(h/t CREW, who unearthed this photo taken at a 2003 campaign fundraiser.)
The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House are not open to the public.
The Bush administration didn't reveal the existence of the memorandum of understanding until last fall. The White House is using it to deal with a legal problem on a separate front, a ruling by a federal judge ordering the production of Secret Service logs identifying visitors to the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Just like the Valerie Plame scandal, the obfuscations and plot twists of the Abramoff story can be overwhelming for even for the most ardent political news junkie to follow. Luckily, Bill Moyers of PBS produced an incredibly in-depth and definitive special called Capitol Crimes. In it, he traces Abramoff's roots back to his days as a college Republican where he and other sleazeballs like Ralph Reed & Grover Norquist effectively hijacked the GOP House -- along with, who else, Tom DeLay -- vis a vis the K Street Project.
I'd be remiss if I didn't link to this hilarious Daily Show clip where Stewart absolutely demolishes Scott McClellan's lame attempts to "answer" questions about Abramoff's White House visits.