Why Did Rove Aide Resign?

But Ralston was not always the bearer of good news. After Abramoff requested a meeting between Rove and the foreign minister of Qatar, Ralston's curt e-mail reply states: "Rove said no. Thanks susan."

In February 2003, Abramoff e-mailed her with a request that "you could pass on to Karl that [the Department of] Interior is about to approve a gaming compact and land in trust for a tribe which is an anathema to all our supporters down there. It's called the Jena tribe, and the politicos (!) at Interior (low-mid level) are agreeing to this. It will cause a major backlash from our coalition and is something which they should not do on the merits."

Abramoff said that it was "important, if possible, to get some quiet message from WH that this is absurd."

This effort also appears unsuccessful. "Karl and others are aware," Ralston wrote, "but the WH is not going to get involved."

The House committee's report states that the "documents depict a much closer relationship between Mr. Abramoff and White House officials than the White House has previously acknowledged."

The committee also stated that its report "reveals only scant and circumstantial evidence that Abramoff's encounters and entreaties had a dispositive impact on administration policy or personnel decisions," but some Democrats on the committee argue that many questions remain unanswered.

White House officials have countered that Abramoff is a known liar whose billing records and claims should not be taken at face value.

"Jack Abramoff was an exuberant practitioner of sleaze," said White House press secretary Tony Snow.

White House officials have argued that since only one out of 20 of those people Abramoff recommended to be named to political positions actually got the job, indicating Abramoff wielded far less influence than advertised.

"If he was telling people that he was getting results, they were getting ripped off," Snow said.

White House spokeswoman Perino said today that the administration's "review of the House Government Reform Committee's report is complete. We expect nothing more after our thorough review."

"It is ludicrous for the White House to say it considers the review of committee report 'complete' when it has not provided answers to any of the most important questions involving Mr. Mehlman and other senior White House officials," Waxman said.

Karen Travers contributed to this report.

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