Ex-Bush administration official charged with obstructing Abramoff investigation

Ex-Bush administration official charged with obstructing Abramoff investigation

[JURIST] David Safavian [profile], a former Bush administration official who served as the chief of staff of the General Services Administration (GSA) [agency website] and until Friday served as the administration's top procurement official [White House press release, PDF] in the Office of Management and Budget [official website], was charged Monday with making false statements and obstructing a federal investigation. The charges stem from Safavian's concealment of a 2002 golf trip to Scotland, valued at $100,000, that he took with lobbyist Jack Abramoff [Wikipedia profile], who had business before the GSA. Prior to the trip, Safavian told a GSA ethics officer that Abramoff had no business dealings with the GSA, but Abramoff was trying to access 40 acres of land at the Federal Research Center at White Oak [facility backgrounder] in Silver Spring, Maryland to build a private high school. The FBI affidavit also says that Safavian edited a letter that Abramoff was preparing to send to the GSA, and coordinated and attended a meeting involving a GSA official, the lobbyist's wife and others to discuss leasing the Silver Spring property. In an unrelated case, Abramoff was indicted [JURIST report] by federal prosecutors in Miami last month on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. AP has more.