Volz Hits the Stand, Dishes on “Champion”

Well, we’ve finally gotten to the good part of the David Safavian trial. Rep. Bob Ney’s (R-OH) former chief of staff Neil Volz took the stand this morning and testified about the help Safavian gave Team Abramoff while Safavian was chief of staff at the General Services Administration.

From the AP’s rendering of this morning’s testimony, Volz doesn’t seem to be dishing anything we didn’t already know from Abramoff’s email correspondence with Safavian. We knew that Abramoff used Reps. Ney, Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Don Young (R-AK), and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) for favors. It’s nice to get the extra detail that Team Abramoff called Safavian a “champion” because “he could get inside information.” But it doesn’t seem like Volz is a particularly dangerous witness for Safavian. The government’s case still rests on those emails.

The real fireworks should come when Safavian’s lawyer gets a chance to come at Volz. She went after him in a big way in her opening statements (“Neil Volz is crawling out of jail on David Safavian’s back”). Justin will be there this afternoon to see how she does in pulling apart the government’s case.