More on the Deal deal

More on the Deal deal

I have some new information on the Deal Hudson/Crisis/White House story in the Washington Times today that may shed some light on what happened.

Several times a year, the White House hosts Catholics from around the country to a briefing with administration officials. This is a common practice with all kinds of groups, not just Catholics. They are often scheduled to coincide when large numbers of people from that group are going to be in town anyway, like for conventions, conferences, or in this case, an unconnected fundraising event.

The briefing was not a quid pro quo for the fundraiser. Some of the people who were coming to the fundraising golf tournament were also invited separately to the briefing. The Crisis/Morley people made the mistake of mentioning the briefing in a letter sent to participants in the golf tournament. That’s the big no-no. You can’t have any whiff of connection to fundraising involving access to federal officials.

Somebody made a mistake, a reporter found out about it and asked the White House, the White House did the only thing it could, and the briefing was canceled.

Still not clear on Deal’s connection to all of this. It’s possible he had nothing to do with it, and was just simply going to be at the tournament. Nothing in all this suggests that he was involved in getting access for people to the briefing or was trying to get back into a power position with the White House. His name is a convenient hook for the story because he was connected to a scandal last year which resulted in an embarassment for the Bush administration.