It's confirmed. Congressman Tom Reynolds' (R-NY) chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, tried to broker a secret deal last Friday to get ABC News to cover up the worst part of the Foley child predator scandal, the lurid five-plus-page instant message chat in which Foley asked a child to measure his penis and then led the child into a detailed discussion of masturbatory techniques.
Howie Kurtz in the Washington Post wrote about this in this morning's Washington Post, though at the time Kurtz didn't name names - he simply referred to the deal-maker as a "former chief of staff" to Mark Foley. It's subsequently been confirmed to me, by Kurtz, that the individual who reportedly tried to broker the cover-up deal was Congressman Reynolds' own chief of staff (and former Foley chief of staff), Kirk Fordham. Here is what Kurtz wrote:
On Friday afternoon, a strategist for Rep. Mark Foley tried to cut a deal with ABC's Brian Ross.(As noted above, I have confirmed that the guy offering the deal was Fordham.) Yes, God forbid Congressman Reynolds let the public know the truth. But we're to believe that he was interested in the truth when he first found out about Foley's creepy emails months ago. Right.
The correspondent, who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent to teenage House pages, had asked to interview the Florida Republican. Foley's former chief of staff said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw, sexually explicit messages.
"I said we're not making any deals," Ross recalls.
Congressman Reynolds, you'll recall, is the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the congressional body in charge of helping House republicans get re-elected. Reynolds had been notified about Foley's page-baiting months ago, yet wants us to believe he did everything he could and that he's not responsible for the sexual predator getting an easy ride, for his being permitted to remain in congress, permitted to remain the chair of the House caucus on missing and exploited children, and being permitted to remain in the House Republican leadership.
Now we know otherwise.
Congressman Reynolds let his own chief of staff secretly work for a child predator in an effort to cover-up the worst evidence of the predator's sexual wrongdoing. Without that evidence, this case might not have broken wide open. Add Reynolds to the list, alongside Hastert and Shimkus, of members of Congress who need to resign now.