Boehner: Rep. Lee made own decision to resign
February 10th, 2011
01:46 PM ET
3 years ago

Boehner: Rep. Lee made own decision to resign

Washington (CNN) - Asked Thursday if he personally pressured Rep. Christopher Lee, R-New York, to resign, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters, "Congressman Lee made his own decision that he thought was in the best interest for him and his family."

Lee resigned just hours after the gossip site Gawker.com published emails that it said showed Rep. Lee, a married father of one, flirting with a 34 year-old woman who had posted in the dating section of Craigslist.

Boehner has reportedly told Republican members as recently as this past summer to stop partying with female lobbyists, among other unseemly behavior.

"I've had Members in here where I thought they crossed the line. I have had others I thought were approaching the line," he told Roll Call in July, acknowledging he warned members of his conference. "I say what I mean. I mean what I say. I do what I say I'm going to do," he also told the publication.

Asked about those conversations Thursday and whether he spoke specifically to Lee about his behavior, Boehner said, "My conversations with members are private and they'll remain that way."

Pressed to describe his discussions with House Republicans Boehner would only say, "I believe that members of Congress should be held to the highest ethical standard and that's what the American people expect."

One reporter asked if the culture or lifestyle of being a member of Congress contributes to the regular sex scandals on Capitol Hill. "I wouldn't know," Speaker Boehner quipped.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Angela

    Straight scandals involving "flirting" require immediate resignation but gay scandals (Larry Craig) and kinky scandals (David Vitter) don't really change things. Got it.

    February 10, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Whatever

    At least he resigned and is not still in Congress like Ensign or Vetter!!! GOODNESS ME!

    February 10, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Margie

    I find this whole thing irrational. This man did something stupid. He posted a picture of himself shirtless and asked for a date. This should be a matter between him and his wife. Why should he resign? after all look at Ensign. He not only cheated on his wife he did something illegal HE DID NOT RESIGN. Look at Clarence Thomas. He did something worst than Wesley Snipes who only failed to declare taxes for three years and he got three years in jail. Not only did Thomas deliberately not declare taxes for his wife for 20 years (after declaring them for years before he stopped declaring them), he made decisions that benefited his wife financially wise. But not one republican is demanding HE RESIGN.

    I find it offensive that the republicans pick and choose their targets to resign. I guess it just depends how high up on the political ladder you are before they make you resign. I don't think Christopher Lee should have been made to resign he really didn't do anything illegal he and his wife should settle this. and no matter what republicans say they """advised"""this representative to resign. Hypocrites.

    February 10, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Gotta love those "FAMILY VALUES" Republicans!!!!!

    February 10, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    [Boehner: Rep. Lee made own decision to resign ] – Yep, after he was told that he was FIRED in so many "gestures" and "undertones" coming from the RIGHT!!!

    February 10, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. pete

    i'm sure the "big orange boner" and the rest of the republicans are just very thankful to find that it was an adult female rather than a young congressional page or an airport bathroom stall neighbor.

    February 10, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. james Miller

    There were also other embarrassing pics and communications, just "the tip of the iceberg". Now he can quickly fade away without excessive embarrassment to the self-righteous Repubs.

    February 10, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Living in America

    No wonder the Republicans can't find jobs they are flirting on Craiglist. Where is the report card of their daily progress since they have been in office. President Obama had one for him since day 1.

    February 10, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Consider This...

    Another of those "Family Values" Republicans bite the dust. Hypocrits!

    February 10, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Frank

    Repub's family values come through loud and clear once again. Tout being a family man, then cheat on the wife every chance that you get. Newt should be proud of Lee.

    February 10, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. NC

    Boehner looks tired. I guess being Speaker of The House is not easy, is it.

    February 10, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "I find it offensive that the republicans pick and choose their targets to resign."

    Me too...discrimination is wrong...ALL Republicans should resign haha

    February 10, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Jamie from Riverside

    So is J.B. going to step down and resign when the details of his own infidelites published in the Tabloids this week come out (same publication that brought John Edwards down) and the soon to be published New York Times article comes out?

    February 10, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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