Reid, Schumer, Durbin, Stabenow Send Letter To Bush Administration Officials Urging Disclosure Of All Abramoff Meetings, Memos, Favors And Ties

On the heels of House and Senate Democrats unveiling the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act to reform Washington’s lobbying scene, Senators Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and Debbie Stabenow sent a letter today to high-level Bush Administration officials asking them to fully disclose their dealings with indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The Senate Democratic leaders want top-level Bush Administration officials to disclose all their meetings, memos, favors and ties with Jack Abramoff – another example of the Republican “culture of corruption.”

The following is the text of the letter:

January 19, 2006

On Tuesday, we sent a letter to President Bush asking that he and officials within his Administration detail whatever contact they might have had with Jack Abramoff. Scott McClellan announced that the White House would not provide this information, despite earlier assurances. Therefore, we have no choice but to ask you these questions directly.

As we are sure you are aware, the Justice Department is currently investigating the web of corruption surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Even at this early stage of the investigation, concerns have been raised that Mr. Abramoff may have had undue and improper influence within the highest levels of the Bush Administration and even the White House itself. Such accusations serve to undermine the credibility of this Administration and our government at large -- even before any indictments or convictions. As a result, it is crucial that the American people know what role, if any, Mr. Abramoff played in the highest levels of our government.

As more and more Republican officials in and out of Congress are implicated in this scandal, it has become increasingly important that the record be cleared and that any contact you or others in the Administration have had with Mr. Abramoff be fully explained to the American people. For this reason, we urge you to publicly and immediately detail all of your personal contacts with Mr. Abramoff during your time with the Bush Administration. If you know of others in the Administration who have had such contacts, please disclose those contacts as well. Please also detail any official acts that have been undertaken on behalf of or at the request of Mr. Abramoff. Perhaps there are no contacts to reveal, no favors that have been given. We hope that is the case. But it is important to set the record straight, one way or the other.

Additionally, we believe is it imperative that you reveal any involvement in the “K Street Project,” the initiative launched in recent years by Republicans close to this Administration who have worked hard to increase the ties between lobbyists like Jack Abramoff and Republican elected officials.

We urge you to respond to this letter and help shed some light on what has happened between Mr. Abramoff and this Administration. We look forward to your response.


Harry Reid
Charles E. Schumer
Dick Durbin
Debbie Stabenow

Bush Administration Officials Receiving the Letter:
• Secretary Mike Johanns, Department of Agriculture
• Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Department of Commerce
• Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Department of Defense
• Secretary Margaret Spellings, Department of Education
• Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, Department of Energy
• Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, Department of Health & Human Services
• Secretary Michael Chertoff, Department of Homeland Security
• Secretary Alphonso Jackson, Department of Housing & Urban Development
• Secretary Gale Norton, Department of the Interior
• Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Department of Justice
• Secretary Elaine Chao, Department of Labor
• Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Department of State
• Secretary Norman Mineta, Department of Transportation
• Secretary John Snow, Department of Treasury
• Secretary Jim Nicholson, Department of Veterans Affairs
• Richard B. Cheney, Vice President
• Joshua B. Bolten, Office of Management and Budget
• Stephen Johnson, Environmental Protection Agency
• Ambassador Rob Portman, United States Trade Representative
• John Walters, Office of National Drug Control Policy
• David Addington, Chief of Staff to the Vice President