Ex-White House Aide's Re-Trial Set for December
Former White House aide David H. Safavian, whose lying and obstruction of justice convictions connected to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal were tossed out by a three-judge panel in June, will go back to court in December for a new trial, according to court documents.
Safavian, 41, the former chief of staff of the General Services Administration, was convicted in U.S. District Court in June 2006 of covering up his efforts to help Abramoff buy two GSA-controlled properties and hiding details of a lavish weeklong golf trip he took with Abramoff to Scotland and London in the summer of 2002.
The following October, Safavian was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but he remained free on appeal and his conviction was overturned some 18 months later after his attorneys argued that the charges did not meet the legal standard for conviction and that U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman improperly admitted e-mails between Abramoff and Safavian as evidence.
He was the first public official taken to trial as part of the investigation into Abramoff, the once-powerful GOP lobbyist serving a nearly six-year sentence in federal prison in Cumberland, Md., and his successful appeal was considered a setback for prosecutors.
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