From The New York Times
Report Links White House and Lobbyist
By Philip Shenon
Washington, September 28
"A bipartisan Congressional report documents hundreds of contacts between White House officials and the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his partners, including at least 10 direct contacts between Mr. Abramoff and Karl Rove, the president’s chief political strategist.
The House Government Reform Committee report, based on e-mail messages and other records subpoenaed from Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying firm, found 485 contacts between Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying team and White House officials from 2001 to 2004, including 82 with Mr. Rove’s office.
The lobbyists spent almost $25,000 in meals and drinks for the White House officials and provided them with tickets to numerous sporting events and concerts, according to the report, scheduled for release Friday.
The authors of the report said it was generally unclear from available records whether the aides reimbursed Mr. Abramoff for the meals or tickets. Ethics rules bar White House officials from accepting lobbyists’ gifts worth more than $20.
A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Thursday that while White House officials had not seen the report, earlier evidence showed that Mr. Abramoff had exaggerated his ties to the administration and was “ineffective in terms of getting government officials to take actions.”