David Safavian, the Bush-era White House official who accepted a lavish trip to Scotland from lobbyist and friend Jack Abramoff, has entered federal prison for lying to federal officials about his dealings with the lobbyist.
Safavian is serving a year sentence at Federal Medical Center Devens in Massachusetts for obstruction of justice and lying to federal ethics officers, investigators and Congress about his relationship with Abramoff and the 2002 excursion. He entered the prison’s custody on July 26, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Safavian was first convicted in 2006. That conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which said the Justice Department failed to show Safavian had a legal obligation to disclose such information to the ethics officer and found the trial court had improperly barred Safavian from calling expert witnesses who could have helped his defense.
Safavian was convicted a second time in December 2008 and attempted to overturn his conviction. But Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Safavian was not entitled to have his conviction overturned or a new trial.
Safavian was General Services Administration chief of staff at the time of the golf trip. He was head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the time of his arrest.