President Bush's former spokesman, Scott McClellan, will testify before a House committee next week about whether Vice President Dick Cheney ordered him to make misleading public statements about the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.And according to Think Progress, the White House is worried:
McClellan will testify publicly and under oath before the House Judiciary Committee on June 20 about the White House's role in the leak and its response, his attorneys, Michael and Jane Tigar, said on Monday.
In his new book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," McClellan said he was misled by others, possibly including Cheney, about the role of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in the leak. McClellan has said publicly that Bush and Cheney "directed me to go out there and exonerate Scooter Libby."
On NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show today, Time magazine assistant managing editor Michael Duffy said that the renewed attention to the scandal is causing White House lawyers to be “very concerned”:Then there's the Abramoff scandal. From The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, we learn that:DUFFY: White House lawyers are concerned, very concerned, now that Scott McClellan’s book has led Henry Waxman and John Conyers to take another look at the Valerie Plame business. There may be hearings. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may be called. Just another way in which a Democratic Congress might make a difference during the fall.
Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member Davis issued a proposed Committee report on White House contacts with Jack Abramoff that concludes that Mr. Abramoff had personal contact with President Bush, that high-level White House officials held Mr. Abramoff and his associates in high regard and solicited recommendations from them on policy matters, that Mr. Abramoff and his associates influenced some White House actions, and that Mr. Abramoff and his associates offered White House officials expensive tickets and meals.And ABC is reporting:
The White House had stronger ties to disgraced superlobbyist Jack Abramoff than it has publicly admitted, according to a draft congressional report released Monday.Of course.
President Bush met Abramoff on at least four occasions the White House has yet to acknowledge, according to the draft report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
And White House officials appeared as comfortable going to Abramoff and his lobbyists seeking tickets to sporting and entertainment events, as they did seeking input on personnel picks for plum jobs, the report found.
President Bush himself met Abramoff on at least six occasions, the report said, citing White House documents; the White House had previously acknowledged only two.