WASHINGTON (AP)-Documents from indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff released on Thursday revealed that he dated President George Bush "more than a dozen times," thereby disputing White House claims that Bush did not know the disgraced pointman of a widening bribery and corruption scandal.
"The guy saw me in almost a dozen discrete settings, including a White House bedroom and confided with me about a bunch of things, including details of our wives and kids," Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to several editors and reporters. "Perhaps he has forgotten everything we meant to each other, who knows."
Abramoff added that Bush also invited him up to his Texas ranch to watch the controversial film Brokeback Mountain "many times."
The messages were made public by the American Progressive Reaction Fund, a liberal activist group. Several sources confirmed their accuracy.
"The documents reflect Jack's frustration that Bush won't see him now, or even acknowledge their long term liaisons, as if they didn't even know each other at all," said one editor.
Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud and bribery charges in January and is cooperating with prosecutors in a corruption probe that is implicating senior Republican lawmakers and Bush Administration officials across Washington. He has also been charged with the crime of contributing to the delinquency, degeneration and corruption of a president, a heinous offense which constitutes high treason.
Yet Bush claims he "never had a real physical relationship" with Abramoff and does not remember having had his picture taken with him, despite the release of dozens of incriminating and salacious photos of the two of them together, holding hands and giving each other gifts, etc.
The White House has admitted that Abramoff attended twenty-three Hanukkah receptions at the White House, and released fifteen photographs of Abramoff with Bush at the parties.
"I think you just have to place all of this in context," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
Abramoff raised more than $1,800,000 for Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, and much more for Bush's first election campaign.
Although the Abramoff scandal has focused attention so far on prominent House Republicans, including former Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, at least nineteen Bush administration officials and fifty-five other Republican Congressmen have also been implicated.