[JURIST] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website] failed to respond promptly to allegedly improper e-mail correspondence between former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) [Congressional profile] and a former congressional page [CRS program backgrounder, PDF] from Louisiana in July 2006, according to a report [text, PDF] released Monday by US Dept. of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Glenn Fine [official profile]. Fine concluded that the email constituted sufficient basis for the FBI to take precautionary measures to protect congressional pages from Foley's behavior. The report does not allege misconduct by FBI officials, which did not launch an investigation until October after inappropriate instant messages, some of a sexually explicit nature, sent to pages surfaced. Among the suggested options for responding to the e-mail were notifying officials in charge of the page program and questioning the former Louisiana page to whom Foley sent the e-mail.
Foley resigned after the instant messages became public last September, spurring former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert [official website] to call on the DOJ to launch a formal investigation [JURIST report]. In December, the US House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct [official website] similarly concluded that Republican leaders failed to protect young pages [JURIST report] from inappropriate communications and Hastert most likely received at least two emails detailing Foley's abuses, but did not act on the claims for fear of creating scandal. AP has more.