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The Collective
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the NYT: Ex-White House Aide Charged in Corruption Case

A senior White House budget official who resigned abruptly last week was arrested Monday on charges of lying to investigators and obstructing a federal inquiry involving Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist who has been under scrutiny by the Justice Department for more than a year.

The arrest of the official, David H. Safavian, head of procurement policy at the Office of Management and Budget, was the first to result from the wide-ranging corruption investigation of Mr. Abramoff, once among the most powerful and best-paid lobbyists in Washington and a close friend of Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader.


The Justice Department did not reveal details of Mr. Safavian’s arrest, including where it occurred. The department also did not say why the criminal charges were brought directly by prosecutors, rather than by the Washington grand jury investigating Mr. Abramoff. The Justice Department often bypasses a grand jury when a criminal case is brought together hurriedly or when there is fear that a defendant may try to flee.

And for those keeping score at home, Abramoff has connections to Tom Delay, and Safavian used to be Abramoff’s lobbying partner.

This case is ripe with potential political implications-not to mention that Safavian had a high-level job in the OMB and the Bush administration has already taken heat of late over the appointments afer the Brown/FEMA fiasco.

This one bears watching.

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