Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ex-House Clerk May Be a Key in Foley’s Case

This is a quiet job, usually. Jeff Trandahl, former clerk of the House of Representatives, was little known outside of Congress until recently. And on Thursday, Mr. Trandahl is scheduled to testify before the House Ethics Committee to either corroborate, or contradict, accusations that Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) knew about Foley's sexual advances toward underage pages at least three years ago.

It is said of Mr. Trandahl that he played by the rules. It is also said that he is quite adept at navigating the waters of an institution known for protecting its own. “When the rest of the trees blow down, Jeff Trandahl will be left standing up,” said Craig Shniderman, executive director of Food & Friends, who has known Mr. Trandahl for nearly a decade.

Mr. Trandahl is a gay Republican who also had a bird's eye view of what was happening in Congress. Republicans have long held a "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays amongst them. Mr. Trandahl never dwelled on his sexuality. However, he also did not go to extreme lengths to conceal it, unlike Mr. Foley, who publicly acknowledged he is gay only after resigning this month.

Part of the Clerk's job is to oversee the Congressional page program, which meant that concerns about the page's welfare and conduct were routed to Trandahl. Every year, he sent some of them home for inappropriate behavior: drinking, smoking pot, or just misbehavior.

"Over the years, people who worked with him on the Hill said, Mr. Trandahl received periodic complaints that Mr. Foley was acting too friendly to the pages or interns.

The House ethics committee is trying to determine whether Mr. Trandahl simply passed along the information to Kirk Fordham, a longtime aide to Mr. Foley, or whether he alerted the speaker’s office that Mr. Foley’s overfriendly behavior had grown beyond idle gossip."

And Mr. Trandahl is not discussing the case until he testifies on Thursday.

Representative Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) says he alerted Trandahl about Foley's behavior five years ago. Last year, Trandahl and Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) confronted Foley over email messages Foley sent to a former page from Louisiana.

Somehow, I think that Denny Hastert is sweating bullets over Trandahl's testimony

9 comments:

robin andrea said...

I wonder what the proper protocul was at the time. Should Trandahl have alerted Hastert? Would that have been his responsibility? I'm hoping that it was, and that he will testify that he told Hastert. I wish I knew who Trandahl's direct supervisor was. I'm definitely looking forward to his testimony and hoping for some truth.

Sigrid Jardin said...

Let's hope that Hastert is sweating a few bullets these days, as the Republican Old Guard topples around him, with felony after felony taking them down. It would be great to see him forced out of office, over this or anything else.

Tina said...

Hastert doesn't sweat bullets....... he sweats sausage gravy....... or maybe sweet and sour sauce..... but never bullets.

Lola Heatherton said...

I'm appalled at the thought of Dennis Hastert sweating anything. Just, eeewwww.

pekka said...

Here's hoping, that instead of an excessive sweating Hastert looses his enermous apetite!

sumo said...

Something to look forward tooooooo!

Frederick said...

Todays the day...trying to find it on internet radio somewheres. Let ya know if I do.

Helen Wheels said...

OOOH Fat Bastert's goin' down. I feel it in me bones. Tina you kill me...

DivaJood said...

Oh, all y'all are making me laugh about all the sweating.