The Photo Finish
The above photo showing a bearded Jack Abramoff languishing in the background as President Doofus shakes hands with an Indian tribal leader has just been released by TIME Magazine (reg required):
After weeks in which the White House has declined to release pictures of President Bush with Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist, the first photograph to be published of the two men shows a small, partly obscured image of Mr. Abramoff looking on from the background as Mr. Bush greets a Texas Indian chief in May 2001.
By itself, the picture hardly seems worthy of the White House's efforts to keep it out of the public eye. Mr. Abramoff, a leading Republican fund-raiser who pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to corrupt public officials, is little more than a blurry, bearded figure in the background at a gathering of about two dozen people ...
The White House confirmed the authenticity of the photograph.
AmericaBlog uncovers a few morsels I can't find in the TIME article but are interesting nonetheless:
Talking about the photo, Abramoff has told friends, "I was standing right next to the window and after the picture was taken, the President came over and shook hands with me, and we chatted and joked." A photograph of that scene as described by Abramoff was shown to TIME two weeks ago. Abramoff's lawyers have said that their client has long had photographs of himself with Bush, but that he has no intention of releasing any of them.
Okay, that's typical of lawyers but the next sentence makes me wonder... :
Abramoff would not comment on the matter.
We've got two matters here. This leaked photo is one matter; a matter that Jack's lawyers commented on by admitting that Jack has even more unreleased photos of himself with Bush and that is another matter in of itself. So, which of those two matters does Jack not wish to comment on? If it's the latter, Jack's lawyers might want to pay their client a visit and get further clarification because -- in cases like these -- it's not entirely uncommon for the client's lawyers to say one thing while the client keeps more private intentions to himself.