Majority Whip Roy Blunt, Speaker Dennis Hastert, and Majority Leader John Boehner issued a joint statement Saturday as they tried to do damage control over this week's resignation of Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., after ABC News revealed he had sent inappropriate e-mails to male pages:
Last night, Hastert, Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a statement that Foley's communications with former pages are "unacceptable and abhorrent," and that his resignation "must now be followed by the full weight of the criminal justice system." The statement did not suggest how that might happen, but added that the three have "asked for the creation of a toll-free telephone number for House pages, parents, grandparents and staff to confidentially report incidents of concern."
The statement came after reports surfaced that Hastert was well aware of Foley's problems, and had been for months. At the moment, there appears to be no reason to believe that Blunt knew anything beforehand, but as noted in The Turner Report, Foley has been the recipient of more than $10,000 in cash and in-kind contributions from Blunt's Rely on Your Beliefs PAC, while Blunt's son, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, received a $1,000 contribution from Foley in 2004.