Abramoff's Golfing Buddy Gets a Mulligan

Official's second trial is 'fine final parable' of Bush years: Milbank
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2008 10:49 AM CST
David Safavian, a former top procurement official in the Bush administration, leaves federal court in Washington.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Ex-Bush administration official David Safavian began a second trial yesterday, “or, as his golfing buddies might call it, a mulligan,” Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post. When Safavian’s original 2006 corruption conviction in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal was overturned, prosecutors indicted him again. Their case hinges almost entirely on a golf trip Safavian took with Abramoff in 2002.

Safavian paid just $3,100 for the $150,000 junket, and allegedly gave Abramoff favorable treatment in return. But “the argument over a 6-year-old golf outing made prosecutor and prosecuted alike sound petty,” Milbank says. The defense’s argument is that Abramoff and Safavian “were golfing buddies,” and Safavian was sure his $3,100 covered the whole shebang. But “judging from the jurors' weary faces,” that opening drive is “already heading toward the high rough.”