It seems that Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) saw sexually explicit Foley messages in 2000.
The only question left at this point is this. Are there any Republicans in the House who were NOT aware that Foley was preying on young Republican pages entrusted in their care?
Another Republican congressman knew of disgraced former representative Mark Foley’s inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) confirmed yesterday that a former page showed the congressman Internet messages that had made the youth feel uncomfortable with the direction Foley (R-Fla.) was taking their e-mail relationship. Last week, when the Foley matter erupted, a Kolbe staff member suggested to the former page that he take the matter to the clerk of the House, Karen Haas, said Kolbe’s press secretary, Korenna Cline.
The revelation pushes back by at least five years the date when a member of Congress has acknowledged learning of Foley’s questionable behavior. A timeline issued by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) suggested that the first lawmakers to know, Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-Ill.), the chairman of the House Page Board, and Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), became aware of “over-friendly” e-mails only last fall. It also expands the universe of players in the drama beyond members, either in leadership or on the page board.
A source with direct knowledge of Kolbe’s involvement said the messages shared with Kolbe were sexually explicit, and he read the contents to The Washington Post under condition that they are not reprinted. But Cline denied the source’s characterization, saying only that the messages had made the former page feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, she said, “corrective action” was taken. Cline said she still has not yet determined whether that action went beyond Kolbe’s confrontation with Foley.
In interviews with The Post last week, multiple pages identified Kolbe as a close friend and personal confidante, who was one of the only members of Congress to take any interest in them. A former page himself, Kolbe offered to mentor pages and kept in touch with some of them after they left the program, according to the interviews.