The trial of David Safavian, former head of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and the first prosecution in the expanding Abramoff scandal started today. According to AP:
“[Justice Department] prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg told a jury that David Safavian provided substantial amounts of information about government-controlled properties that the lobbyist wanted for himself or his clients.”
“Safavian's lawyers plan to depict the Justice Department as overreaching in bringing charges against the procurement official who is a longtime friend of Abramoff.”
These previous POGO blog entries feature original documents and information surfaced in the past on the Safavian story:
Safavian’s financial disclosure forms say that he was on a “leave of absence” from lobbying firm Janus-Merritt Strategies when he worked as Chief of Staff for Representative Christopher Cannon. Some of Safavian’s “former” clients may have benefited from Cannon’s help.
After Safavian was nominated to head the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, his wife recused herself from procurement issues despite the fact that she was Chief Counsel for Oversight and Investigations of a congressional committee with jurisdiction over contracting.
Background on Safavian’s lobbying career, links to his lobbying disclosure forms.
April 25, 2005 memo from Safavian which mentions training his agency can provide in “ethics.”