A federal jury in Washington, D.C., found former Bush administration official David Safavian guilty today of covering up his dealings with Republican influence-peddler Jack Abramoff, the Associated Press reports. Safavian, who resigned last year as the chief federal procurement officer, was convicted on four of five felony counts of lying and obstruction. Testimony in the trial related to Safavian’s assistance to Abramoff regarding government-owned real estate and a weeklong golfing excursion the lobbyist organized to the St. Andrews golf course in Scotland and London. Safavian went on the trip while he was chief of staff at the General Services Administration.
This was the first trial to emerge from the scandal surrounding Abramoff, a former business partner of Safavian. Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to federal crimes in Washington and in Miami, would likely be a witness if the Justice Department files criminal cases against any members of Congress. The government made its case against Safavian without putting Abramoff on the witness stand. It relied on the testimony of the officials Safavian was accused of deceiving.