Saturday, October 07, 2006

Could we hope for an exodus?

Foley escapes reprimand in House probe
Resignation gives him immunity; others to be punished if cover-up is found


Marc Serota / Reuters

Former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., cannot be disciplined by the House ethics committee.

Updated: 2:05 p.m. CT Oct 7, 2006

WASHINGTON - The House’s investigation of a page sex scandal has only one certainty: Former Rep. Mark Foley will escape punishment by his peers.

It is the Florida Republican’s sexually explicit electronic messages to teenage former male pages that have ignited what has become a pre-election firestorm.

Congress only can punish current members, officers and employees. Foley resigned on Sept. 29, but is under investigation by federal and Florida authorities.

If the House ethics committee finds evidence of a Republican cover-up, many people could be in jeopardy, facing consequences that range from a mild rebuke in a committee report to a House vote of censure or expulsion.

Unlike the committee’s usual practice of identifying the investigative target at the outset, this probe is wide open. Anyone who knew of Foley’s salacious messages before the story broke at the end of September has reason for concern.

The rest of the AP story from MSNBC

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