Monday, June 5, 2006
The Washington Times (AP) reports here that David Safavian, a former chief of staff in the GSA’s (General Services Administration) Office of Inspector General, admitted to some conduct but denied that he tried to conceal his conduct from government investigators. He is charged with making false statements and obstructing an investigation by the GSA’s (General Services Administration) Office of Inspector General. (see post here). The relationship of this case to lobbyist Jack Abramoff is that Safavian is alleged to have given "'nonpublic information" about federal properties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff."
Both false statements and obstruction of justice, the crimes alleged here, are statutes often used in white collar cases. They offer prosecutors shortcuts to obtain convictions without having to investigate and prosecute the underlying conduct. They are also offenses that juries can easily understand. Whether that means an understanding to return a guilty or not-guilty verdict remains to be seen.