Former GSA official among Trump's pardons
- By Nick Wakeman
- Feb 19, 2020
President Trump extended pardons or executive clemency to 11 individuals on Feb. 18, including a former top OMB and GSA official
David Safavian didn't grab the national headlines when President Trump pardoned him earlier this week. He was among a more celebrity-driven crowd receiving pardons or grants of executive clemency that included Michael Milken, Edward DeBartolo Jr., Bernard Kerik and Rod Blagojevich.
Safavian was administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy when he was arrested in 2005. He was convicted in 2006 of obstructing a federal investigation and making false statements under oath. The charges stemmed from actions during his time as chief of staff at the General Services Administration.
He got caught up in the Jack Abramoff scandal that included the purchasing of GSA-controlled property around Washington D.C. Abramoff took Safavian and others on a golf trip to Scotland in August 2002.
Safavian was convicted in 2006 because of his efforts to cover up the help he provided Abramoff. An appeals court threw out the conviction in 2008, but Safavian was convicted of perjury later that year in a re-trial and sentenced to one year in prison.
It was that year in prison that the White House cited in their statement about his pardon. After serving his term, Safavian has been an advocate for prison reform, particularly on issues related to rehabilitative programs, sentencing and confinement.
Among those who the White House cited as supporting Safavian's pardon are CNN commentator Van Jones; Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Mercedes Schlapp, former Trump White House director of strategic communications; and Mark Holden, chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and a senior vice president of Koch Industries.
This story originally appeared in Washington Technology.
Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.