In the first Abramoff trial, a Bush administration official is convicted

David Safavian has a new title: Felon.

Published June 20, 2006 2:43PM (EDT)

David Safavian used to be the administrator for federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President. This morning, he got a new title: convicted felon.

In the first trial in the Jack Abramoff case, a federal jury in Washington returned guilty verdicts today on four of the five charges related to Safavian's efforts to conceal his dealings with the disgraced GOP lobbyist.

As the Associated Press reports, the jury convicted Safavian on three counts of making false statements or concealing information from General Services Administration officials and a Senate investigator and on one count of obstructing justice by concealing information from the GSA's inspector general. Safavian was acquitted on a charge that he obstructed justice by concealing information from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The press will inevitably refer to Safavian as a "former Bush administration official," but the ties aren't so distant as that. Safavian was the Bush administration's top procurement official, and he held that job until the day prosecutors filed their case against him.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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