WASHINGTON - A jury Tuesday convicted a former Bush administration official of four counts of lying and obstructing justice in the first trial to be held in connection with the influence-peddling scandal of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
On the fifth day of deliberations, the jury found David Safavian — a former chief of staff at the General Services Administration — guilty of four of five counts of lying and obstructing justice.
Safavian was charged with lying about his relationship with Abramoff and his knowledge of the lobbyist’s interest in acquiring properties from GSA, the property managing agency for the federal government. He was also charged with obstructing investigators looking into a golf trip he took with Abramoff in 2002.
Please join me in raising your coffee mugs and toasting the fall of the first domino in what will surely be a long and twisted ribbon of tumbling black tiles. For at its knotted end, there stands--for the time being--that mass of powerful and corrupt leaders who have ruled the game for far too long. They are government's shameful gangrene, its heart of darkness.