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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.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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