Feds tell House to preserve Foley communications

Move indicates that Justice Department is close to launching full criminal investigation and presenting evidence to grand jury.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

The US Attorney ordered the House to preserve all electronic records related to Rep. Mark Foley's cybersex activities with teenage pages, according to the Washington Post. The Post said the moves signals that FBI and Justice Dept. investigations into criminal activity are heating up.

The three-page "preservation letter," sent to the House counsel from the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor in Washington, indicates that law enforcement officials are getting closer to seeking grand jury subpoenas for records or searches of Foley's Capitol Hill office, according to law enforcement officials and legal experts.

Law enforcement officials also told the Post that they are considering administrative subpoenas for the emails and IM sessions. FBI agents are identifying and seeking former pages around the country who may have had contact with Foley.

The focus of the probe - which is currently classed as preliminary but may soon go to a grand jury - so far is whether Foley crossed state lines in order to entice or engage a minor in sexual acts, but investigators "have not ruled out any number of possible crimes that could be looked at."

The scandal has taken down the career of Foley's former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, who until today worked for Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY). An ABC reporter charged that Fordham tried to get ABC to withhold Foley's instant messages by offering an exclusive on Foley's resignation. ABC refused.

[H]e strongly denied that he sought to impede any investigation. "I want it to be perfectly clear that I never attempted to prevent any inquiries or investigation of Foley's conduct by House officials or any other authorities," he said.
Editorial standards