Mark FoleyWashington, DC – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s (CREW) role in the scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) and his inappropriate Internet correspondence with Congressional pages has received widespread, although not always accurate, media coverage. To set the record straight, CREW has compiled a comprehensive list of the lies and inaccuracies that have been stated and repeated about CREW and counters these falsehoods with the real facts of the matter.
 

LIE:

The email messages between Rep. Foley and a former page have been in CREW’s possession as far back as April.
 

FACT:

CREW received the emails on July 21, 2006 and promptly sent them to the FBI, and no one else, that same day. CREW did not discuss the email messages or their content with anyone else. The only call CREW’s Executive Director Melanie Sloan made regarding the matter was to the Washington FBI agent to whom she sent the emails to confirm receipt of the messages.

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LIE:

CREW provided the FBI with incomplete information and heavily redacted emails. CREW refused to disclose the page’s name and contact information to the FBI.

FACT:

The emails Ms. Sloan sent to the FBI were not edited or redacted in any way. The page’s full name and email address were in the emails, as was the name and email address of the Congressional staffer to whom the page was sending the emails.

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LIE:

The FBI investigation into Rep. Foley was hampered because CREW refused to comply with the agency’s request for additional information.

 
FACT:

After CREW sent the emails to the FBI, CREW’s only subsequent contact with the Bureau was one telephone call from the special agent to whom CREW had sent the material confirming that the emails were from Rep. Foley. CREW had no further contact with the FBI.

According to several government officials, the FBI sent the emails to three squads: a public corruptions squad, a criminal squad and a cyber-squad. After reviewing the matter, the FBI determined that there wasn’t enough evidence at the time to suggest any criminal activity and did not move forward with an investigation.

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LIE:

Fox News’ Sean Hannity said on October 5, 2006 that CREW had “been bragging about [the emails] on its website as early as July 21st.”

 
FACT:

CREW first posted the emails to www.citizensforethics.org on September 29, 2006, one day after ABC News reported them.

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LIE:

CREW has been working with ABC on the Foley story and was reporter Brian Ross’ source for the emails.

 
FACT:

Ross told The New York Times he received the emails from Republicans. CREW was not involved in the broadcasting of his story. In fact, Ross didn’t even know that CREW had the emails until after he broke the story.

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LIE:

Rep. Mark Foley resigned from Congress after CREW posted some of his email exchanges with a former page.

 
FACT:

Brian Ross has reported that Foley resigned hours after ABC questioned him about the sexually explicit internet messages.

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LIE:

The blog Stop Sex Predators is owned and operated by CREW.

 
FACT:

CREW does not own, operate, or have any connection or involvement with the Stop Sex Predators blog. CREW first heard of the blog in media reports after the Foley scandal broke.

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LIE:

One of CREW’s funders, George Soros, was behind the Foley scandal and has been directing CREW’s involvement in the case.

 
FACT:

George Soros had no knowledge that CREW had the Foley emails, nor does he have any input over CREW’s day to day activities. CREW has not discussed the emails with any donors or Democratic operatives, strategists or staffers.  All CREW did was send the messages to the FBI. After ABC broke the story, CREW posted the messages to its website.

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LIE:

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) called CREW a “partisan 527 organization” on the October 8, 2006 edition of Fox News Sunday.

 
FACT:

CREW is a nonpartisan and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

See Mark Foley folder for related documents.