Monday, October 09, 2006

Did Palmer Talk To Hastert About Foley?

Speaker Hastert's Chief of Staff Scott Palmer has been quoted in the press as not having been an interlocutor between Kirk Fordham--the bearer of bad news about Rep. Foley's behavior--and the Speaker himself.

Fordham is telling another story to federal investigators:

This incident (Foley's drunken appearance at the Page dormitory) prompted Fordham to go to Scott Palmer, Hastert's chief of staff, and tell him about Foley's behavior. Fordham called Palmer and told him that he wanted to speak with him privately, the source says. The two men met in a small office on Capitol Hill. (Palmer says the meeting never took place.)

Fordham did not tell Palmer about Foley's attempt to enter the pages' dormitory, but rather that he was generally concerned about his boss's excessive friendliness to the pages, according to the source. Palmer expressed surprise and concern, the source says, and wondered what this could mean to Foley's political future. Why would he endanger his career with such conduct?

Palmer assured Fordham that he would talk to Foley. A day or two later, Fordham called Palmer to ask what happened. Palmer told him that he "dealt with it" by talking to Foley and that he "informed the Speaker," according to the source familiar with Fordham's account. Months later Fordham had an awkward conversation with Foley in which his boss indicated that he had spoken to Palmer.

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