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Capitol Hill Sex Scandal
Aired October 04, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking developments tonight. A veteran congressman`s teen Internet scandal is mushrooming like an H-bomb. Powerful House rep out of Florida, Mark Foley, is out, resigning after alleged explicit e-mails to young boys serving as House pages. Punishment? He`s exiled his own self to rehab.
And tonight, the number of explicit e-mails and IMs is growing. Within the hour, bombshell announcement, Foley`s former chief of staff walks out after Foley offers up the excuse he himself was molested as a teen, is gay and is an alcoholic. But what does that have to do with anything? The DoJ now moving to freeze Capitol Hill computers and files. And tonight, we go inside the Capitol Hill teen scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK FOLEY (R), FLORIDA: We track library books better than we track pedophiles.
JOHN WALSH, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": I believe that every convicted felon should be mandated nationwide to give his DNA.
FOLEY: Well, my view, when you rape a person, when you violate a child, you lose your civil liberties.
WALSH: Well, good luck with your piece of legislation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, if I were one of these sickos, I`d be nervous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some members betray their trust by taking advantage of them, and we should not subject young men and women to this kind of activity and this kind of vulnerability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. The scandal is growing, and it`s not just politics as usual. At the heart of the scandal, the possibility that White House (SIC) Capitol pages may have been targeted, targeted by predators, predators that they look up to.
Out to Charlie Hurt, Capitol Hill bureau chief with "The Washington Times." What`s the latest today, Charlie?
CHARLIE HURT, "WASHINGTON TIMES": As you noted in your set-up piece, the federal investigators have contacted top officials in the House and told them that they want them to preserve any and all evidence that may be in my way related to this scandal, to Mr. Foley`s relationship and contact with pages and to the Republican leadership`s handling of the matter once it came to their attention.
In other news, as you noted, Kirk Fordham, the former chief of staff and top -- former chief of staff to Mr. Foley and a top aide to one of the top Republicans in the House, resigned today over allegations that he tried to sort of suppress some of the more sexually explicit e-mails. And you know, things are just kind of moving at a very fast pace up on the Hill.
GRACE: Let me ask you a couple of quick questions. Regarding Kirk Fordham, the former chief of staff for Foley, it`s my understanding he has resigned from the spot with Tom Reynolds because of the allegations you just said, that he tried to cover up these e-mails -- you`re saying the more explicit e-mails. Number one, what do we know about them? And number two, what evidence is there that Fordham actually tried to cover it up?
HURT: Well, it`s -- what we have -- what we have here are two separate and distinct sets of Internet communications. One was an early set of e-mails that were very creepy e-mails that Foley had sent to a 16- year-old boy. They weren`t, however, explicit. They weren`t -- they were sort of ambiguous. There was something ambiguous about them. Those -- those have been around for some time. A lot of people knew...
GRACE: Which ones are you talking about that you think are ambiguous?
HURT: They`re more ambiguous than the later ones.
GRACE: OK. Let me take you out of that question. Which ones of the e-mails are ambiguous?
HURT: The ones where Mr. Foley is asking the page how he survived Hurricane Katrina, asking him when his birthday is, asking him what he wanted for his birthday, things like that that a 52-year-old man probably shouldn`t be asking a 16-year-old...
GRACE: Yes, well, those aren`t bothering me. I`m more concerned about, Take off your boxers and let`s relax.
HURT: Right. Those...
GRACE: Those bother me a little more.
HURT: Right. Those are part of the second batch of e-mails that have come out since, where there is no question that -- what this guy was up to. It is those messages that Kirk Fordham went to ABC News -- volunteering to help Mr. Foley, went to ABC News, and according to ABC reporters, made a deal with them that if they would agree to not publish, not print, not use exact wording from those messages, such as the ones about the boxer shorts, that he would give them some exclusive story about Foley just resigning and going home and forgetting the whole matter.
GRACE: So he tried to cut a deal with ABC News? Fat chance. What happened?
HURT: Well, ABC said, Absolutely not, according to them, and They went with the story and published the e-mails -- or, I`m sorry, the Internet messages on their Web site, and it`s -- you know,...
HURT: ... been everything since.
GRACE: So it`s my understanding the headline today is that the former chief of staff for Foley resigned, Kirk Fordham, under claims he helped or tried to suppress more explicit e-mails Foley, Representative Foley, wrote to young boys. Number two, apparently, the Department of Justice, the DoJ, sending an order to freeze computers and papers so this investigation can go forward.
And very typically -- to Mike Brooks, a former D.C. police officer and formerly working with the FBI -- that`s just a precursor to a full-blown investigation. Listen, when you get a letter from the DoJ saying, Freeze your computer, don`t shred any documents, you`re on the wrong end of the letter, Mike.
MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Absolutely, Nancy. In fact, the FBI had opened up a preliminary inquiry again. They did one in July, found that there was no criminality. And that`s the main thing, Nancy. Is there any criminality here? That`s what they`re trying to assess.
But I can tell you right now, as we speak, no subpoenas have been issued and no search warrants have been served. So right now, it`s just a letter from DoJ. They are still conducting an investigation and they`re trying to interview as many pages as they can. We know that maybe up to 100 so far have been interviewed. You figure, Nancy, every session has between 90 and 100 pages, half of those females. And that`s a lot of people to try to interview.
In fact, yesterday, FBI headquarters put out a communication to FBI field divisions, all 56, that some former pages be trying to contact them, and if they do, refer hem to the Washington field office, where this case is being run out of.
GRACE: Well, you may recall a woman, Mrs. Wetterling, that was on our show a while back. She is a crime victim, and now you`re about to hear one of the first of many attack ads to come.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It shocks the conscience. Congressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a congressman who used the Internet to molest children. For over a year, they knowingly ignored the welfare of children to protect their own power. For 17 years, Patty Wetterling has fought for tougher penalties against those who harm children. That`s why she`s demanding a criminal investigation and the immediate expulsion of any congressman involved in this crime and cover-up.
PATTY WETTERLING (D), MINNESOTA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I`m Patty Wetterling, and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That is Patty Wetterling. Her son disappeared one afternoon when he was riding his bike, and she has become a huge proponent of victims` rights. That`s one of the first attack ads we`ve seen so all right, but this is not all about politics.
Let`s go out to the lines. Karole in Utah. Hi, Karole.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Love you.
GRACE: Thank you, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m so tired of the Patrick Kennedys and the Mark Foleys just running off to rehab when they have had their hands caught in the cookie jar. What can we do, as citizens and taxpayers and constituents, to get this changed?
GRACE: You know what, Karole, in Utah? You are right on. And we see it over and over and over. What she`s referring to, Patrick Kennedy, what she`s talking about, just a few months ago, Kennedy drives straight in to a cement barrier there in Washington, apparently high as a kite on alcohol. I think he said it may have been cough suppressant or something like that, claimed he was on medication. Long story short, avoiding any type of prosecution, he goes into rehab.
Let`s go out to the lawyers. Unchain the lawyers, Rosie! Here they come. Michael Cardoza out of the California jurisdiction, Ash Joshi out of the Atlanta jurisdiction. Why is it, Michael Cardoza, the answer for celebrities and politicians is, I`m sick, I have a mental illness, I was drinking? And I don`t know why he threw in the, I`m gay, thing, as if that`s any sort of a defense. But he throws that in, hightails it for rehab, and apparently, that appeases people.
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, in this case, we`ve got to look, has he committed a crime yet? I mean, the first thing that tells us that he probably hasn`t, with the facts that they have, is that the federal government is scrambling, looking around to see, Gee, did he violate any laws? If he had blatantly violated anything, you would bet he would be arrested. Why is he allowed to run off to rehab right now? Because he hasn`t committed any...
GRACE: Because he`s a politician?
CARDOZA: No. Because he hasn`t committed any...
GRACE: Like Kennedy.
CARDOZA: Or, wait a minute. Maybe it`s because the prosecutors -- remember, you were a prosecutor. Why do prosecutors let them get away with that? Maybe they should stop it and quit looking at defense attorneys for something like that.
GRACE: Well, you have effectively...
CARDOZA: We don`t have the power.
GRACE: You have effectively tried to turn the tables on me, and somehow blaming a federal prosecutor. OK? Not going to work!
Ash Joshi, give me your best shot.
CARDOZA: Sure it`s going to work.
ASH JOSHI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, the reason he runs off to rehab is because it just looks better than not doing anything at all. This way, it looks like he`s taking some responsibility for his actions. The problem I have with him going to rehab is alcohol is not an accuse for this conduct. If he had been molested the way he`s now saying, that`s not an excuse for this conduct.
This is not a rehab situation. Somebody who`s strung out on drugs, who steals or breaks into cars, maybe that`s a rehab situation. Rehab isn`t going to do anything for a 52-year-old man who`s interested in 16- year-old boys.
GRACE: Let`s go out to CNN correspondent Rusty Dornin. She is joining us out of West Palm Beach, Florida. Rusty, what`s the latest on your end?
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there`s a lot of questions, Nancy, of course, after that statement by David Roth, Mark Foley`s attorney. But the astounding statement that, indeed, Mark Foley claims that he was molested himself by a clergyman between the ages of 13 and 15 - - well, during that time, he was a high school student here at Cardinal Newman High School. I spoke to a man who was a former priest who was his guidance counselor, who said he never saw any behavior that would indicate that Mark Foley was going through any kind of turmoil at that time.
He also said it put a cloud, as you would say, over the clergy in the area because they never say even what denomination, whether it was Catholic, whether it was some other minister, exactly when it happened or who was involved. And this man, Bill Brooks (ph), who is now a city councilman here in Palm Beach, is very angry about the way it was handled. And this is someone who has been friends, apparently, with Mark Foley since he was 14 years old. He said he was a very upstanding student, very outspoken, very hard-working. He said the worst flaw he ever saw in Mark Foley was that he was a workaholic.
GRACE: Well, Rusty, they`re not the only ones angry. I`m angry about it, too, because -- everybody, in case you didn`t catch this last night on the show, apparently, Foley is saying, I was molested, too, as a youth by a clergyperson, but because of civil liability, we`re not naming the person.
Bottom line, Rusty Dornin, that says, Well, if you were a crime victim, that is someone a defense to you committing crimes, allegedly committing crimes on children. And speaking for crime victims, we don`t want that. That is not a defense. So where does it go from here?
DORNIN: Well, apparently, there`s actually a sex abuse network that is also asking Mark Foley to name the person that was involved, of course, and they`re saying that he will not give any kind of details, his attorney said, until he finishes rehab. And already, groups are demanding that he name whoever this person was that he is alluding to. The former priest and the man who has been his friend for 40 years, he says he believes that part of this is just a PR stunt by the defense attorney.
GRACE: You mean a priest says he thinks it`s a PR stunt?
DORNIN: Who was a priest for 12 years. He quit the priesthood. He ended up owning a television station in the area and later remarried. He said that there were no priests at his school or in the diocese that had been accused of molesting young boys in recent years. The Palm Beach diocese did tell CNN that the accusations were too vague and they couldn`t really respond to what was said.
GRACE: And out to Maureen Flatley, child advocate, joining us out of Boston. Why would he, as a defense, say, Well, I`ve got an alcohol problem, I was molested as a youth, PS, I`m gay? None of these things -- and I have a mental illness. None of these things rise to a legal defense, Maureen. And you, representing victims, should know, victims don`t want to be lumped in and this be some type of an excuse for preying on children.
MAUREEN FLATLEY, CHILD ADVOCATE: Exactly, Nancy. These are nothing but excuses. They don`t excuse his behavior. But frankly, the excuses that he`s making now only amplify the responsibility of the Republican leadership that knew about this two years ago and could have stopped it. They didn`t know if he was acting on these impulses. They didn`t know that he was only contacting pages. And ultimately, the responsibility lies with all of them.
GRACE: Well, you know, to clean out the politicians in the White House (SIC) is like squashing a roach. You get rid of one, another one`s going to show up. I`m more focused on this case, this guy and the outcome of it.
Let`s go out to the lines. To Diane in Maine. Hi, Diane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love your show. I just started watching it.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a question.
GRACE: Yes, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why aren`t politicians -- I mean, they`re normal people like us. Why aren`t they drug tested, alcohol tested? They run our country. They`re doing it for us, but why isn`t more done with these people once they get office, that once a month, they`re all called in and...
GRACE: Good question. And we see kid (ph) treatment all the time. Out to Mike Brooks, a former D.C. police officer. Mike, why is it -- and did you see this preferential treatment while you were in Washington?
BROOKS: Absolutely, Nancy. I mean, Capitol Hill is its own little city, its an own little entity. And I can tell you, the police officers up there, they are professional law enforcement officers, but they`re treated like valets and cab drivers a lot of times. It goes back to the Kennedy case. He wanted somebody to drive him home. And you know, they`re not going to tell a congressman no because it`s basically who makes up their salary. I did used to see preferential treatment all the time. And you know, as you said yesterday, they have the tags, they have that little special tag. They can park wherever they want.
But I tell you what. I booted -- when I was a police officer, I booted a number of congressmen`s cars, and they tried to tell me to take the boot off. I said, Not until you pay the tickets. I`m not taking it off. And -- but it happens all the time there, and you know, something`s got to be done. I mean, police officers who work on Capitol Hill, they have to take drug tests on a regular basis. Why don`t they?
GRACE: I`m sorry, Mike. I didn`t hear what you were saying. I`m reading this manual. It`s called "Ethics Manual for Members of the U.S. House of Representatives." And I`m looking at committee procedures. No nasty e-mails to high school students, rule number one. Apparently, Foley didn`t have this.
Very quickly, we`ll all be right back from D.C. to Florida with the latest on an ever-mushrooming sex scandal allegedly with teens out of Capitol Hill.
Let`s go to tonight`s "Case Alert." Funeral arrangements tonight in the Pennsylvania Amish country school shootings. Thirty-two-year-old Charles Roberts IV opened fire in a schoolhouse Monday, killing five little girls. Apparently, after molesting two other children, Roberts said he dreamed of molesting again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ROTH, MARK FOLEY`S ATTORNEY: Based on all the information that I have, Mark Foley has never, ever had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor in his life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to make sure that all our pages are safe and the page system is safe. None of us are very happy about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We`re talking about instant messages, computer Internet sexual messages sent by -- allegedly sent by Representative Foley. For instance - - Foley is MAF54 -- "OK, better go vote. Did you know you would have this effect on me?" Teen, laugh out loud. "I guess." Teen, "You go vote. I don`t want to keep you from doing our job."
They go on. Foley, "We may need to drink at my house so we don`t get busted." The e-mails go on. Foley, "I miss you lots in San Diego." Teen, "I can`t wait til D.C." Foley, smile. Teen, "Did you pick a night for dinner?" Foley, "Not yet, but likely Friday." Teen, "OK, I`ll plan for Friday then." Foley, "That will be fun." Foley, "I want to see you." Teen, "Like I said, not til Feb. Then we`ll go to dinner." Foley, "And then what happens?" Teen, "We eat, we drink, who knows, hang out, late into the night." Foley, "And?" Teen, "I don`t know." Foley, "Don`t know what?" Teen, "I have the feeling that you`re fishing here. I`m not sure what I`d be comfortable with. We`ll see." Foley, "Are you in your boxers, too?"
OK, I just had to pause to drink that one in for a moment.
Teen, "No. Just got home. I had a college interview that went late." Foley, "Well, strip down and get relaxed." Foley, "What are you wearing?" Teen, "T-shirt and shorts." Foley, "Love to slip them off of you." Foley, "Do I make you a little horny?" Teen, "A little." Foley, "Cool."
OK, let`s go out to the shrink. Brian Russel, why would Foley risk it all, leaving a paper trail? Even -- if you`ve seen "CSI" one time, you know delete doesn`t mean delete.
BRIAN RUSSEL, PSYCHOLOGIST: Nancy, good to see you. Congressman Foley is the poster child for what we call malignant narcissism. Let me explain that. People who make it into positions of power need to have a little bit of narcissism in their personalities because they have to believe that they belong in those the positions over other people. Think about the Enron executives, Congressman Foley.
But then when they get there and they start getting all the adulation and all the deference from others, what can happen is their narcissism goes to a new level, where it becomes very difficult for them to see themselves in a negative light, no matter what they`re doing, and they become able to justify and rationalize even harmful behavior to others, and that they don`t have to play by the rules that they even prescribe for everyone else. It`s malignant narcissism, and he epitomizes it, Nancy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: Mark Foley was never under the influence of alcohol while he was a public servant. Based upon all the information that I have, Mark was under the influence of alcohol at the time that he sent the inappropriate e-mails and IMs, alleged e-mails and IMs, that I have been advised of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. The scandal is growing. It`s mushrooming like a H-bomb there on Capitol Hill, explicit e-mails sent by Represent Foley out of Florida to young boys there in the page program.
Let`s go out to a very special guest joining us, an actual intern for Foley back in 2006, Raymond Schilinger. Raymond, thank you for being with us.
RAYMOND SCHILINGER, INTERN FOR FOLEY FROM JAN TO MAY 2006: Thank you very much for having me.
GRACE: How old are you, dear?
SCHILINGER: I`m currently 20.
GRACE: And at the time when you worked for Foley, it`s my understanding you didn`t get any e-mails from him until right after you finished the intern program.
SCHILINGER: Well, I had actually no contact with him outside of the professional nature of the office, no indication that there was suggestive behavior going on behind the scenes. And I haven`t had any contact with him, actually, since the internship ended officially.
GRACE: And what was your experience with him?
SCHILINGER: You know, it was a great experience, honestly. He was always affable, friendly, but never was I worried for any second. And looking back, it`s a little bit strange for me.
GRACE: Why do you say that?
SCHILINGER: Well, because, you know, I wonder, you know, would I have taken a job where someone told me, you know, Watch out for your boss? You know, He might -- you know, He might give you his number or something. And I would have never taken a job like that. Now, as a teen male at the time, you know, should I have been warned? I mean, that`s a very bizarre question I ask myself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK FOLEY (R), FORMER FLORIDA REPRESENTATIVE: Every time we celebrate the departure of a page class, we remember your first day here and, of course, we`re here at your last. And for the most part, you`ve remained polite, but no longer shy and meek.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Families have every right to expect that, when they send their children to be a congressional page in Washington, that those children will be safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Celebrities of all shapes, colors, sizes are using addiction, rehab as a kind of inoculation against further crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think you can blame it solely on alcohol. What the alcohol can do is just release that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Mr. Foley, former Representative Foley, word to the wise: Voluntarily intoxication is not a defense under the law.
Welcome back. The scandal in Washington continues to grow. I want to go out to a special guest joining us now, Tyson Vivyan, a former page who I thought I was talking to earlier -- welcome, Tyson -- that received explicit messages from Representative Foley.
Tyson, what years did you work as a page?
TYSON VIVYAN, FORMER PAGE: I was there during the academic school year between 1996 and 1997. I was there for a full nine months.
GRACE: But it was only right after you left the program that you began to hear from Foley?
VIVYAN: Correct. And that seems to be what the pattern is for most of the people that have come forward so far. It seems that they`ve been -- he`s specifically waited until the program was over and the pages have returned home before he initiated contact, as if that somehow legitimized his behavior.
GRACE: How old were you at the time?
VIVYAN: I was 17.
GRACE: And how old were you during the program?
VIVYAN: Sixteen and 17. I turned 17 during January.
GRACE: I`m going to get into the messages in just a moment, but does it concern you, Tyson, that he had access to your e-mail, your e-mail account, and your identifying information?
VIVYAN: Well, that`s the big question that we have at hand is, how did he track me down? I would never surrender that information to a congressman, especially if I knew that it was going to be under the context of what he ended up doing with me, and now it seems dozens of other pages. That`s what we want to ask ourselves now is, how does he get a hold of my information when he initially contacted me? And why did he feel it was necessary when he did contact me to hide his identity for the first three to four weeks?
GRACE: Vivyan, did you page for him?
VIVYAN: No. The pages actually...
GRACE: See, that`s even weirder, Tyson, that you were working for somebody else or not directly for him and he still got his mitts on your personal information.
VIVYAN: Well, I think there`s a general misunderstanding about the page program that we really need to address here. Pages don`t work for individual members. They`re nominated by their local congressman. They`re appointed by the party leadership on both sides, but the vast majority of pages work for the House as a whole.
Certain pages work specifically in the speaker`s office. Certain pages work as documentarian pages, and certain pages work in the cloak room. But the vast majority of pages are not sent to individual...
GRACE: What is the cloak room?
VIVYAN: ... member`s offices for the duration. The cloak rooms are both Republican and Democratic cloak rooms just off the floor of the House. And these are places where there are lines of telephone booths, where members can receive phone calls from their offices, from their families, from lobbyists. There`s also a snack counter, so they can grab a quick bite to eat, and then a large lounge area, so they can sit back and watch the proceedings that are going on in the House without actually having to wait on the floor before they make a speech.
GRACE: Do you believe the recent accuser that is saying Foley sent him these explicit e-mails?
VIVYAN: Well, I was in receipt of such instant messages myself, so...
GRACE: And I call them e-mails, but they`re IMs, instant messages, where you are in real time talking to each other on a computer.
GRACE: Let me ask you this, Tyson. With us, Tyson Vivyan, former page who says he received explicit messages from former Representative Foley. What do the IMs say?
VIVYAN: Well, I don`t want to focus too much on the specifics of my communications with Congressman Foley. What I will say is, by and large, the publicized IMs and e-mails that have been prevalent throughout the media for the past five days are almost on the exact same lines of what I was in receipt of from the congressman.
And what`s more interesting, I think, in my case specifically, was he made specific references to checking me out while I was actually serving in the cloak room during my tenure in Washington, D.C. I had no idea that he was in any way surveilling me, and it shows that he at least developed some type of game plan from seeing me during the academic school year while I was there, and then waiting until two to three months after I left the program before he got in contact with me.
GRACE: Tyson, why won`t you reveal what you recall, to the best of your recollections, were in his e-mails?
VIVYAN: Well, I just -- because I feel it`s really inappropriate for a public forum like this. I don`t see any need to sensationalize what`s been out there.
GRACE: I`m OK with that.
VIVYAN: I mean, you`re scrolling the stuff there. And, again, I don`t want to bring up specifics just for my own sake and for the sake of the conversation.
GRACE: I was just wondering if, in any way, you are hesitant even at this juncture to point a finger at Foley.
VIVYAN: Oh, absolutely not. He is a sick, depraved and, unfortunately at this point, as the psychologist said before, a narcissistic individual who`s probably not going to admit to any form of or any wrongdoing on his part. It seems to me that, just because certain individuals like myself continued to have conversations with Foley of a nonsexual nature...
GRACE: Well, at first you didn`t know who it was.
VIVYAN: No. For the first three to four weeks, when he initiated the contact, I had no idea who it was. To me, it was three letters and two numbers that I had never seen before in my life almost beginning immediately into sexual context, in terms of what the instant messages contained.
GRACE: When you figured out -- and this is -- first, you kept trying to press him, it`s my understanding, "Who are you? Who are you?" You were away from D.C., so you didn`t expect it to be Foley.
VIVYAN: Oh, absolutely. I made no...
GRACE: And then he made you play like a 20 questions game to figure out who he was?
VIVYAN: Well, no. Since he was refusing to reveal who he was, I said, "If you want to continue to speak with me, in any type of nature, I`m going to have to know who you are," because I was extremely uncomfortable having sexual solicitation in the form of IMs from an individual that I could not identify.
You know, it`s a difference if it`s a 15-, 16-, 17-year-old, someone that`s equitable on my level, in terms of maturity and legal responsibility, and if it`s someone who`s an adult in a power of position who obviously could have had access to me during my time in D.C. I wanted to make sure...
GRACE: Well, you wanted to know who you`re talking to.
VIVYAN: Well, exactly. I don`t want to sit here and have any type of sexual discussion with someone that I don`t know. And then, of course, once I found out that it was Congressman Foley, I was insistent...
GRACE: What did you do?
VIVYAN: Well, I was insistent that the conversation stop, in terms of the sexual content. I was going to have absolutely nothing to do with that.
GRACE: Did he want to meet you?
VIVYAN: He had made suggestions from time to time that we meet, but I was never available in D.C. to go see him, and he was never in Knoxville where I was residing at the time. And so it was more just like a coy play. He wanted to live vicariously through the concept of possibly meeting me, but I was absolutely certain that under no circumstances was I going to meet him in any type of venue that would allow some type of inappropriate behavior.
GRACE: Did he want you to come to D.C. or him come to Tennessee?
VIVYAN: He never specifically spoke of anything like that. Again, I made it abundantly clear that I was not interested in any type of relationship with him in that manner.
GRACE: He was just talking about sex online with a kid?
VIVYAN: Pretty much, yes. He wanted to know, you know, certain -- like, what I liked, and what I was wearing, and what I was doing, and who I thought was attractive, and things like that, asked if I would like him to perform certain acts on me or if I would like to perform certain acts on him.
GRACE: Did you think that anybody would believe you?
VIVYAN: No. And that`s exactly why I didn`t come forward. I`m actually almost sick to my stomach at this point that it broke now, almost 10 years after it happened to me. I was convinced that it was an isolated incident, that it was myself, maybe one or two other people, and that it wasn`t this widespread, you know, habitual thing that it turns out that it has been.
If I had known that other -- I was not extremely -- I was uncomfortable with the situation, but I felt that I was able to handle it myself, because I was a mature, rational 17-year-old and knew that nothing was going to become of this, because I was not going to put myself in a dangerous position.
However, that being said, other pages who were in the exact same position may have not felt that way, and that`s why I`m upset with myself for not having come forward earlier to protect them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOLEY: We track library books better than we track pedophiles and kids that are missing. We`ve got to force states to incorporate technology, share information, because we can`t take another loss of life of a child.
In my view, when you rape a person, when you violate a child, you lose your civil liberties. So anybody that says we shouldn`t take DNA samples, absolutely wrong. You commit the crime, you will supply the sample, and we`ll be able to track and hopefully solve a lot of crimes.
And if I were one of these sickos, I`d be nervous with "America`s Most Wanted" on my trail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: There you heard it straight from the horse`s mouth. That`s former Representative Foley talking about being tough on child predators. P.S., that includes Internet child predators. And, please, not that it`s a very good choice: Give me a sinner over a hypocrite any day of the week.
The mushroom scandal growing in Washington, D.C. In fact, now, Kirk Fordham, the former chief of staff to Representative Tom Reynolds, resigns in the scandal surrounding Foley. Fordham said he tried to warn White House leaders about Foley before 2005. He was once a top aide to Foley.
Joining us right now, another special guest, Mike Rogers. He is an activist. He`s calling for Hastert to resign. But what really interested me about what Rogers has to say is his belief that Foley is actually back online in rehab.
Please, tell me, Mike Rogers, what you`re going on. Welcome. And where are you getting this?
MIKE ROGERS, BLOGACTIVE.COM: Well, I logged on last night or yesterday morning -- I`m sorry -- to my chat list, where I had conveniently added maf54, Mark Foley`s screen name, to my buddy list. And at about 20 minutes after 9:00, he logged on and was actually on for about a minute or two.
I had actually prepared to send him a message, but he logged off too quickly. And my initial reaction was, "Wow, in rehab they let you get back to your computer and get online?" It was really quite surprising.
GRACE: Of course, there`s a chance that someone else had logged on somehow, an immediate log-on. So he would not interact with you in any way?
ROGERS: By the time I had tried to send him a message, he had already logged off. I was actually going to ask him about the larger political context of some of what this meant.
GRACE: The larger political context? I want to know why this guy`s not in jail.
ROGERS: I agree. I agree.
GRACE: Political, shmolitical. You know, like I said earlier, if you tried to clean out Congress, you`d have to get rid of practically everybody.
ROGERS: But the situation with it right now is the very family values people, the folks like Mark Foley who are screaming the loudest, now have a problem to answer for these kids. We saw the thing going on in Buffalo with Tom Reynolds...
ROGERS: ... who wants to keep a bunch of kids around him to avoid the questions. We have folks like James Dobson and Tony Perkins who are going to have trouble turning out that vote that Ken Mehlman is so counting on.
GRACE: Well, you know, it`s interesting that this is being turned into a larger political issue.
ROGERS: Well, they dropped the ball, and they were irresponsible to the American people.
GRACE: Yes, I agree with that.
ROGERS: And Denny Hastert was a high school wrestling coach. He should know better. He taught high school students. He should know better.
GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines, guys. Joining us, Mike Rogers, activist. Ann in Virginia, hi, Ann.
CALLER: Hi, how are you?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
CALLER: We`ve all seen the "Catch a Predator" series, where the predator IMs minors and a predator gets arrested...
GRACE: You mean the "Dateline" thing?
GRACE: They round them up like cattle.
CALLER: What makes Foley different from them?
GRACE: You know what? I really don`t know. I was just asking that today on Court TV.
Let`s go out to Melanie Sloan. She`s phoning in from Washington. She`s the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility -- whew, this is long -- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Now, that`s a toughie.
Melanie, why is this any different from the round-ups of Internet predators?
MELANIE SLOAN, C.R.E.W.: Because in the cases on "Dateline," those people actually showed up. And that`s what you need to do. You need to be using the Internet to arrange an actual meeting.
GRACE: So there has to be...
SLOAN: And that`s where you violate the law.
GRACE: There has to be, everyone, what is called under the law an overt act. If you plan something, if you talk about something, that`s not prosecutable. There must be an overt act, although, under the Child Safety Act of 2006, Internet predators are included.
Back to Melanie Sloan joining us from Washington, Melanie, when did you first go to the FBI with this information?
SLOAN: Back on July 21st of this year, the same day that I first received the e-mails.
GRACE: And how did you receive the e-mails?
SLOAN: I received them from a third party who had gotten them from a congressional staffer, that that person doesn`t want to be identified, but they gave them to us thinking we would know what to do with them. And I read them, and they were a lot worse than overly friendly, as the GOP leadership likes to call them. They were much more, I think, like Bay Buchanan describes them. They had predator stamped all over them, and that`s why I sent them over to the FBI right away.
GRACE: And what did the FBI say?
SLOAN: The FBI just accepted them and said, "Are you saying these are e-mails from Mark Foley?" And I said, "Yes." And I said, "This is all the information I have." And they said, "OK." But I didn`t expect to hear back from them further, because if it was a law enforcement investigation, they obviously wouldn`t tell me, someone who`s not in law enforcement, what they were doing.
But then, here we had on Monday that they announced they`re starting a preliminary investigation, indicating that they`d never been involved in any previous investigation.
GRACE: When you, in fact, had handed them copies of the e-mails. Now, it`s my understanding they are claiming the e-mails did not sufficiently identify names or addresses or how to reach the recipients of these e-mails, but do you disagree with that?
SLOAN: Yes, that`s just blatantly not true. The e-mails included the boy`s full name and his e-mail address. Now, I didn`t hand them the address and phone number, but they are the FBI.
GRACE: They are the FBI. Very good point, Melanie Sloan.
I want to go back to Tyson Vivyan, a former page that says he received explicit e-mails from Representative Foley. You said something that really touched my heart. You said you didn`t think anyone would believe you, so you didn`t come forward.
VIVYAN: Well , when you...
GRACE: How do you feel now?
VIVYAN: Well, hindsight is always 20/20. That seems to be a favorite quote of mine, especially here in the past five days. When you`re a 17- year-old and you produce an acquisition such as this, unsubstantiated -- now, remember, when this initially started, this was back in `97, `98...
GRACE: Where are you from?
VIVYAN: Knoxville, Tennessee.
GRACE: So you`re a 17-year-old boy in Knoxville, Tennessee, receiving these e-mails. OK.
VIVYAN: Right. And when you receive these and Mark was -- or, excuse me, former Congressman Foley was very careful never to self-identify himself. If I called him Mark, he would acknowledge, but he would never say, "Hey, this is Mark. Mark says hi." He was very careful to hide his identity.
And so, in behavior such as that, if I were to come up and, say, contact the office of the clerk, which administers the page program, or were I to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it would be very difficult for me, a 17-, 18-year-old, to say, "Look at this. This is real."
Seventeen-year-old, member of Congress, typically who are you going to believe? Especially a member of Congress in the position that Mark Foley was, as the co-chair of the caucus of missing and exploited children.
Again, I thought it was an isolated incident. So why go forward? If I`m able to fight him off myself, why go forward? Now it seems I should have gone forward a long time ago because a lot of people are being hurt because of this.
GRACE: Tonight, we honor the memories of two Florida heroes killed in the line of duty. Polk County sheriff`s deputy Vernon "Matt" Williams and his German shepherd police dog, K-9 deputy Diogi. The partners buried together at a memorial service attended by thousands. Williams and Diogi gunned down last Thursday while pursuing a suspect. Working together six years, Williams raised his K-9 from a puppy. Remembered as a first-class father and dog lover, he leaves behind a grieving widow tonight, Nancy, and three teenagers. Tonight, we remember Deputy Vernon Williams and police k- 9 deputy Diogi.
From a hero that we just told you about, two of them, to a scandal on Capitol Hill. Very quickly, out to Mike Brooks, where does the investigation go from here?
BROOKS: Well, there`s still a lot of interviews to be done, Nancy. And, you know, it`s still -- we have not heard anything at all from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to see if any state charges are possibly being looked at, so there`s still a lot to do. It`s early in the investigation, still a lot to be heard from.
GRACE: I think you`re right about Florida, Mike Brooks. They have a very advanced and progressive Internet prosecution.
Then to Ash Joshi of the Atlanta jurisdiction, what are the possible charges he`s looking at?
JOSHI: Well, if we assume for a moment there was no contact, that we`re really just talking about whatever was sent in these instant messages, the extremely explicit things that you`ve shown on your show tonight...
GRACE: Yes. What are the charges?
JOSHI: You could be charged simply for sending that kind of information over the Internet, whether it`s in the form of photographs, whether it`s in the form of writings. If you were contacting a minor -- and, in some states, a minor is 18 -- for the purposes of information that`s received over the Internet, that itself is a charge. Whether there`s contact or not, sending that kind of information itself can be illegal.
GRACE: We`ll see where it goes. We`re staying on the story.
Let`s stop for a moment to remember Army Sergeant Jeffrey Brown, just 25, Trinity Center, California. On his third tour of duty, joining the Army straight from high school, Brown awarded multiple awards, including the Bronze Star. He leaves behind a grieving family, including brother Tim, also in the Army. Jeffrey Brown, American hero.
Thank you to our guests and to you for being with us. I`m Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. See you here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.