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Ex-White House Official Convicted Again

POSTED: 02:45 PM ET, 12/19/2008 by Derek Kravitz

A former top White House official, caught taking a lavish golf trip to Scotland in 2002 with disgraced superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, has been convicted a second time for obstructing justice and lying to investigators.

David H. Safavian, the former chief of staff at the General Services Adminstration, was found guilty today by a federal jury on charges stemming from the government's wide-ranging probe of Abramoff. His original 2006 conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court in June.

The jury convicted Safavian of obstructing investigations into the 2002 golf trip, which was largely paid for by Abramoff, and of lying on a financial disclosure form about its costs. He was also convicted of making false statements to an FBI agent and a GSA ethics officer.

He was acquitted of giving a false statement to a Senate committee. No sentencing date was set by U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman. After his first trial, Safavian was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

Safavian did not testify in his own defense, unlike the first trial.

Safavian, 41, was the first public official who went to trial as part of the government's investigation into Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican lobbyist who was imprisoned for fraud and is serving a nearly six-year sentence.

By Derek Kravitz |  December 19, 2008; 2:45 PM ET
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