(Washington D.C.) Ucs News In the wake of Republican congressmen’s Mark Foleys resignation Montana Senator Conrad Burns claims to have no knowledge of the affair. During a closed door meeting of his campaign staff Senator Burns assured his supporters that he did not have sexual relations with Mark Foley’s congressional Page.
However in the meeting Burns did admit that he had taken huge sums of money from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff but in his words “That was different”. Those close to the investigation agree Jack Abramoff is not under age and that Foley did not give his page large sums of money to do political favors and “keep his mouth shut.”
The resignation of Foley rocked the Capitol, and especially his colleague Conrad Burns. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some “contact” between Foley and a 16-year-old page but that he was not aware of any connection to Conrad Burns. Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him “we’re taking care of it and I will talk to both Burns and Foley.”
Apparently House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert did not “take care of it”. Chairman of the House Page Board, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) interviewed both Foley and Burns last year. The events were reported to Republican members of the ethics committee. Committee records show the issues of both Foley and Burns were considered for several seconds them dropped in favor of a coffee run to Starbucks.
Abramoff himself pled guilty on January 3, 2006, to three criminal felony counts in a Washington, D.C., federal court related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials. He also pled guilty to two criminal felony counts in a Miami federal court related to fraudulent dealings with SunCruz Casinos. On March 29, 2006, he was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison – the minimum allowed per the plea bargain – and ordered then to pay restitution of more than $21 million.