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Former Bush administration official pleads not guilty to obstruction charges

[JURIST] President Bush's former chief procurement officer entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment Friday, in response to an indictment [JURIST report] on charges that he made false statements and obstructed investigations into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The charges against David Safavian are related to a governmental investigation [JURIST report] into property that Abramoff was trying to acquire, which was controlled by the General Services Administration [agency website]. Safavian's lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, said the charges against her client stemmed from e-mails written by Abramoff, but Van Gelder said it was likely that prosecutors would not be able to use the e-mails because Abramoff is the subject of a vast federal investigation, and will probably not testify against Safavian. Van Gelder further said that Safavian did not accept as a gift a golf outing in Scotland that the two attended because Safavian paid for himself. AP has more.

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