Is the Bush-Abramoff cover up unraveling

New revelations cast additional doubt on President Bush’s assertion that he does not know admitted felon and former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

As reported by several sources (see our headline roundup, below), Think Progress revealed the existence of emails from Abramoff claiming he met with Bush nearly a dozen times, in a variety of settings. Kim Eisler, editor of The Washingtonian and the journalist who first received the Abramoff emails, refuted President Bush’s claims during a CNN interview last night, saying that Bush "definitely knows" Abramoff. Eisler also confirmed he has seen photographs of the two together at settings other than White House holiday functions – the only place Bush says such photos could have been taken – including a photo in the Old Executive Office Building, where Abramoff took some of his clients to shake hands with Bush. (There are also photos of Abramoff’s wife with First Lady Laura Bush.)

But as we have blogged several times in the past few weeks, how could Mr. Bush possibly NOT know Jack Abramoff, a famously connected Republican lobbyist who raised more than $100,000 for the President in his last election campaign, and who is – or at least was – a close friend and associate of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist.

Yet in response to these new revelations, White House mouthpiece Scott McClellan says the President’s claim he does not know Abramoff "still stands."

When will the stonewalling on Bush’s relationship to Abramoff end? What is the White House trying to cover up?

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is intending to offer a "sense of the Senate" amendment urging the administration to release all information regarding the Bush administration’s dealings with Abramoff. Click here to tell your senators they need to support Boxer’s amendment, and demand that White House come clean.

Many Republicans are responding to the snowballing corruption scandal by urging further disclosure, saying that "sunshine is the best disinfectant." Shouldn’t a little of this same light shine on the White House’s relationship with Jack Abramoff?

-Gordon Clark