As part of his ongoing campaign to milk more mileage out of the sex scandal surrounding Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is demanding that Mahoney, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats save any e-mails or documents related to the issue.
Boehner is working hard to turn the Mahoney scandal, which centers around $121,000 he allegedly paid to a former aide that he had an affair with, into the second coming of the the media frenzy that surrounded former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.). Foley resigned from Congress in Oct. 2006 after it was reported that he was having improper contracts with teenage male House pages. The Foley scandal, which broke only weeks before the 2006 mid-term elections, helped doom the GOP's chances of keeping their House majority after it was revealed that then Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and some of his top aides long knew of Foley's improper behavior.
The Associated Press reported today that the FBI has begun a "preliminary investigation" into the Mahoney case. Both Mahoney and Pelosi have already called for a House ethics committee probe into the matter.
“I am requesting that you immediately take all steps necessary to ensure the offices of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Tim Mahoney, the Office of Compliance, and House Information Resources, as well as your own office, preserve and protect all documents, e-mails, electronic communications, transmissions, and the like related to allegations surrounding Ms. Allen’s employment until an investigation into this matter is complete," Boehner said in a letter today to Pelosi, House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.). Clerk of the House Lorraine Miller and Chief Administrative Office Daniel Beard.
Emanuel and Van Hollen have both publicly admitted that they confronted Mahoney over "rumors" over his behavior, and Boehner is trying desperately to make the charges of a Democratic cover-up stick, although he is having little success so far. Pelosi has stated that she was not aware of Mahoney's activities until first reported by ABC News.