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Ex-Aide, Boehner Testify in Foley Probe

The former House clerk who ran the page program describes how he dealt with concerns.

October 20, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Ethics investigators on Thursday heard from the GOP aide once in charge of the House page program about how he handled cases of ex-Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior toward the teenage errand-runners.

The No. 2 House leader, Majority Leader John Boehner, also testified, repeating his statements that he discussed with Speaker J. Dennis Hastert the "overly friendly" e-mails from Foley to a former male page.

"I made myself clear on the record for the last three weeks, and I told the ethics committee today the same thing that I've told many of you," Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters.

His appearance came after the former House clerk, Jeff Trandahl, explained how he dealt with incidents involving Foley and whether he alerted top House GOP staff about them.

Trandahl "has cooperated fully" with the investigations by the FBI and the House Ethics Committee, his lawyer, Cono Namorato, said in a statement. "He answered every question asked of him."

Boehner would not say what he specifically told the committee in private. But he publicly has quoted Hastert (R-Ill.) as telling him the complaint about Foley "had been taken care of."

Trandahl had direct responsibility for the page program and was on its five-member oversight board. He was alerted to an earlier instance in 2001 or 2002 involving Foley's e-mails to a former page sponsored by Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) and was apprised of others.

At least two other incidents are known to be under investigation: last fall's episode involving the Louisiana page and an earlier one in which Foley reportedly tried to enter the page dorm while he was drunk.

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