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On the October 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace left unchallenged Rep. Jack Kingston's (R-GA) false claim that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a "partisan 527 organization." In fact, CREW is a nonpartisan and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
Kingston misrepresented CREW while baselessly suggesting that CREW may have been complicit in a scheme to benefit Democrats by withholding from the media incriminating emails that former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) allegedly sent to underage congressional pages shortly before the midterm elections. In fact, The Hill newspaper reported that the media received Foley's alleged emails "from a House GOP aide" who "has been a registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote," and ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross reportedly said that the sources for his initial Foley report -- to the extent they had partisan affiliations -- were Republicans; CREW provided the FBI with the emails allegedly sent from Foley to a former page on July 21, two months before ABC News reported their existence, as Media Matters for America has noted. The FBI has claimed that CREW did not provide the necessary follow-up information to act on the tip, but the FBI's account is inconsistent and contradictory, as Media Matters has also shown.
As Media Matters has documented, Kingston and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) pushed wholly unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Democrats' purported prior knowledge of Foley's electronic communications during an October 6 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. Fox News host Sean Hannity and U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone have also baselessly accused CREW of withholding Foley's alleged communications with underage pages, as Media Matters has also noted.
From the October 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: Let me ask you about that, Congressman Kingston. What does [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi and [Rep.] Rahm Emmanuel [D-IL] -- they, of course, are two Democratic leaders -- what do they have to go under oath about?
KINGSTON: Well, Chris, what I don't understand is, where have these emails been for three years? Are we saying that a 15-year-old child would have sat on e-mails that were X -- triple X-rated for three years and suddenly spring them out right on the eve of an election? That's just a little bit too suspicious, even for Washington, D.C. We do know that George Soros, a huge Democrat [sic] backer, has a group called CREW, it's a 527 partisan group, they apparently had the emails as late as this April and did not do anything about it. And that's according to the FBI, as reported in one statement. But again, if [House Speaker] Denny Hastert [R-IL] knew this guy was sexually deviant, he would have tossed him overboard a year ago because it is a safe Republican seat. It's a generic Republican seat. Anybody with a Republican jersey could have won. All we would have had to do is say, "Mark, you're doing some bad stuff. You gotta move on." We would not have to spend a nickel to protect that seat.