President Bush continues to stonewall on releasing the records and photos of meetings with admitted-felon/super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, despite pressure mounting from all corners, including Republicans. On Sunday, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said Bush should release the Bush-Abramoff records, but not the pictures; Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said Bush should release all Bush-Abramoff phone calls, correspondence and meetings; and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) said Bush should release it all, reported the AP. Bush advisor Dan Bartlett, meanwhile, rejected Democratic calls for an independent prosecutor, saying, “we’re going to let the career prosecutors do their job, and I’ll bet they get to the bottom of it.” This is despite the fact Bush effectively removed the prosecutor who was handling the Abramoff investigation, by appointing him to a federal judgeship, as we blogged about on Friday. Reports are unclear whether Bartlett managed to say that with a straight face.
Some Republicans aren’t so courageous: Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-Colo.) and Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) aren’t giving straight answers on whether they think Bush should release the records. We here at Clean Up Washington are asking readers to email their member of Congress and demand action on this ethical issue. See our previous blog posting for more.