Former U.S. Special Counsel Scott Bloch has been charged with criminal contempt of Congress…
Longtime POGO fans will recall that Bloch was the head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent federal agency tasked with protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. POGO and others were highly critical of Bloch for routinely ignoring and dismissing whistleblower complaints, abusing his authority, and turning the agency’s mission on its head by retaliating against his own staff.
The charges filed today allege that Bloch withheld key information from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as it was investigating Bloch’s use of a private tech company to delete files from OSC computers. Investigators suspected he was destroying evidence related to allegations that he had used his office for political purposes and retaliated against career staff. FBI agents raided his offices in May 2008, seizing computers and documents belonging to Bloch and his staff. Bloch was forced to resign from the OSC several months later…
Distributing an internal newsletter in which he instructed his female employees to avoid wearing tight clothes, and advised both men and women to wear “conservative watches”;
Assembling a task force to help create the impression that the OSC was engaged in a multi-faceted investigation of the White House, as Bloch himself was under investigation;
Assigning interns to close out hundreds of whistleblower retaliation complaints; and
Ignoring federal air marshals and countless other whistleblowers who were the victims of retaliation.
Though a group of Republican Party hacks stretching back to Watergate days have already founded a “Scott Bloch Defense Fund” it appears that Bloch is going to plead guilty.
I guess even with the defense fund he couldn’t come up with a Dick Cheney-style army of lawyers.