Top of the Morning:

  • The former White House procurement official and Jack Abramoff devotee David Safavian is set to go to trial this week. Safavian, accused of lying the officials at the General Services Administration, will be the first court room test for prosecutors in the still unfolding Washington corruption case surrounding the practices of Jack Abramoff, according to Bloomberg. Prosecutors do not plan on calling Abramoff as a witness but will instead use the email exchanges between the two men to detail Safavian’s actions. The former chief of staff to Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), Neil Volz, will be called to testify against Safavian. Jury selection begins today.
  • The San Diego Union Tribune reports that staffers to Duke Cunningham believed that he was a "nice guy" and that he was innocent until the day he pleaded guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes.
  • Some Tennessee lawmakers are making their earmark requests public as a means of showcasing that not all earmarks are boondoggles and a waste of federal dollars, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The lawmakers, a group that includes Reps. Lincoln Davis (D-TN), Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN), and Jim Cooper (D-TN), also hope to show that transparency is the best means to insure that earmarking is not abused.
  • The Los Angeles Daily News talks to the new ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA).
  • Time Magazine reports that another aide to deposed CIA chief Porter Goss is under investigation in the continuing probe of Duke Cunningham and the actions of alleged briber and defense contractor Brent Wilkes. That aide is Brant "Nine Fingers" Bassett, who has been said to have attended the Wilkes run poker games at hospitality suites in the Watergate and Westin Hotels.