This just gets better and better.
Last night we posted about an interview that Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), chairman of the board which oversees the congressional page program, gave yesterday to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the interview, Shimkus said that both he and the Clerk of the House saw the actual emails sent by Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to a congressional page when they conducted their “investigation” of Foley last fall.
That contradicts the official version of events put out late yesterday by his fellow Illinoisan, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, whose internal investigation found that Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA) declined to provide the emails in question out of respect for the page and his family, who desired privacy.
Still with me? It’s about to require a flow chart to keep this all straight.
While Shimkus is telling the St. Louis paper that, yes, he saw the emails, his spokeman is telling another local paper that, no, he didn’t (emphasis is mine):
Shimkus was unavailable for comment, but through his spokesman, Steve Tomaszewski, he acknowledged speaking to Foley last year after being notified about one of the e-mails that Foley had sent to a page assigned to the office of a Louisiana congressman.
Shimkus “did not see personally any e-mail a year ago when he dealt with the issue,” Tomaszewski said. “He was only told of the one e-mail that came out first, which references, ‘How are you doing after the hurricane?’ and, ‘Send me a picture.'”
Hastert’s internal investigation says Shimkus never saw the emails. Shimkus says he did. Shimkus’ spokesman says he didn’t.
Whew, glad we got that cleared up.