested That He and A Former Page Get Together at Republican Convention. "Beck-Heyman, who was a Republican page and is now a Democrat, said the attention was 'weird,' and he provided a handwritten letter that Foley sent him after the page left Washington to return home to California. The note suggested that they get together during the Republican National Convention in San Diego in 1996." [Washington Post, 10/4/06]

1998: Foley Sent Instant Messages to High School Senior; Didn't Want to Talk About Politics, Wanted to Talk About Sex. "A graduate of the 1998 page class said Foley's instant messages began while he was a senior in high school. 'Foley would say he was sitting in his boxers and ask what I was wearing,' the page said.
'It became more weird, and I stopped responding,' the page said. All three pages described similar instant message and e-mail patterns, with remarkably similar escalations of provocative questions. 'He didn't want to talk about politics,' the page said. 'He wanted to talk about sex or my penis,' the page said." [ABC News, 10/1/06]

2000: Foley Visited Page Dorm and Offered Pages Rides to Events; Arranged a Sexual Liaison With Former Page. "A graduate of the 2000 page class says Foley actually visited the old page dorm and offered rides to events in his BMW. 'His e-mails developed into sexually explicit conversations, and he asked me for photographs of my erect penis,' the former page said. The page said Foley maintained e-mail contact with him even after he started college and arranged a sexual liaison after the page had turned 18. [ABC News, 10/1/06]

2000: Page Informs Rep. Jim Kolbe About Sexually Explicit Messages That "Made Him Feel Uncomfortable." Rep. Jim Kolbe "knew of disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications. A spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., confirmed Sunday that a former page showed the congressman Internet messages that had made the youth feel uncomfortable with the direction Foley, R-Fla., was taking their e-mail relationship...A source with direct knowledge of Kolbe's involvement said the messages shared with Kolbe were sexually explicit." [Washington Post, 10/9/06]

Fall of 2000: Second Former Page Has Sexual Encounter with Foley. "A former House page says he had sex with then-Rep. Mark Foley after receiving explicit e-mails [from him]...Ultimately, the young man said he had a sexual encounter with Foley at the congressman's Washington home. Then 21, he was in Washington as an intern in an unrelated program. The former page, who served during Foley's first term in office, said that he believes Foley became bolder in his behavior during his decade in Congress. 'He clearly has used his position, but who hasn't?' the former page said. He still follows protocol in referring to the former congressman as 'Mr. Foley.'" [Los Angeles Times, 10/8/06]

2001: Republican Staff Members Warned Pages About Foley. "A Republican staff member warned Congressional pages five years ago to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page. Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned about Foley by a supervisor. Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said the pages were told 'don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff.'" [ABC News, 10/1/06]

2002: Foley Promises 17 Year Old Former Page A Place to Stay in DC if He Would "Engage in Oral Sex" With Him. "'I was seventeen years old and just returned to [my home state] when Foley began to e-mail me, asking if I had ever seen my page roommates naked and how big their penises were,' said the page in the 2002 class. The former page also said Foley told him that if he happened to be in Washington, D.C., he could stay at Foley's home if he 'would engage in oral sex' with Foley. [ABC News, 10/5/06]

4/03: Foley Left the Floor During Voting for Cybersex. Former Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) interrupted a vote on the floor of the House in 2003 to engage in Internet sex with a high school student who had served as a congressional page, according to Internet instant messages provided to ABC News by former pages. ABC News now has obtained 52 separate instant message exchanges, which former pages say were sent by Foley, using the screen name Maf54, to two different boys under the age of 18. This message was dated April 2003, at approximately 7 p.m., according to the message time stamp. [ABC News, 10/3/06]

2003: Foley Wrote Explicit Messages to Pages. Foley wrote much more sexually explicit messages sent to other pages in 2003. [Washington Post, 10/3/06]


* Foley's Chief of Staff Fordham Told Hastert Of Concerns About Foley's Behavior More Than Two Years Ago. Foley's former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, stated that he had conversations with senior aides in House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office "asking them to intervene" to address Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages. "Fordham [said that] when he was told about Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had 'more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene,' alluding to the office of Speaker Dennis Hastert. The conversations took place long before the e-mail scandal broke, Fordham said, and at least a year earlier than members of the House Republican leadership have acknowledged. Hastert's current chief of staff, Scott Palmer, has denied the conversation took place. [AP 10/4/06; AP 10/5/06; ABC News 10/5/06]

Sept. 29, 2004: U.S. Rep. Mark Foley complained to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush that the White House snubbed him during presidential visits to the state, according to e-mails obtained by the Palm Beach Post. In e-mails the newspaper excerpted on its Web site (http://www.palmbeachpost.com), Foley asked the governor to intervene on his behalf with his brother, President George W. Bush. "Have I done something to offend the White House? ... I am always getting the shaft," Foley wrote to Gov. Bush on Sept. 29, 2004. (Reuters10-13-06) 


* Fall 2005: Alexander's Office Contacted Hastert's Office About Inappropriate E-Mails, Who Told Him to Contact House Clerk. Alexander's Chief of Staff "contacted the Speaker's office about Foley's email exchange. Alexander was concerned about it." The speaker's deputy Chief of Staff and in-house counsel "told Alexander's aide to contact the House clerk" [St. Petersburg Times, 10/1/06]

9/05: In The Meantime, Foley Requested Picture of 16 Year Old Boy. "Foley requested a picture of a 16-year-old boy and asked him what he would like for his birthday. The former page forwarded it to a staffer for another member of Congress in September 2005, describing it 13 times as 'sick' and saying, 'This freaks me out.' The staffer's office informed a Hastert aide shortly afterward and the speaker's office referred the matter to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Page Board, who asked Foley to cease communication with the teenager." [Chicago Tribune, 10/3/06]

Fall 2005: Shimkus and Trandahl Met With Foley About the Emails. "Shimkus and Trandahl met privately with Foley and his chief of staff last fall to ask him to cease interaction with House pages. Shimkus said he acted based on the text of the e-mails and because the messages concerned the page and his parents." The meeting lasted no more than 30 minutes. [Chicago Tribune, 10/3/06; New York Times, 10/9/06]

2006: Foley Considered Not Seeking Another Term, But Reynolds Convinced Him. Bob Novak wrote, "A member of the House leadership told me that Foley, under continuous political pressure because of his sexual orientation, was considering not seeking a seventh term this year but that Rep. Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), talked him into running." [New York Post, 10/4/06]

Spring 2006: Alexander Told Boehner About Foley's Inappropriate Emails; Boehner Sent Him to Reynolds. "After a second round of press inquiries in the spring...he again notified the family and discussed the e-mails with the new majority leader, John Boehner of Ohio, on the House floor during a vote. Alexander said Boehner turned first to Reynolds, the architect of the Republican midterm election strategy. 'I went to Boehner before Reynolds,' Alexander told AP. 'He sent Reynolds to me to talk about it. Within a minute Reynolds and I were talking.'" [Chicago Tribune, 10/3/06]


* Spring 2006: Boehner Says He Told Hastert About Emails. Boehner told the Washington Post that he "had learned in late spring of inappropriate e-mails Foley sent to the page, a boy from Louisiana, and that he promptly told Hastert." [Washington Post, 10/1/06]

* Spring 2006: Reynolds Says He Learned of Emails in the Spring, Told Hastert. "Mr. Reynolds, who runs the fund-raising committee for House Republicans, was told in the spring that Mr. Foley may have acted inappropriately toward pages. He said he alerted the Republican speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, to the issue, but Mr. Hastert said he had no recollection of the contact." [The Sun, 10/3/06]

Spring 2006: Foley Chief of Staff Urged Members To Withhold Concerns About Foley From the Full Page Board. "The complaint about Foley [emails to a teenager] was brought to the chairman of the page board, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL)...he then consulted with the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Jeff Trandahl. At Fordham's urging, according to the sources, the matter was not given to the full board, and instead Congressman Foley was privately approached and told to stop all contact with the page he had been e-mailing." [ABC News, 10/4/06]

6/06: Emails Came Up in a Capitol Hill Bar Conversation, Were Passed On to News Outlets. June, the reports resurfaced on Capitol Hill, where a neighborhood resident struck up a conversation in a bar with someone who had provided the e-mail messages. He said he passed them on to several news outlets. The resident, who said he was not affiliated with either party and was motivated by concern for the teenager, would talk only on condition of anonymity. [New York Times, 10/3/06]

7/21/06: CREW Sent Emails to FBI. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington forwarded the messages to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 21 and requested an investigation. [New York Times, 10/3/06]

8/06: ABC Learned of Emails. Brian Ross of ABC News said he learned about the e-mail messages in August but was too busy with Hurricane Katrina and the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to pursue them immediately. [New York Times, 10/3/06]

8/7/06: NRCC Took $100,000 From Foley. The NRCC accepted a $100K contribution from Foley's campaign committee. [fec.gov]

9/28/06: ABC Reported On Suggestive Emails. ABC reported initial suggestive emails on Sept. 28. [New York Times, 10/3/06]

9/28/06: Blunt Said He First Learned of Foley Emails on 9/28. Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri wasn't part of any past discussions of Foley's e-mails, said spokeswoman Burso Snyder. "The first time Cong. Blunt heard anything about the Foley matter was Thursday of last week when ABC broke the story," Snyder said in an e-mail. She said no "leadership meetings" were held on the issue, but rather some "one-on-one conversations among members." [Kansas City Star, 10/3/06]

9/29/06: Fordham Said Reynolds Wanted Foley to Resign. "Fordham said Tuesday that he confronted Foley on Friday about the sexually explicit messages. [Fordham said] 'Are these authentic?' and he [Foley] said, 'Probably,' and he confirmed that they were likely his instant messages.'...Fordham said that Reynolds instructed him to tell Foley that he needed to resign. The NRCC wrote Foley's resignation letter, which was transferred to Foley's stationery and signed by the congressman during a gathering at his house that included Fordham and Foley's sister, who has been his closest friend and political advisor." [Los Angeles Times, 10/4/06]

9/29/06: ABC Asked Foley About Explicit IMs. ABC News interviews Foley "about excerpts of instant messages provided by current and former pages under the age of 18. ABC reported that Foley, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual acts and body parts." [ABC News, 9/29/06]

9/29/06: Former Foley COS, and Current Reynolds COS, Tried to Cut a Deal with ABC Not to Make IMs Public. Foley's former chief of staff Kirk Fordham "tried to cut a deal" with ABC's Brian Ross. Ross, "who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent to teenage House pages, had asked to interview Foley. His ex-CoS "said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw, sexually explicit messages." Ross: "I said we're not making any deals." [Washington Post, 10/2/06; USA Today, 10/4/06]


9/29/06: ABC and CREW Reported On Explicit Messages. ABC News later reports on the sexually explicit messages. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington made messages public after the report. [New York Times, 10/3/06; ABC News, 9/29/06]

9/29/06: Hastert Said He Learned of the Explicit IMs on 9/29. Hastert said that no Republican House leaders had seen the 'vile' messages sent in 2003 until September 29. Hastert said he was unaware of any sexually explicit e-mails until Foley resigned. [Washington Post, 10/3/06; Chicago Tribune, 10/3/06]

9/29/06: Boehner Confused as to Whether He Told Hastert; After Three Different Stories, Decides That He Did. Boehner told the Washington Post on September 29 that he "had learned in late spring of inappropriate e-mails Foley sent to the page, a boy from Louisiana, and that he promptly told Hastert." Roll Call reported, "Boehner and his aides later contacted the Post and other media outlets, including Roll Call, to retract the comment. 'That is not true,' he said after the Post's initial report, and he contacted the Post to say he could not be sure he spoke to Hastert personally." In a radio interview on 10/4, however, he stated that he did speak with Hastert about the matter. [Washington Post, 10/1/06; Roll Call, 10/3/06; Bloomberg 10/4/06]

* Hastert Says Boehner Never Came to Talk to Him About Foley. "Conservative activist Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation, [said] that in a private phone conversation Hastert 'assured me that Congressman Boehner had never, ever talked to him about this.'" [ABC News, 10/5/06] 

9/30/06: Hastert Said He Did Not "Explicitly Recall" Spring Meeting With Reynolds About Foley Emails. After Reynolds' statement, Hastert's office issued its own "preliminary report" on how the Speaker and his staff handled the Foley scandal. Hastert said, "Congressman Tom Reynolds in a statement issued today indicates that many months later, in the spring of 2006, he was approached by Congressman Alexander who mentioned the Foley issue from the previous fall. During a meeting with the Speaker, [Reynolds] says he noted the issue which had been raised by Alexander and told the Speaker that an investigation was conducted by the Clerk of the House and Shimkus. While the Speaker does not explicitly recall this conversation, he has no reason to dispute Congressman Reynolds' recollection that he reported to him on the problem and its resolution." [Hastert Release, 9/30/06]

10/2/06: Foley Checked Into Rehab. Foley's attorney said he had checked himself into a rehabilitation facility "for immediate treatment for alcoholism and other behavioral problems." [CBS, 10/3/06]

10/2/06: Hastert Says That He Didn't Have A Chance to Ask Foley to Resign. At a press conference, Hastert was asked whether or not the leadership asked Foley to resign. Hastert replied, "I think Foley resigned almost immediately upon the outbreak of this information, and so we really didn't have a chance to ask him to resign, and I left at the very end of the session, almost, before the very last vote." [Transcript of Q&A with Speaker Hastert on Mark Foley Matter, 10/2/2006]

10/2/06: White House Spokesman Dismisses Foley's Sexually Explicit Exchanges With Minors as "Naughty E-mails." When asked about the Foley scandal, Snow responded, "Yes, look, I hate to tell you, but it's not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. And there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mails....before we prosecute, let's figure out what all the facts are. That's probably the most important thing to do is to be fair to all parties." [White House Press Conference, 10/2/06]

10/3/06: Hastert Changes Course, Says He Asked Foley To Resign. In a radio interview, Hastert changed his story, saying that he asked Foley to resign: "We took care of Mr. Foley. We found out about it and asked him to resign. He did resign." [Salon, 10/3/06]

10/3/06: Boehner Reversed Course Again, Said He Thought Hastert Had "Dealt With" The Situation After Spring Meeting. Boehner said, "I believe I talked to the Speaker [in the Spring] and he told me it had been taken care of...And, and, and 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." This was a change from what Boehner had said on September 29. [Washington Post, 10/4/06]

10/3/06: Reynolds Said 10/3 that He Didn't Discuss Foley With Fordham Until 9/29. "Reynolds, who is locked in a tight reelection battle for his own upstate New York seat, was forced to address his aide's role on Tuesday, telling reporters that Fordham acted without his knowledge. He said he didn't discuss the Foley matter with Fordham until Friday. "I didn't give him permission to have any conversations that he's had at any time with Mark Foley, either as his friend or as his former employer," said Reynolds, adding that Fordham was interacting with Foley on his own time." [LA Times, 10/4/06]

10/4/06: Blunt Says He Would Have Handled the Matter Differently. "Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, said pointedly [today that] he would have handled the entire matter differently than Speaker Dennis Hastert did, had he known about it. 'I think I could have given some good advice here, which is you have to be curious, you have to ask all the questions you can think of,' Blunt said. 'You absolutely can't decide not to look into activities because one individual's parents don't want you to.'" [AP 10/4/06]

* 10/5/06: Blunt Backs Off Criticism of Hastert One Day Later. "'Those who are trying to create the appearance of disunity between myself and the speaker should know: There is not, and has not been, any daylight between the speaker and me,' Blunt said. The statement came one day after Blunt said that had he known about former Rep. Mark Foley's improper messages to underage pages, he would have handled it differently." [McClatchy Newspapers, 10/6/06] 

10/4/06: Boehner Says Foley Was "Hastert's Responsibility." "'I believe I had talked to the speaker and he told me it had been taken care of,' Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told Cincinnati 700 WLW Radio this morning. 'It's in his corner, it's his responsibility.' The Congressional Page Board and others overseeing the program, "all report to the speaker," Boehner told the station. [Bloomberg 10/4/06]

10/5/06: House Ethics Committee Begins Investigation. "The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday [10/5/06] to issue 44 subpoenas as it began what its leaders promised will be a wide-ranging investigation into a congressional page sex scandal." [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/6/06]

10/5/06: Hastert Changes Strategy But Refuses to Resign; Says He Will Cooperate Fully With Investigation. "For Hastert, who [previously] blamed Democrats for fueling the scandal as he fought to save his job as speaker, the show of contrition...was a change in strategy...Asked if he would resign, a step that has been demanded by some conservative critics, Hastert said, 'I'm going to run, presumably win this election. And when we do, I expect to run for leader, for speaker' in the new, 110th Congress that will meet in January...Hastert pledged complete cooperation with all the criminal and congressional investigations under way into Foley's conduct and how the House Republican leadership dealt with reports of his improper contacts with pages." [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/6/06]

Oct. 12, 2006: Key Figure In Foley Case Testifies
Former Top Aide Says He Warned Hastert's Office About Foley As Early As 2002: The House ethics committee questioned the one-time chief of staff to ex-Rep. Mark Foley, who challenged Speaker Dennis Hastert's account of his office's first notification of Foley's conduct toward male pages.

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