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FBI set to interview former page in Mark Foley scandal

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October 10, 2006

The FBI is expected to interview a former congressional page Tuesday who may have received suggestive electronic messages from former Florida Rep. Mark Foley, his attorney said.

“They (FBI) will question Jordan Edmund concerning his knowledge, if any, about former congressman Mark Foley,” Edmund’s attorney Stephen Jones told The Oklahoman. The meeting was to occur in Oklahoma City where Edmund has been working on a gubernatorial campaign, Jones said.

The session was the latest development in an unfolding scandal surrounding the 52-year-old lawmaker’s relationship with teenagers, called pages, appointed to run errands for lawmakers while Congress is in session.

Back in Washington, lawmakers following a request from the House ethics committee are surveying aides and former House pages to find out if any of them had knowledge of Foley’s inappropriate conduct toward male pages.

The developments continued to cloud Republicans’ prospects for retaining their congressional majority.

A CBS News-New York Times poll released Monday found that four in five said GOP leaders were more concerned with politics than with the well-being of the congressional pages. Nearly half of those polled, 46 percent, said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., should step down over his handling of the Foley matter, while 26 percent said Hastert should remain in his post.

Edmund’s identity became public after ABC News inadvertently published the computer screen name of an ex-congressional page who allegedly received online instant messages from the ex-congressman.

The network quickly removed the screen name, but not before an Oklahoma-based blogger used the information to identify the former page.

Foley has acknowledged through his attorney that he is gay but has denied having any sexual contact with minors.

Edmund, a Californian, has been living in Oklahoma City and working as a deputy campaign manager for the gubernatorial campaign of Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., who is challenging incumbent Democrat Brad Henry. Edmund was a U.S. House page in 2001 and 2002.

Jones said last week Edmund is willing to talk to the FBI and the House Ethics Committee.

He also said Edmund “was a minor when the alleged events described in the media occurred.”

Jones said there was “no physical involvement between” Edmund and Foley. The attorney also said the two were never together privately.

Where the meeting will take place wasn’t disclosed.


© 2006 The Associated Press