What a difference two years and appellate review make! Today, the D.C. Circuit Court Appeals exonerated David Safavian, former General Services Administration Chief of Staff, overturning all of his June 2006 convictions for making false statements and obstruction of justice in connection with the Abramoff scandal.
The convictions were reversed, in part, because the trial judge inexplicably allowed prosecutors to fabricate a non-existent duty of “full disclosure” which the jury then applied to convict Safavian. In other words, prosecutors just made up the law on the spot to produce their desired outcome and the judge went along with the scam. Prosecutors have a penchant for this kind of thing, as I have pointed out in connection with Jeff Skilling’s appeal. Given the stakes involved, it’s a mystery why trial judges don’t do a better job of punishing them for it.
Almost exactly two years ago, on June 21, 2006, in goofy cloak-and-dagger reportage (including the above pic of Abramoff) prematurely headlined “Safavian Lied in Abramhoff Scandal,” Washington Post reporter Jeffrey H. Birnbaum crowed: Continue reading