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Investigators want Pelosi to hand over Foley computer
Nick Juliano
Published: Wednesday January 9, 2008 | StumbleUpon
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Florida investigators are still trying to determine whether disgraced GOP Rep. Mark Foley violated state law with his lewd, sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to underage Congressional pages.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been stymied in its pursuit because officers have been unable to examine Foley's computer, from which ABC News revealed he communicated with teenage male pages, once chatting about sex with a teen boy while the House was in the middle of a vote.

"If we are not granted access to said equipment, I respectfully request a written response specifying the reason for the denial and direction to the court process or other procedure required to gain the requested access," FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Dec. 11 letter, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Pelosi's office told ABC it is still crafting a response.

House lawyers previously refused to allow investigators access to the computers, arguing doing so would violate the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution. Only Foley can waive the privilege that allows lawmakers to keep their legislative papers private.

The Post reports:

Last July, House Deputy General Counsel Kerry Kircher wrote to Bailey and said House administrators reviewed Foley e-mails and found no inappropriate images or messages. The e-mails being examined, however, do not include all of Foley's communications through his House account. Some may have been deleted from the main congressional computer server, which was searched, but would likely still be accessible from an examination of the actual computers, which were not searched. Foley has refused access, citing congressional privilege.

Unless Pelosi agrees to hand over the computers, it is unlikely Foley will face charges. Because the explicit e-mails were not reported until late 2006, investigators did not begin building a case against Foley until that November, by which time the statute of limitations on charges stemming from messages sent to a 17-year-old in 2003 had nearly expired.