Safavian Enters NG Plea

by TChris

Speculation has been that the government indicted David Safavian to pressure him to roll over on Jack Abramoff. Safavian's lawyer today endorsed that suspicion:

"If it wasn't for the open, active investigation into Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Safavian would not have had to enter a not-guilty plea today," [Barbara] Van Gelder, of Wiley, Rein & Fielding LLP in Washington, told reporters following the hearing. "I think it is a leveraging maneuver."

Safavian entered "not guilty" pleas today to charges of obstructing and making false statements.

He is accused of concealing the fact that Abramoff had business before the General Services Administration when Safavian sought permission to accept a paid golf trip in August 2002 to Scotland from him. Safavian was chief of staff to the GSA administrator at the time.

At this point, it doesn't appear that Safavian is ready to play the government's game.

Van Gelder said Safavian did nothing wrong and will fight the charges.

Indicting someone as a way to purchase testimony -- we'll ease your pain if you say what we want to hear -- is a recipe for unreliable testimony. If the government has a case against Safavian, it should indict because the charges are worth bringing, not because it has no other way to turn Safavian into a witness against Abramoff.

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    Re: Safavian Enters NG Plea (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:47 PM EST
    They indicted Safavian BECAUSE THEY COULD -- there's sufficient evidence of his guilt. His lawyer is singing his heart out, but Abramoff is up to his neck in murder for hire -- I don't think they need Safavian to get Abramoff on that. The real question is 'Will Bush's pardons hold?'