House Speaker Testifies on Foley Scandal

What did the speaker know, and when did he know it?  House Speaker Dennis Hastert gives his own answer to that question today, as he testifies before the House Ethics Committee on the Mark Foley scandal.

Hastert went behind closed doors with the committee at 1:30 p.m., following two other key figures in the investigation.

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) spent nearly three hours before the committee earlier today.  He wouldn't comment on the specifics of his testimony, saying "the committee asked me not to."


But earlier this month, Reynolds said he personally told Speaker Hastert last spring about concerns over Foley's "overly friendly" e-mails to former pages.

"When I found out about this whole instance for the first time in the spring of '06, I reported it to my supervisor, like anyone would in an office circumstance," Reynolds said three weeks ago.  "I took it to the speaker of the House."

Speaker Hastert has said he has no memory of such a warning.

Reynolds' former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, who previously worked for Mark Foley, said he also brought their concerns to the attention of Hastert's staff.

Hastert's Chief of Staff Scott Palmer has denied Fordham's account.  Palmer wrapped up more than six hours of testimony last night, and his attorney said that while he couldn't discuss the substance, it was "consistent with the position he has taken all along."

Read the Blotter's Full Coverage of the Foley Internet Scandal.

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