Rep. Vance McAllister, struggling with an escalating infidelity scandal, backpedalled Wednesday afternoon on earlier reports that he would seek an FBI probe into the leak of a surveillance tape showing him kissing and embracing a married aide in his Monroe, La., district office.
His staff released a statement Wednesday that said the Republican, elected five months ago, is focused on his family, not an investigation.
The full statement:
"Congressman McAllister's office will not pursue an FBI investigation at this time regarding the distribution of a video filmed in leased federal office space. Congressman McAllister is focused on earning back the trust of those he has disappointed, and he reiterates his request for privacy for his family during this difficult period." The freshman lawmaker, who won the seat after running as a devout Christian and family-oriented father of five, has missed several roll call votes in Washington since the video turned up online on Monday. But he's told his home-town newspaper in Monroe that he has no plans to resign .
Earlier Wednesday, McAllister's staff said the congressman planned to ask House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, to petition the FBI to investigate who was behind the leak of the video.
So far, reaction to the scandal from Boehner and other GOP leaders in Washington has been quiet, but the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that the head of the state Republican Party wants McAllister out — but can't raise the freshman congressman on the phone.
State GOP chief Roger Villere has been trying unsuccessfully to speak directly with McAllister since Tuesday night, according to the paper's unnamed source.
A Democratic state lawmaker who ran against McAllister and lost in November has also called for his resignation.