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Sunday, October 08, 2006
Meehan says he believes Hastert knew of Foley's inappropriate conduct earlier than he acknowledges
From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Marty Meehan said Sunday he believes House Speaker Dennis Hastert knew of then-Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate contact with House pages, but made a political decision not to address it.

"Denny Hastert is a decent person, but the problem here in this case is that good people do bad things when they're trying to protect their own political power," Meehan said on Fox News Sunday.

Meehan, D-Massachusetts, argued that it is hard to believe that Hastert, R-Illinois, does not remember having a conversation with House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, about Foley's, R-Florida, conduct. And Meehan said it was improbable that Hastert did not discuss the situation with his chief-of-staff, who is alleged by the former senior aide to another GOP leader to have known about Foley's inappropriate contact with pages for several years.

"The evidence is pretty clear," Meehan said on Fox. "If somebody goes to your chief-of-staff and says, 'We have a problem with a member of Congress who seems to be going after some of these pages; he has inappropriate contact with them,' it's just not credible to believe that that chief-of-staff ... didn't talk to the speaker of the House about it."
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