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House Republicans Broke No Rules in Their Handling of Foley Scandal

The House ethics committee said Friday that although House Republican leaders were negligent and "willfully ignorant" of former Rep. Mark Foley's behavior toward male pages, they broke no rules in their handling of the situation. Washington Post reporter Charles Babbington discusses the findings of the investigation.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF, NewsHour Special Correspondent:

    Florida Congressman Mark Foley resigned from the House of Representatives in late September following news reports of suggestive e-mails and sexually explicit instant messages he sent to former pages.

    Today, the House Ethics Committee released the report of its investigation into the matter. Charles Babington of the Washington Post joins us with the committee's findings.

    Charles, first of all, we know there are criminal investigations under way. Just how thorough was this congressional inquiry?

  • CHARLES BABINGTON, Washington Post:

    Well, Judy, it sounds like it was pretty thorough. I mean, here's the report; it's quite a lot to read.

    What's, I guess, most interesting in their findings is they find a lot of fault with a lot of different people. They said that their reactions to various bits of information about Mark Foley over a number of years were not the proper type of response. They didn't react in the way that they should have.

    But at the end, they didn't find that anyone did anything, either a member of Congress or a staffer, anything that deserves any type of punitive action. So, in a way, they're going to close this rather thorough report without taking any action against any of the people involved.