This is no surprise. Mark Foley, the disgraced Florida Republican who resigned his congressional seat after sending sexually explicit e-mail and instant messages to teenage pages, gets to use his "Get Out of jail for Free" card and will not face any state or federal charges. The reason: Authorities cannot authenticate the chats.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also said in an investigative report that too much time had passed since the February 2003 messages to bring any charges.
"There did not appear to be probable cause that a crime was committed," the report said.
The report also noted that a federal investigation was closed in July. A senior Justice Department official confirmed Friday that prosecutors advised Foley's attorney in July that the former congressman would not face federal charges. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
Authorities note the well-publicized case took so long to close "because Foley refused to allow investigators to examine his congressional computer hard drives. The computers and their contents are protected as privileged material, and only Foley could release them." Yet another case of a Republican taking a stand for privacy and suspect's rights—only when they are the suspect.
The disgraced and semi-closeted Florida Republican resigned from Congress in 2006 after confronted with sexually charged e-mails and instant messages—"Are you wearing your boxers? Is it hard?"—reportedly sent to male Capitol Hill pages. A report by the House Ethics Committee found House Republican leaders "failed for a decade to protect male pages from sexual come-ons by Foley." Activists and bloggers lane Hudson and Mike Rogers were largely responsible for pushing this story to the mainstream media.
The Background ...
Report: Republicans Negligent in Foley Scandal [R20]
UCC Slams Fundies [R20]
Blame Gays, Clinton and the Victims [R20]
Vast "Liberal Conspiracy" [R20]
Repubs Wanted to Avoid "Gay Bashing" [R20]
GOP Leaders in Foley Cover-Up [R20]
Congressman Resigns [R20]