Skip to main content
Home World U.S. Weather Business Sports Analysis Politics Law Tech Science Health Entertainment Offbeat Travel Education Specials Autos I-Reports
Inside Politics

Aide: Democrat leader heard of Foley e-mails in 2005

Story Highlights

• Report: A House Dem staffer says he sent Foley e-mails to media, DCCC in 2005
• Aide says DCCC chairman heard of e-mails in very general terms
• DCCC chair Rahm Emanuel had said "no" when asked if he had known of them
• Foley resigned after inappropriate messages to teenager became public
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The head of the House Democrats' campaign committee, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, had heard of former Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate e-mails to a former male page a year before they became public, a campaign committee aide told CNN.

Foley, a Republican, resigned after the scandal broke. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other Republicans have suggested repeatedly that some Democrats knew about the e-mails earlier than they have acknowledged, but waited till midterm elections approached to bring up the issue.

Emanuel's campaign committee aide said Friday that the Illinois Democrat was informed in 2005, but never saw the correspondence and did not have enough information to raise concerns. The aide said Emanuel took "no action" because his knowledge was "cursory" and little more than "rumor."

The aide's acknowledgement differs from the flat "no" Emanuel gave in October when asked -- during an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" -- if he or anyone on his staff knew of the e-mails before the scandal broke.

The e-mails surfaced when House Democratic staffer Matt Miller sent a copy of them to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's communications director, Bill Burton, in fall 2005, according to an investigative report released Friday. (Watch what the House ethics committee found in its probe of Mark Foley's e-mails Video)

Burton told Emanuel about the e-mails but did not tell reporters, the aide said.

In his deposition to the ethics committee, Miller said he also sent Foley's e-mails to the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, the Miami Herald and Roll Call, according to the report. (Read the full report -- PDF)

Miller also sent the material to Harper's Magazine "and possibly others," the report said.

Miller told the ethics committee he had sent the e-mails to the media because he considered them inappropriate and predicted "nothing would come" from giving them to the ethics panel or the House Page Board, according to the report.

Miller had sent the e-mails to the Democratic campaign committee with the expectation they would be shared with the media, he testified.

It wouldn't be until late September -- six weeks before midterm elections -- that media reports on those e-mails led to Foley's resignation and a political firestorm that contributed to Republicans' loss of the majority.

How e-mails got to Miller

The report released on Friday outlined how Miller received the e-mails:

  • The former page -- who had been sponsored by Louisiana Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander -- was troubled by the e-mails. He sent them, along with Foley's request for a picture, to an employee in Alexander's office.
  • The employee, Daniel Savoy, forwarded them to a friend, Kelley Halliwell, a former House employee who was working for a lobbying firm.
  • Halliwell sent the e-mails to her boyfriend, Justin Field, who worked at the House Democratic Caucus with Miller.
  • Both Field and Miller testified that no one in the caucus office -- including then- Chairman Rep. Bob Menendez of New Jersey -- received the e-mails or was "involved in the decision to provide them to the press," the report said.

    Menendez told CNN last week in a statement that he was never told about the e-mails.

    Because Halliwell no longer works for the House, the ethics committee "did not attempt to reach a conclusion regarding whether her conduct could provide a basis for disciplinary action."

    The panel only has jurisdiction over current House members and employees.

    On Friday, the committee said although GOP leaders were negligent by not protecting teenage pages from possible improper advances but had broken no rules, and no one will be reprimanded. (Full story)

    CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

    Follow Related Topics

    Search TopicE-mail Alerts

    Rep. Mark Foley resigned in September after his Internet exchanges with former congressional pages surfaced.


    • The structure and management of the page program should be reviewed to determine whether changes made in the 1980s are sufficient to protect pages' well-being and safety.
    • The board overseeing the program should meet regularly.
    • The House should consider placing equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats on the board to avoid possible political influence.
    • The clerk of the House should be able to bring issues directly to the board and the speaker.
    • All House members should be educated about the page program.
    • All House members and employees must pursue any allegations of improper interactions with pages, regardless of whether those involved are of the same sex or not.


    Quick Job Search
      More Options
    International Edition
    CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise with Us About Us Contact Us
    © 2007 Cable News Network.
    A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
    SERVICES » E-mails RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNNtoGo CNN Pipeline
    Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
    Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more