Saturday, January 28, 2006

Most Americans want Bush reveal lobbyist ties: poll

This is a short political story which really speaks for itself. From Reuters.com:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three in four Americans want President George W. Bush to disclose his aides' links with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a demand the White House has rejected so far, according to a poll published on Saturday.

The Washington Post said the demand was supported by clear majorities of both Republicans and Democrats in the Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted between January 23 and January 26.

Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud charges this month and agreed to help U.S. prosecutors in a corruption probe that has sparked calls for reform of the Washington practice of lobbying lawmakers with donations and favors to influence legislation.

At a White House news conference on Thursday, Bush said he did not know Abramoff and would not release photographs in which the two appeared together.

He said the release of the photographs would be used for "pure political purposes" by Democrats.

The Washington Post said 76 percent of those surveyed said Bush should release lists of all meetings between his aides and Abramoff. Eighteen percent disagreed.

"Two in three Republicans joined with eight in 10 Democrats and political independents in favoring disclosure," the paper said.

It said 1,002 people were interviewed and the poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The only comment to make on this story is that the Bush White House will not reveal any details regarding the lobbying ties between President Bush and Jack Abramoff, any more than they will release the photos showing Bush with Abramoff. It is that simple. The Bush administration believes they are above the law, and are not accountable to anyone. The only way to get these details is for the Democrats to regain control of Congress in this year's midterm elections, and to regain control of the investigation committees and subpoena powers to investigate the Bush White House. Currently, the Democrats are pushing to have a special prosecutor appointed to look into the Jack Abramoff scandal, and congressional corruption probe. Consider this story from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON - Two Senate Democrats asked the U.S. attorney general Thursday to appoint a special counsel to take over the investigation into congressional corruption involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The letter came a day after the Justice Department announced the prosecutor heading the investigation would step down from the Abramoff investigation.

Noel Hillman, chief of the department's public integrity section, was nominated by
President Bush for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

Hillman will step down as chief of the public integrity unit next week, but remain in the Justice Department's criminal division until he is confirmed, a department official said.

In a letter to the attorney general, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Ken Salazar argued an independent prosecutor "would ensure that the investigation and prosecution will proceed without fear or favor and provide the public with full confidence that no one in this country is above the law."

The two Democrats said that so far, the public integrity section of the Justice Department, which is in charge of the probe, has "pursued this case appropriately."

Rep. George Miller (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif. issued a statement supporting the request made by Schumer and Salazar. In addition to the points they raised, Miller noted that on Wednesday Bush nominated Hillman to a federal judgeship.

"It looks like the White House has reached in and tampered with an ongoing investigation," Miller said.

The White House was poised to nominate Hillman last summer after a deal on Bush's judicial nominations paved the way for New Jersey's Democratic senators to weigh in on Hillman. White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said the president makes all his nominations in a timely manner and was ready to move forward.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said, "There is no legal or ethical reason why the attorney general would need to recuse himself from this investigation as it continues to move forward successfully with a career prosecution team."

Abramoff pleaded guilty this year to several felony charges, some involving his dealings with members of Congress and their aides. His one-time business partner, former congressional aide Michael Scanlon, pleaded guilty last year in the same investigation.

The Republicans are not going to allow a special prosecutor to be selected to investigate the Abramoff scandal. Once that occurs, the special prosecutor will certainly start looking into the relationship between Abramoff, and the Bush White House--not to mention the numerous Republican congressional ties in this corruption probe. In other words, the Republicans would love nothing more that to squash this investigation as quickly as possible.

1 comment:

yukioman said...

Don't you think it's time for someone to bring back the question of who advised Bush on their energy policy? I think Abromoff just brings us back full circle...