From Dan Froomkin at the WashPost, Scandal Visits the White House
[F]or a White House so desperate to build public confidence in its ability to respond to the Gulf Coast disaster, it doesn't exactly help that the man who up until Friday was overseeing contracting policy for the multi-billion dollar [Katrina] relief effort has now been charged with lying and obstructing a criminal investigation.
"The complaint, filed by the FBI, alleges that David H. Safavian, 38, a White House procurement official involved until last week in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, made repeated false statements to government officials and investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002."
"His wife, Jennifer Safavian, is chief counsel for oversight and investigations on the House Government Reform Committee, which is responsible for overseeing government procurement and is, among other things, expected to conduct the Congressional investigation into missteps after Hurricane Katrina."
Just recently, Safavian was the administration's point man when it came to one of the controversial measures in the White House's recent $51.8 billion supplemental aid request: The boosting from $15,000 to $250,000 of the upper limit for purchases made with government-issued credit cards. Critics said the change will allow card holders to circumvent important measures to curb fraud and cronyism.