Watch CBSN Live

Report Alleges `unprecedented¿ Political Activity In The Bush White House

A congressional report released Wednesday accuses the White House Office of Political Affairs of orchestrating an “unprecedented” campaign to use taxpayer-funded trips to help elect Republican candidates in the months before the 2006 elections.

The draft report was circulated by Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

It alleges that the White House “enlisted agency heads across government in a coordinated effort to elect Republican candidates to Congress,” directing them “to make hundreds of trips — most at taxpayer expense — for the purpose of increasing the electability of Republicans.”

The report alleges that from Jan. 1, 2006, until the midterm elections on Nov. 7, 2006, Cabinet secretaries and other senior officials traveled to more than 300 events recommended by the political affairs office. All of these events were held with Republican candidates, and in most cases, the travel costs were paid for with federal funds.

Committee Republicans immediately pushed back from the investigation, which they described as a Democratic witchhunt.

“They set out to find banned political activity in the White House,” said Rep. Tom Davis, the top Republican on the panel.

“Instead, the Committee Democrats found the same kinds of things done by every Administration since Eisenhower. Their angry swooning just doesn’t pass the smell test. Not since the famous scene in Casablanca when the corrupt police captain feigned shock at finding gambling at Rick’s — while accepting his winnings from the croupier — has righteous indignation seemed quite so contrived.”

View CBS News In