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Panel Offers Report on Abramoff White House Contacts

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is preparing a new report that details disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s extensive contacts with White House officials.

A draft of the report, issued jointly Monday by Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and ranking member Tom Davis (R-Va.), says that additional documents and testimony have confirmed 84 contacts between Abramoff’s lobbying team and White House officials out of 485 possible contacts that were indicated by e-mail and other records from Greenberg Traurig in a 2006 committee report. The new draft also indicates an additional 70 contacts that were previously unknown.

The Oversight Committee report indicates that the panel had limited access to additional information, because in several cases, witnesses refused to testify; in other cases the Justice Department asked the committee to step aside to avoid interference with ongoing criminal investigations.

The report offers new details on the number of meals, tickets to sporting events and other gifts that Team Abramoff provided to White House officials and indicates instances where the White House was advancing the position held by Abramoff and his clients.

The committee has scheduled a meeting for Thursday to mark up the draft report.

— Paul Singer

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