Monday, November 14, 2005

So What?

David Safavian's attorney is making the argument that it's unfair for the Feds to prosecute her client because Safavian's crimes were uncovered in the course of investigation of Tom DeLay's best pal, Jack Abramoff.

To recap Safavian's crimes:

Safavian was given clearance to go on the trip to Scotland after telling GSA's ethics officer that Abramoff "has no business before GSA," according to the indictment in the case. On that trip Abramoff spent over $130,000 for nine people.

Around that time, Abramoff repeatedly contacted Safavian about the possibility of leasing the Old Post Office in downtown Washington for his clients and the possibility of acquiring or leasing part of 600 acres in Silver Spring, Md., managed by GSA.

The judge isn't buying Safavian's argument:

[Safavian lawyer] Van Gelder argued that the FBI devised a plan to secure Safavian's cooperation in the grand jury probe of Abramoff, congressmen and executive branch employees.

Investigators gave Safavian 24 hours to cooperate with the probe or face arrest and also placed him under surveillance, Van Gelder said, drawing little sympathy from U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman.

"Unless you can meet the very high threshold for selective or discriminatory prosecution, then so what?" replied Friedman, who made no immediate decision on the document requests.

I'd bet the judge has made his decision; he just hasn't announced it yet.

If Safavian was smart, he'd rat out Jack Abramoff in exchange for leniency. (And ask for witness protection, just to remain on the alive side.) But, quite obviously, he's not very smart.

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