Either everyone else is missing something about those “overly friendly but not explicit” emails–the ones that prompted Rep. Alexander to have his aides contact the Speaker’s–or I am. Take a look at the emails.
The thing that leaps out at you is that it’s not just one former page who is having too much contact from Foley. The page reports, first, that Foley told him that he had sent another former page, “Will,” an email and then commented on Will’s looks. A lot of people have mentioned this part of the exchange. But then there’s also this, which hasn’t gotten much attention, from the former page to Rep. Alexander: “I talked to another page that was here during the school year and first part of summer. Kerianna (her name) said that there was a congressman that did hit on pages. She didn’t know his name. . .”
Note: pages, plural. You’ve got one page reporting a level of contact he considered inappropriate, another page receiving attention that seems inappropriate, and a third page reporting that a congressman was “hit[ting] on pages.” Alexander’s staff nonetheless said that the only issue was their page’s wish to have no further contact with Foley. Alexander’s staff thought that their page’s wish for privacy should be the overriding concern. So Hastert’s staff didn’t press even to see the content of the emails. Nor, apparently, did the former House clerk, Shimkus, or Shimkus’s staff press to see it.
Hastert said yesterday that “I wish we had more information at a time that we could have done something different, but we did the best we can with the information we had.” If his aides wanted more information, maybe they should have demanded it.