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Times cited in report on Foley

The House committee's report on former Rep. Mark Foley's communication with pages includes a brief discussion of the involvement of the St. Petersburg Times, which looked into the matter in the fall of 2005.

The report reveals the name of the Times' original source, House Democratic staffer Matt Miller, who provided a copy of an e-mail exchange between Foley and a former House page to the Times and the Miami Herald, and later to Harper's magazine and Roll Call, which covers Capitol Hill.

That e-mail exchange - different from the explicit instant messages that led to Foley's resignation - contained no overtly sexual references, but the committee said it "could be read as inappropriately personal and excessively familiar and which some could read as implicitly sexual."

The committee report recounts the Times' inquiries into Foley's communications with the page, including the paper's conversations with the page, his former House sponsor and Foley. The committee did not ask to interview Times editors or reporters.

The Times did not publish a story on Foley last year, after editors concluded that the e-mail exchange was ambiguous and that after further reporting the paper still "did not have enough substantiated information to reach beyond innuendo," as Times executive editor Neil Brown wrote in a column on Oct. 5.

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