The Corner

NONPARTISAN DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES

Ken Silverstein of Harper’s says that last May a “Democratic operative” gave him e-mails from Mark Foley to a young page.  The emails were also given to a few liberal blogs and publications.  But it wasn’t partisan, Silverstein insists, because the emails may have originally come from Republicans, and the Democratic operative, Silverstein believes, wasn’t working with the Democratic party:

Last May, a source put me in touch with a Democratic operative who provided me with the now-infamous emails that Foley had sent in 2004 to a sixteen-year-old page. He also provided several emails that the page sent to the office of Congressman Rodney Alexander, a Louisiana Republican who had sponsored him when he worked on Capitol Hill. “Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously, This freaked me out,” the page wrote in one email. In the fall of 2005, my source had provided the same material to the St. Petersburg Times—and I presume to The Miami Herald—both which decided against publishing stories.

It was a Democrat who brought me the emails, but comments he made and common sense strongly suggest they were originally leaked by a Republican office. And while it’s entirely possible that Democratic officials became aware of the accusations against Foley, the source was not working in concert with the national Democratic Party. This person was genuinely disgusted by Foley’s behavior, amazed that other publications had declined to publish stories about the emails, and concerned that Foley might still be seeking contact with pages.

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