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Sweet Column: Emanuel not candid on news show about Foley e-mails. To clarify--Never called before Foley House ethics panel.

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Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chief of the Democratic House political operation, was not candid when he said on an Oct. 8 news show he and his staff did not know about the Mark Foley contacts with former pages before the story broke last fall.

It turns out that Emanuel knew more than he offered about the Foley e-mails during an interview on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.

''The chairman was given the most cursory of information in passing by an aide. The information was little more than innuendo,'' the Sun-Times was told by another aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday.

This is coming to light now because the investigative report by the House ethics committee, issued on Friday, said the communications director for the DCCC, Bill Burton, knew about Foley e-mails to pages about a year before ABC News broke the story. Neither Burton nor Emanuel were asked to testify before the House
investigative panel.

This controversy over Emanuel's candor was fueled by a Newsweek story published over the weekend comparing what the report concluded to Emanuel's "This Week'' interview.

Stephanopoulos asked Emanuel if "you or your staff know anything" about the e-mails, and Emanuel said "no."

Emanuel was asked to clarify: "So you were not aware and no involvement?

"No, we never saw them. No involvement."

Matt Miller, communications director for the House Democratic Caucus, testified before the ethics panel that he gave the e-mails to Burton.

Emanuel was told by Burton about the Foley e-mails at some point in passing while discussing what stories reporters were working on that were of interest to the DCCC, the DCCC aide told the Sun-Times. They were not sure at the time that the e-mails they had -- on Foley's personal e-mail account -- were authentic.

Neither Emanuel nor Burton knew the extent of the overly friendly e-mails. And they did not know about the sexually explicit instant messages that only came to light after ABC News broke the original story.


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3 Comments

Oh, come on. At the time, Rahm wanted no part of it because a name would surface and be mentioned--GARY STUDDS ! A democrat. However, when it came closer to the election and with Studds forgotten, it became okay to go public with this Foley mess.

Rham Emmanuel is worse than Hastert , because we know he lied.

Why would you (we) expect Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) to be completely candid regarding the knowledge of the Foley emails. I note that he said "never saw the emails" he did not say he didn't know about the emails!
In addition, can we really believe that a person who holds the position that Emanuel does in the Democratic party WOULD NOT be aware of and demand to see emails of a nature such as these in order to access their damage potential?
I believe they were held in closest confidence by those in power at DCCC until just the time they were needed in October. Just before the election when the damage would do the most good. To use a well worn phrase, An October Surprise!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 12, 2006 8:49 AM.

Obama, big teaser. On Monday night football, makes faux White House announcement. Read entire script here. was the previous entry in this blog.

2008 race for the White House: CNN poll Clinton 37% Obama 15%. The Gore factor. is the next entry in this blog.

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