Safavian, formerly the federal government’s chief procurement officer, was convicted Tuesday on four counts of making false statements and obstructing justice for impeding investigations into his relationship with Abramoff.
The jury found Safavian not guilty on a fifth count that he lied to Senate investigators on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee who were looking into Abramoff’s lobbying efforts for Indian tribes. This was the first trial related to the scandal stemming from the dealings of Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to federal crimes.
Once the trial adjourned, Safavian hugged his wife and they both began to cry together and comfort each other. Safavian faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the four counts he was convicted on, plus a $250,000 fine.
Outside the courthouse, Safavian’s attorney, Barbara Van Gelder said the fight is not over. “We will, of course, appeal the charges that Mr. Safavian was found guilty on, in part because we think that a lot of the evidence that came in was evidence that was not for the truth,” Van Gelder said.