Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Abramoff met Bush at least 6 times, House panel confirms

Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: June 09, 2008 08:25:59 PM

WASHINGTON — Convicted superlobbyist Jack Abramoff influenced White House actions while his firm wooed administration officials over expensive meals and plied them with box tickets to sporting events, according to a House of Representatives committee report released Monday.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said Monday that it had received new White House documents and testimony that confirmed 80 White House contacts with Abramoff and uncovered 70 others despite White House assertions that Abramoff had vastly overblown his administration connections. Abramoff, who's cooperating with federal prosecutors after pleading guilty in an expanding corruption investigation, previously reported that his former firm had more than 400 contacts with White House officials.

The House report obtained photos of Abramoff meeting President Bush on six occasions, including political receptions. Bush has said he doesn't remember Abramoff, and the White House has refused to release the photos. The committee posted low-quality versions of them on its Web site Monday after receiving them from the White House.

"The new documents and testimony show that Mr. Abramoff had personal contact with President Bush, that high-level White House officials held Mr. Abramoff and his associates in high regard and solicited recommendations from Mr. Abramoff on policy matters," the committee said...[Open in new window]


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