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The blotter

Hastert had hoped to bring in former FBI director Louis Freeh to head up "an overhaul of the page program," NBC's Mike Viqueira reports, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi objected, saying that's not good enough, according to a top House Democratic aide.  Pelosi yesterday called on the Ethics Committee to release a preliminary report next week. 

As of Thursday afternoon, as a senior federal law enforcement official told NBC's Pete Williams, investigators had yet to find evidence that federal laws were violated.  In part, that's be cause of how federal statutes have been written.  In part, it's because the age of consent in Washington, DC, is 16 (at least, it was during the time period in question here).  And in part, it's an issue of the kind of behavior that federal prosecutors have considered a prosecutable violation in the past.  NBC's Jim Popkin reports that FBI agents from the DC field office spent several hours yesterday interviewing Kirk Fordham, Foley's former chief of staff.

"Meanwhile yesterday, a 26-year-old Atlanta man says Foley began sending him sexually suggestive messages and invited him to his Washington home after he served as a congressional page nine years ago.  Tyson Vivyan said Foley began sending him online instant messages a month or two after his nine-month stint as a page ended in June 1997...  Vivyan's account appears to show the earliest exchange of suggestive messages reported so far between Foley and former pages."