Ethics Committee Starts Foley Investigation

As Mark Foley hides in rehab, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s (pictured, looking as if he’s pinching a loaf) political life hangs by a thread as the House Committee on Ethics meets to decide just how much Hastert knew of Foley’s misconduct.

Hastert claims not to have heard of Foley’s fondness for congressional pages until last summer, but others insist he may have known as far back as 2003. Of course, Hastert and his homies maintain their innocence. The New York Times reports:

Mr. Hastert’s chief of staff, Scott Palmer, denied the account of the former aide, Kirk Fordham, who said in an interview that he had informed Mr. Palmer of the concerns about Mr. Foley before 2004. Mr. Hastert’s office had previously said it first learned of concerns about Mr. Foley in the fall of 2005.

After resigning from Republican Rep. Thomas Reynolds’ office yesterday, Fordham’s reliability as been called into question. In fact, some are accusing him of leading the Foley cover-up, allegations Fordham rigidly denies.

Though the ethics committee has been rather ineffective for the past year-and-a-half, politicians from both sides of the divide hope this investigation can revive the House’s standing among the American public. Well, it could, but if too many lies and misdeeds are uncovered, this could shatter America’s already shaky trust.

Speaking of trust, more than a few people are questioning whether or not Foley is indeed an alcoholic. Last night on CNN, Republican Peter King of New York wondered whether or not it’s a “phony” excuse. Meanwhile, Foley’s former guidance counselor from the period during which Foley alleges he was molested by a clergyman (denomination not specified), says he never saw any indication that Foley had been violated.

We’re inclined to think Foley’s excuses – that’s what they are, not explanations – amount to a huge pile of steaming bullshit. If that’s the case, he’s sicker than we thought.