I was down at the district court yesterday afternoon to watch federal prosecutors begin their cross-examination of David Safavian.
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The gallery was packed with spectators. Justice Department interns, clerks for other judges in the courthouse, and lawyers squeezed onto the hard wooden benches to see how the prosecutors would treat Safavian. They got a good show.
There were audible snickers from the gallery -- I'm not making this up -- at some of Safavian's answers. Some of the former White House official's answers seemed simply too disingenuous to believe. For instance, when the prosecutor, Peter Zeidenberg, asked why Safavian thought Jack Abramoff had invited Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) on the weeklong luxury golf trip to Scotland and England, Safavian said, "I thought Mr. Ney was on the trip to meet with Scottish Parliament."
(Minutes earlier, the prosecutor and Safavian had this exchange: "You were [in Scotland] on Sunday. Did you play golf?" "Yes." "And you played Monday, correct?" "Yes." "And you played Tuesday, correct?" "Yes." "And Wednesday, correct?" "Yes." "And Thursday?" Safavian couldn't remember Thursday.)