We have been critical of the Office of Special Counsel Scott Bloch’s attempt to inject himself into a politically-heated investigation into the White House, in large part because Bloch is under investigation himself, an investigation commissioned by OMB Deputy Clay Johnson. As we feared, the Special Counsel appears to be using his perch in this investigation to salvage his tarnished public image. But, in doing so, it appears he is having troubles keeping himself out of trouble.
Now comes this note from a source regarding the leak of Bloch’s report into alleged Hatch Act violations by the General Services Administration Lurita Doan:
In today’s episode we learn that, in fact, OSC leaked the Doan report to the Wash Post. The Washington Post put the report on its website this morning. Except it turns out that the report they posted, dated May 17, was not the final report. The final report was dated May 18. The final report was materially different from the draft report, in that in the draft report OSC has essentially urged that President Bush remove Doan. The final report took a more neutral tone, suggesting that the President take whatever action he deems appropriate. OSC apparently gets wind of the fact that the Post had put the non-final May 17 report on its web site and it was taken down. A few hours later, the Post puts up a copy of the final (May 18) report (which it obviously obtained from OSC). Except this time, OSC did not redact the report (probably in too much of a rush) so that the report on the Post website includes defamatory statements made by Ms. Doan about one of her subordinates, who is named.
The Washington Post issued a correction to its article. The unredacted report (pdf) is posted as well, with some nasty comments from Doan about a certain subordinate. Interesting, Doan had different things to say earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Govexec reports on OSC’s response: “OSC will not comment on the report until Doan has submitted a response, a spokesman said. ‘We believe she should be given that opportunity,’ he said.” Yeah, right.
To Scott Bloch, we say, “Good luck with Karl Rove!!”
-- Beth Daley
Update: Lurita Doan’s lawyer at Patton Boggs intends to take up the report leak with the Office of the President.