Monday, October 09, 2006

You may have missed this when they dumped the Friday night trash ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:55 PM Permalink

Top Rove Aide Resigns in Lobby Scandal

The top aide to White House strategist Karl Rove quit Friday, a week after congressional investigators portrayed her as a key link between senior officials and the now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff — brokering deals for his clients as she accepted premium tickets to sporting events and concerts.

Susan Ralston had worked as Rove's executive assistant, functioning as a gatekeeper of sorts for President Bush's most trusted political advisor. She was an aide to Abramoff before she joined the White House and became what the lobbyist called his "implant" there.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, [said] Ralston "played a very valuable role in advancing the president's agenda." Perino said Ralston would leave within the next couple of weeks.
The bipartisan investigation documented more than 400 lobbying contacts between Abramoff's team and the White House between January 2001 and March 2004, including dozens with Rove's office and nine with the top strategist himself. The report was based on thousands of pages of billing records and e-mails obtained from Abramoff's firm.
"The vast majority of lobbying contacts and meals with White House officials documented in the report were with White House officials other than Ms. Ralston," Waxman said. "It is ludicrous for the White House to say it considers the review of the committee report 'complete' when it has not provided answers to any of the most important questions involving Mr. Mehlman and other senior White House officials."

In an interview Friday, Mehlman said he did not recall any specifics from his dealings with the Abramoff team.

"I can tell you that as political director I was always very careful to make sure everything I did was above board and consistent with the rules," he said.
That would be a first for this administration.


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