Waxman Notes: “Bribery” Rhymes with “Library”

Well, close enough for PhDs in Comparative Literature…

Man, Waxman must have been preoccupied with submitting his report on Pat Tillman’s death. He was about five hours behind the time when I predicted the letter in response to the Bush Library bribery story would be sent.

Dear Mr. Payne:

I am writing regarding a report that you solicited funds for the George W. Bush Presidential Library in return for access to senior U.S. foreign policy officials. This is a matter that the Oversight Committee will investigate.

According to the Times of London, you solicited funds for President Bush’s library from foreign interests. Specifically, you reportedly offered access to several senior U.S. government officials, including Vice President Cheney, in return for six-figure contributions to the library.

If true, this report raises serious concerns about the ways in which foreign interests might be secretly influencing our government through large donations to the library. Under current law, there are few restrictions on efforts to raise funds for presidential libraries. For example, there are no limits on how much can be raised for a single source, and there is no requirement that donations be disclosed publicly. As a result, a presidential library can solicit secret donations from companies and foreign interests that seek to surreptitiously influence government action. In order to prevent abuses of this kind, the House of Representatives passed legislation last year that requires disclosure of information about donors to presidential libraries.

To help the Committee understand your role in soliciting funds for the George W. Bush Presidential Library, please provide written answers in response to the following questions:

1. What is your affiliation with George W. Bush Presidential Library? Have you been authorized or asked to solicit funds for the library?

2. Have you ever solicited funds for the library from any individuals, governments, companies, or organizations?

3. If you have ever solicited funds for the library, please describe each solicitation, including the persons or organizations solicited and amounts requested and received, and describe whether you arranged or attempted to arrange any meetings for such persons or organizations with U.S. government officials.

In addition, please provide the Committee with copies of any documents relating to contributions to or solicitations of contributions to President Bush’s library.

Man oh man. If I were Payne, I wouldn’t go quail hunting with Dick Cheney any time soon, because he is just going to hate this.

  1. wwiii says:

    A proposed Committee report on the investigations into the death of Corporal Patrick Tillman and the capture of Private Jessica Lynch discloses important new details about the incidents, but could not resolve “the key issue of what senior officials knew” because “the investigation was frustrated by a near universal lack of recall.”

    Do you think Payne’s memory is going to be any better than any of the dozens of other Republican witnesses who have responded to Waxman’s committee? Poor Ellen DeGeneres–little did she know that watching her character in Finding Nemo was going to become a pre-requisite for holding political office under this administration.

  2. Citizen92 says:

    Mr. Payne has been described as a “senior advance representative” for the White House. Now, knowing a few things about a few things, I feel compelled to point out that:

    1 – Advance representatives were behind the “Denver Three” scandal, by way of a long-time semi-secret advance manual.

    2 – Other advance representatives have been shown to be similarly “shady” (or lecherous)

    3 – “Senior Advance Representatives” are unpaid quasi-governmental officials. They represent the White House, yet do not draw a salary. Strange how this administration loves to use these quasi-governmental officials to do its bidding.

    So Mr. Payne is a FINE example of the Advance Office (formerly Karl’s portfolio, I may add).

    And, apart and aside from the Advance gig, this raises severe questions about Payne’s ability to properly represent the government – and keep secrets. Any special security clearances he has been granted under his Department of Homeland Security Advisory Board appointment.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Thanks for sharing some of the interesting things you know.

        Here’s what I recall: the guy who bought the land for the GWBu$h Preznit’s Libraregy** is a Mr. Hunt of Texas, and the Preznit appointed him to the national intel oversight group, which allowed him access to intel about Iraq.

        This same Mr. Hunt then cut the deal with the Kurds last fall for a share of their oil; he made a contract as an ‘indie’ — and the majors started to get real restless and worried once that occurred. Wonder whether he cut GWB or Cheney in on the side…?

        So the whole libraregy biz smelled from the get-go. But this is a new layer of human venalty.

        ** It can’t be a library; he fits a rough profile for an adult with learning disabilities and the man hardly seems to read. Or if his eyes go over the page/screen, the comprehension appears to be moderate (at best).

  3. NelsonAlgren says:

    Speaking of the Tillman thing, I am going to send you something through Facebook about Turdblossom and Ron Fournier being in bed together figuratively. I hope AP knows that are losing credibility fast.

  4. dosido says:

    How about I write the letters and save us all a bunch of tax money? The only result of these letters is that Conyers has a hell of a penpal club.

  5. bobschacht says:

    What’s the big deal with bribery? Its just capitalism extended to another domain. A free market in votes– whether by citizens for their leaders, or by representatives for legislation– or in administrators responsible for regulations and oversight– that’s just good old capitalism at work, isn’t it? There’s a price for everything, right? /s

    [This message has been purged of even nastier snark]

    Bob in HI

  6. PJEvans says:

    I think Henry had a couple of hearings scheduled today (and more the rest of the week). I;d say being five hours late on your forecast is forgivable.

    The Fournier/Rove thing is more likely to blow up tomorrow.

    • bmaz says:

      I am a dyed in the wool EW suckup. I maintain that the Waxman penned the letter right on EW’s timeframe and it was just that his lame internet director didn’t get it posted in a timely manner.

    • emptywheel says:

      I joked to a staffer than Henry was 5 hours late. The staffer said–well, his plane must have been late.

      Not serious, but I think that means he appreciated the joke.

    • sojourner says:

      Does this mean that the Associated Press — that great bastion of journalism — has been corrupted by turdblossom? Excuse me, Turdblossom?

      • PJEvans says:

        I got the impression that it might have been mutual. (Something like ‘Get me the stories, and I’ll write them however you want.’)

    • masaccio says:

      I doubt Payne has any legitimate claim to any privilege, nor does the incumbent on Payne’s efforts.

  7. MadDog says:

    Totally OT, but any new status EW on your attempts to get the DOJ to comment on Turdblossom’s “To EP or not to EP” subpoena no-show?

    Or has Mumbles Mukasey succeeded in garbling a non-responsive response once again>

      • MadDog says:

        LOL! But the non-responses are almost as interesting as the responses.

        And I just had to ask ’cause that gave me a chance to introduce my latest in monikerin’ with Mumbles Mukasey©.

        Since EW is rightfully acclaimed for her Jello Jay© appellation, I just had to get my dibs on Mumbles Mukasey©.

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh yes!! By golly, I got distracted by dinner guests and forgot to post!!

      I’m assuming when DOJ hung up on me, it was all accidental. But when I called back, they still had no answer, one more day of this, and then I bring in my cavalry–if someone else already hasn’t which may have happened.

  8. Pat2 says:

    In typical Rovian fashion, I can picture Mr. Payne answering “no” to Waxman’s questions; technically, Payne will rationalize, he wasn’t the one doing the soliciting — it’s the other guy, who wants a favor from Payne.

    Wish every Congress member would substitute the word “communicate” for every other verb (”speak with,” “ask,” “tell,” etc)so that administration members would be unable to further mince words/meanings.

  9. bell says:

    ot – for those interested in the ongoing financial markets and the thread from the weekend >>In afternoon trade on Monday, Fannie Mae shares were down 3.75 percent while Freddie Mac shares were down 12 percent.

    “This is a very serious financial crisis and it is the most serious financial crisis of our lifetime,” Soros said. “It is inevitable that it is affecting the real economy. It is an idle dream to think that you could have this kind of crisis without the real economy being affected,” he added.

  10. masaccio says:

    bmaz, so why no OT on the Tour de France? My new guy, Riccardo Ricco, has one of the great names in sports, and wow is he a climber.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Let’s see, how can Payne’s work be considered covered by Executive Privilege? He advised the President about appropriate handling of official White House records, their transition from the White House to the library, resources required and funding needs to house, catalogue, preserve, organize and present both documents and how to hide the remainder. Sounds like official bidness to me. *g*

  12. freepatriot says:

    I’m not sure you wanna use your calvary to get an answer from this administration

    bush is afraid of horses, and cheney probably eats them

    probably best to use your archers instead

    so is there some special kind of plaid pattern we should be wearing here, or what ???

    An bmaz, I hope you read the rules about keepin your kilt down, nobody wants to see that …

  13. MarieRoget says:

    Good Tuesday morning to all. Someone has to be up all night from time to time, so why not someone on the left coast?

    OT- for those wishng there was a St. John McBush cover in the vein of the New Yorker Obama one, David Horsey obliges in today’s Seattle PI:


  14. BayStateLibrul says:

    Fournier, now the AP’s acting Washington bureau chief, said Monday: “I was an AP political reporter at the time of the 2004 e-mail exchange, and was interacting with a source, a top aide to the president, in the course of following an important and compelling story. I regret the breezy nature of the correspondence.”

    Breezy as in flag waving?
    Shorter Fournier, I’m a delusionary Republican shill… my column isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on

  15. fahrender says:

    i haven’t read everything since the news broke but, in the initial post some people were wondering why Biden’s name got mentioned:
    in the blurb about Worldwide Strategic Partners the third guy whose “credentials” were trumpeted was evidently a former Biden legislative aide.

  16. darclay says:

    My favorite part is ” the bush Adm. will not accept any contributions from foreign sources WHILE IN OFFICE” …we’ll just wait till after were out before we cash them.

  17. klynn says:

    Gosh, I’m behind on posts…EW, bmaz, MadDog, EOH and all, I needed a spew alert at the top of this post! Thanks for the *g’s* and spews!

    DU has some good snippets on the Rove/Fournier relationship…


    One of my favorite reads from the DU links is this Scott Horton piece from March 08 which ran in the pacificfreepress:


    Gee EW, you get to update your WH email timeline…This was an April 2004 Rove email…Hmmm…2004 was an active year for missing email and yet, lookie here, a 2004 email from ROVE of all people…

    Missing email my arse…

  18. klynn says:


    Waxman’s questions are great. There is no way to answer these with “non” answers without committing perjury.