Sunday, January 22, 2006

Partisans, a love story: The financial relationship of George Bush and Jack Abramoff

As we have seen, the relationship between President Bush and disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was much closer than the White House would like us to believe it was -- see here.

The White House is now trying to distance itself (and Bush himself) from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. As Adam Zagorin and Mike Allen reveal in Time, however, the relationship between Bush and Abramoff was also much closer than we are being led to believe it was.

The White House is claiming that Bush doesn't know Abramoff and has never met him. Yet photos show that the two did meet on several occasions. More:

Abramoff was once in better graces at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, having raised at least $100,000 for the President's re-election campaign. During 2001 and 2002, his support for Republicans and connections to the White House won him invitations to Hanukkah receptions, each attended by 400 to 500 people. McClellan has said Abramoff may have been present at "other widely attended" events. He was also admitted to the White House complex for meetings with several staff members, including one with presidential senior adviser Karl Rove, one of the most coveted invitations in Washington.

In short, Abramoff was a big-time fundraiser for Bush, just as he was a big-time lobbyist on K Street. The White House (and the campaigns that got Bush there) were quite happy to know him (and to take his money) before his recent fall from grace. It makes sense why the White House would want to have nothing to do with him anymore, and why Abramoff is now such an embarrassment in Washington, but Bush and his cronies are merely re-writing history (i.e., lying) for the sake of political expediency (i.e., to avoid charges of comingling with corruption -- corruption that has wormed its way throughout Republican Washington). Thankfully, they're up against some pretty convincing evidence.

How many words are those photos worth?

For more on Abramoff, see here, here, and here.

For more on Bush + Abramoff, see Political Animal, The Carpetbagger Report, MyDD, Shakespeare's Sister, and Middle Earth Journal.

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