Late of Friday, the White House dropped the news that Karl Rove's aide had to quit because of Abramoff. They wanted to bury the story that Abramoff tentacles ran so deep in to the White House:
A top aide to White House strategist Karl Rove resigned yesterday after disclosures that she accepted gifts from and passed information to now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, becoming the first official in the West Wing to lose a job in the influence-peddling scandal.Rove's aide, Susan Ralston, used to work for Abramoff. She wasn't the only person in the West Wing to have close contacts with the disgraced, corrupt lobbyist. The full story of Abramoff's relationship with Karl Rove and then-political director Kenh Mehlman hasn't been told. Today's NY Times editorial wants to know more -- so do we:
It is plain that Mr. Abramoff had unusual access. As for his effectiveness, Mr. Abramoff rated the results as “mixed.” But he scored some important victories. In 2002, for example, the administration made the unusual decision to release $16.3 million to a Mississippi tribe Mr. Abramoff represented, notwithstanding the Justice Department’s opposition to the project. The role campaign gifts and contacts between Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Mehlman may have played in this action is a matter warranting close scrutiny by prosecutors, and further digging by the committee.This White House lies about everything. There's no reason to think they're not lying about Abramoff. Actually, given the shenanigans involved, there is every reason to think they are lying.
As Tom Davis of Virginia, the Republican chairman of the committee, and Henry Waxman of California, the ranking Democrat, take pains to note, their report is based on documents that were provided under subpoena by Mr. Abramoff’s firm and, for the most part, tell just one side of the story. The White House spin is that Mr. Abramoff had a well-known affinity for exaggerating the impact of his lobbying efforts. If so, full disclosure of relevant records by the White House could help support that claim. Meanwhile, the idea that Mr. Abramoff exerted no influence with the administration seems about as believable as Mark Foley’s early claim that his only interest in 16-year-old pages was “mentoring.”