Questions for Reynolds, a clock ticking for Hastert

A Republican strategist tells U.S. News that the House speaker has 24 to 48 hours to put a lid on Foleygate.

Published October 3, 2006 8:14PM (EDT)

We don't have an IM address for National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Reynolds' communications director, but his office gave us an e-mail address to try earlier today. We used it to send a message asking a few questions about the role Kirk Fordham, Reynolds' chief of staff, may have played in trying to help Mark Foley cover up the extent of his online problem.

  1. Can you tell me how Fordham came to be working with Rep. Foley last week?
  2. Did Rep. Reynolds have any discussions (before or after the fact) with Fordham about the work he did with Foley last week?
  3. Was Rep. Reynolds aware of Fordham's attempts to strike a deal with ABC News to avoid public disclosure of Rep. Foley's IM messages? Did Rep. Reynolds approve of Fordham's attempts then? Does he now?

We hit the "send" button on toward four hours ago, and we haven't heard a word back yet.

And speaking of clocks ticking, U.S. News and World Report is now quoting an unnamed Republican political strategist who says that Dennis Hastert has got to figure out a way to shut down the Foley scandal within a day or two or make plans to step aside as speaker. "The next 24 to 48 hours will be critical for Hastert and the House leadership," the strategist says.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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