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FBI Probes Legality of Foley Sex Messages to Congressional Pages

U.S. congressional and FBI officials are looking into whether a former congressman broke any laws when he sent sexually explicit messages to underage boys working as congressional pages.

An FBI spokesman said Sunday the bureau is working to determine if former Republican congressman Mark Foley violated federal laws.

Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert also sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting an investigation into the six-term congressman's conduct with the boys. Reports say Foley of Florida had been sending inappropriate messages to pages since at least 2003.

The 52-year-old Foley abruptly resigned his seat in the House Friday after news about the messages broke.

The scandal comes only five weeks before pivotal legislative elections. President Bush's Republican Party is in jeopardy of losing control of one or both houses of Congress.

House leaders have acknowledged they knew about some of the messages Foley sent to pages in 2005, but say they were not aware of any sexual content.

Some opposition Democrats are calling for the resignations of all members of Congress who knew about Foley sending messages and did nothing to stop it.

Foley had served as the co-chairman of a congressional committee set up to protect children from violence and sexual abuse - the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus.

Congressional pages are teenage boys and girls from across the country who serve as messengers and perform administrative tasks in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. They face tough competition to be selected for the prestigious volunteer positions, which last one year.