The Foley Timeline
Updated Dec. 8, 2006
The saga of Rep. Mark Foley dates to at least five years ago. U.S. News has assembled a timeline about Foley, his personal involvement and electronic communications with current and former pages in the House of Representatives, and what other members of Congress knew about the situation:
2001: Some congressional pages were allegedly warned about Foley, according to Page Alumni Association President Matthew Loraditch. (ABC World News with Charles Gibson)
2003: Foley, a Florida Republican, reportedly writes sexually explicit instant messages to a male House page using the screen name "Maf54." (Associated Press)
May 2003: Foley faces questions about his sexual orientation as he prepares to run for a Senate seat in Florida. He later drops out of the race. (AP)
Fall 2005: A former page contacts the office of his sponsor, Rep. Rodney Alexander, a Louisiana Republican, about E-mails he had received from Foley that asked about the boy's age, then 16, and his birthday and requested a picture. (AP)
Fall 2005: Alexander's chief of staff calls House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office about the E-mail exchange. Alexander's aide declines to show the message to Hastert's staff and to the clerk of the House, who administers the page program, but says it is not of a sexual nature and that the family simply wants the contact to stop.
Hastert said in September 2006 that he was not aware of "a different set of communications which were sexually explicit ... which Mr. Foley reportedly sent another former page or pages."
The clerk and Rep. John Shimkus, an Illinois Republican who heads the House Page Board, meet with Foley, who assures them he was only acting as a mentor to the boy. Shimkus orders Foley to cease contact with the boy, and Foley agrees. (AP)
November 2005: The St. Petersburg Times assigns two reporters to investigate after being given copies of the E-mail exchange with the Louisiana teenager. The paper said on Sept. 30, 2006, that it decided not to publish at the time because of the seriousness of what would be implied and because the boy and the family would not go on the record.
The Miami Herald also had a copy of the E-mail but decided not to go public because the message was not sexually explicit and was subject to interpretation. (AP)
Spring 2006: Alexander mentions the Foley issue to Rep. Tom Reynolds, a New York Republican and chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee. Reynolds says he raises the issue at a meeting with Hastert. The speaker later says he does not explicitly recall this conversation but does not dispute Reynolds's recollection that he reported on the problem and its resolution. (AP)
July 2006: Foley attends the White House ceremony where the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 is signed by President Bush. Foley was the chairman of the House panel on missing and exploited children.
July 2006: The FBI begins an investigation after receiving copies of E-mails sent in 2005 by Foley to a page from Louisiana. (Washington Post, Oct. 3, 2006)