President Bush is donating $6,000 in campaign contributions linked to Abramoff to charity. He is donating money raised from Abramoff, his wife and a Native-American tribe he represented. But that’s a small fraction of the amount of money raised for Bush by Abramoff, which is at least $120,000 and potentially much more. From the 7/21/03 New York Times:
As President Bush’s re-election campaign races to accumulate the largest treasury in history, a similarly fierce contest has begun among his best-connected supporters. Raising $100,000 for the president is a bit passe in this competition; now loyalists must bring in $200,000 or more to be considered top-tier, and they had better come with sharp elbows and plenty of prosperous friends.
“Everyone in town is trying to be a Pioneer or Ranger,” said Jack Abramoff, a top Republican lobbyist here, using the campaign’s terms for the most elite levels of money collectors. “But the only way to do it is to have contacts outside of D.C., which fortunately I do. So far I’ve raised about $120,000, and I haven’t even really started making calls.”
The exact amount raised for Bush by Abramoff remains unknown. A spokesperson for the Bush/Cheney campaign, Tracey Schmitt, said “At this point, there is nothing to indicate that contributions from those individual donors represents anything other than enthusiastic support for the [Bush-Cheney] re-election campaign.” If that’s the case, President Bush shouldn’t have any problem disclosing the total.