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Did GOP Rep. Tom Reynolds Cover Up Congressman’s Sex Crimes?

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From the Democratic National Committee:

Why Did Tom Reynolds Cover Up Congressman’s Sex Crimes?

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley resigned from Congress when sexually inappropriate emails and instant messages he sent to a teenage boy came to light. While the shocking exchanges produced an immediate uproar that cost Congressman Foley his job, at least one member of the House Republican leadership had known about the situation for months and did nothing about it: New York Republican Congressman and chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee Tom Reynolds.

According to the Associated Press, Congressman Reynolds’ spokesman confirmed that Reynolds had been informed by another Congressman that the boy had complained about Foley’s inappropriate communications “months ago.” According to the report, the allegations first came to light in late 2005. [AP, 9/30/06] It appears that Reynolds did not tell authorities about the emails or take any step to discipline Foley, apparently choosing instead to sweep the matter under the rug to protect the Republican party’s dwindling chances of retaining control of the House of Representatives this November.

“Congressman Reynolds’ inaction in the face of such a serious situation is very troubling, and raises important questions about whether there was an attempt to cover up criminal activity involving a minor to keep it from coming to light before Election Day,” said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney.

“We need real answers to important questions about precisely who knew about these activities and when they knew it, whether other current or former pages were victimized by Congressman Foley, why the Republican House leadership was prepared to adjourn without at the very least referring this matter to the ethics committee, and what corrective action if any Congressman Reynolds and the rest of the Republican House leadership took. Failing to answer to these questions would send a terrible message to the parents who entrust their children to the care of the Page School and send them to Washington to serve Congress.”

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