WaPo: FBI Passed on Earlier Foley Investigation

Earlier, Justin reported that the FBI had received copies of Mark Foley’s “over-friendly” emails to a House page this summer — but seemed to have only begun their investigation in recent days.

The Washington Post confirms:

The FBI acknowledged yesterday that it did not begin an investigation in late July after receiving copies of e-mails sent in 2005 by then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to a Louisiana teenager — messages that troubled the boy’s parents….

An FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the field office concluded that the e-mails “did not rise to the level of criminal activity.” The bureau announced Sunday that it would begin a preliminary investigation into Foley’s more explicit electronic exchanges with teenagers.

Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, the government watchdog group that gave the FBI the emails, is calling for an investigation by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General to determine whether the FBI’s actions — or inaction — was politically influenced.