Secret Service releases Abramoff logs, but where are the rest?

Documents show only two visits to the White House; Scott McClellan has acknowledged more.

Tim Grieve
May 11, 2006 1:22AM (UTC)

When the Secret Service announced that it would be releasing logs that would show Jack Abramoff's comings and goings from the White House, Scott McClellan warned that the documents wouldn't be a "complete historical record." McClellan may have been cryptic, but he wasn't kidding.

Abramoff has bragged of meeting George W. Bush "almost a dozen times" over the years, and McClellan has acknowledged -- while promising but failing to delve deeper -- that Abramoff attended two White House Chanukah parties and "a few staff-level meetings." But the logs the Secret Service released today show just two Abramoff visits to the White House: One for about half an hour on March 6, 2001, and another for about an hour on Jan. 20, 2004. Given the dates, neither visit would seem to have been for a Chanukah party. And "two" visits aren't really "a few visits," either.


So what gives?

Judicial Watch, which filed suit to get the records, suspects that we're seeing something less than the entire Secret Service file. The group says that Secret Service logs it has seen in the past showed details such as the person visited, the room number where the visitor was headed and the name of the person who requested or authorized the visit. These don't. "At first glance, these documents seem incomplete when compared to other White House visitor logs obtained by Judicial Watch," says the group's president, Tom Fitton. "We therefore have reason to believe there are additional details about Jack Abramoff's visits to the White House that have not been disclosed."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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