By JOE NEWMAN
It looks like Scott Bloch, the former special counsel to President George W. Bush, may get his day in court, after all. The Legal Times blog reported Tuesday afternoon that federal prosecutors will not object to Bloch's request to withdraw his guilty plea to a misdemeanor contempt of Congress charge.
For Bloch, it's just another chapter in his strange, twisted, fall from grace.
At one time, Bloch was a rising star in the Bush administration, serving as counsel to the deputy attorney general before being appointed to head the Office of Special Counsel. Ironically, Bloch, who as special counsel was supposed to be an advocate for whistleblowers, will be remembered mostly for retaliating against his own staff and allowing hundreds of whistleblower complaints to be dismissed without any investigation.
Early on, he also decided that he was above the law, declaring that his office could no longer enforce a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation. But what did in Bloch—and led to his contempt of Congress charge—was his infamous decision to have Geeks on Call scrub his computer’s hard drive. Bloch, apparently with a straight face, insists he was trying to get rid of a computer virus and that the deletion of any incriminating evidence was purely coincidental.
It seems Bloch, who stood before a federal magistrate and apologized for making a mockery of the Office of Special Counsel, has decided that contrition isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
So, Bloch wants a do-over.
Say goodbye to the chastened Bloch who wanted to take responsibility for his actions. Say hello to the bitter, conspiracy-minded Bloch who recently filed a $202 million lawsuit against a strange collection of defendants, apparently including everyone who may have ever criticized him.
Oh yeah, POGO is named in that suit, along with former Bush advisor Karl Rove, U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), former White House Counsel Fred Fielding, various Bush administration officials, an assortment of whistleblower advocates, and the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization.
The rambling 64-page complaint alleges the defendants were involved in an illegal scheme to thwart Bloch’s valiant attempts to carry out the duties of his office and that, ultimately, the powerful cabal had him removed from office on trumped up criminal charges.
It’s all in his lawsuit, except that it’s really not. Mostly the suit is filled with vague allegations.What POGO actually did was call on President Bush to fire Bloch for destroying evidence and obstructing the investigation into his misconduct.
In the end, who knows, if Bloch goes to trial on the contempt of Congress charge, justice may be served. A month in jail seems a little lenient considering how much harm he did while in office.
Joe Newman is POGO’s Director of Communications. Follow him on Twitter at @JFNewman.