WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- An attorney for a former White House aide said her client is being "squeezed" by prosecutors so he would testify against others in the U.S. lobbyist scandal.
Former aide David Safavian has been changed with lying about a golf trip he took with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to a series of charges related to his lobby activities. The Wall Street Journal said the Safavian case shows how the investigation, which has roiled Capitol Hill, reverberates in the White House.
Congress is considering lobby reforms to insulate itself from the scandal and the White House has played down connections to Abramoff, admitting that President Bush had his picture taken with the lobbyist but not that the president knew him.
Prosecutors allege Safavian gave Abramoff inside information from a government agency to help the lobbyist and made misleading statements about a trip with Abramoff, the Journal said.
"This case is about the government squeezing David Safavian," said attorney Barbara Van Gelder, who also told the newspaper the charges were an attempt to pressure Safavian into testifying against other suspects.