[JURIST] US House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] sent a letter [text] to the Justice Department Sunday seeking an investigation into the developing sex and ethics scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) [former website]. Foley resigned Friday [Reuters report] after ABC News reported that he had sent congressional pages [CRS program backgrounder, PDF; House page program backgrounder, PDF] inappropriate text messages, some sexually explicit in nature. On Friday, the House voted to refer the matter to its Ethics Committee [official website] for an internal investigation [press release], but Hastert's letter was concerned with potential breaches of federal law:
Initially, since the communications involve interstate communications, there should be a complete investigation and prosecution of any federal laws that have been violated. In addition, since the communications appear to have existed for three years, there should be an investigation into the extent there are persons who knew or had possession of these messages but did not report them to the appropriate authorities.An FBI spokesperson said the Bureau is investigating the alleged violations. Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) said Sunday that any congressional leader who knew of the sexually explicit text messages, but who failed to report them, should be stripped of leadership, while House Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the incident is outside the scope of a House Ethics Committee investigation. CNN.com has more.