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Ex-White House official gets 18 months prison in Abramoff case

[JURIST] Former White House official David Safavian [Wikipedia profile], convicted in June of lying and obstructing justice [JURIST report] in connection with the Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] lobbying scandal, received an 18-month prison sentence [US DOJ press release] Friday. In January, Abramoff pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from a 2000 casino purchase and was sentenced to nearly six years in prison [JURIST report]. Safavian, who was helping Abramoff with the deal, lied to federal investigators about his relationship with the former GOP lobbyist.

The judge Friday denied the government's request for a tougher prison sentence because Safavian did not give or receive bribes, enrich himself or give contracts away. Democrats, however, have accused Republicans of fostering a "culture of corruption" [Wikipedia backgrounder], and it is unclear how these recent ethics scandals will affect Republicans in the November 7 elections. Reuters has more.

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