Rep. Henry Waxman, Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has a bone to pick with the White House. Well ok, he's got more than one, but today's news is that Waxman has asked for records related to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the White House won't give them up. Because, as we've all seen, denial has served Abramoff's other associates so well.
Rumblings about Abramoff, the Bush administration, Karl Rove, and just how many time Abramoff visited the White House have been around for awhile but took a backseat to the congressional scandal with the exception of the trial of White House official David Safavian. Waxman's now moving the inquiry forward and he wants those 600 pages of documents:
"Despite the refusal of key witnesses to provide testimony, the Committee has learned that some senior White House officials had regular contact with Mr. Abramoff. Former White House political director Matt Schlapp cooperated with the Committee’s investigation and provided voluntary testimony in a deposition. Mr. Schlapp estimated that he had “monthly” contact with Jack Abramoff on subjects that often involved official government business. He also told the Committee that Mr. Abramoff and his associates “had many friends in the administration”; that Mr. Abramoff was regarded as a “point of information” because of “his knowledge and his experience and his judgment on issues surrounding politics and policy and how the town works”; and that Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying team was “viewed by many as a very respected lobbying team.”