"FBI Agents Raid Special Counsel’s Home, Office In Corruption Investigation"
Today, FBI agents raided the home and office of federal Special Counsel Scott Bloch, seizing computers and documents in relation to a corruption investigation. The Wall Street Journal reports:
More than a dozen FBI agents served grand jury subpoenas shortly after 10 a.m., shutting down the agency’s computer network and searching its offices, as well as Mr. Bloch’s home. Employees said the searches appeared focused on alleged obstruction of justice by Mr. Bloch during the course of an 2006 inquiry into his conduct in office.
Bloch was charged with looking into whether Karl Rove used government resources to help elect Republicans in 2006. Yet Bloch has engaged in his own Rove-like behavior and has been under investigation since 2005. A look at some of the charges against Bloch:
– In April 2005, government watchdogs complained that the Bush appointee had allowed his office to “sit on” a complaint that Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Adviser, had “used government funds to travel in support of President Bush’s re-election bid.” By contrast, Bloch had ordered an immediate investigation into whether Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) had “improperly campaigned in a government workplace,” even though the complaints had been filed around the same time.
— The Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general has been “looking into claims that Mr. Bloch improperly retaliated against employees” who disagreed with his policies, such as that “federal employees are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation.” He has also reportedly “dismissed whistleblower cases without adequate examination.”
— In 2006, Bloch “erased all the files on his office personal computer,” potentially as part of a cover-up. To do so, Bloch bypassed the Office of Special Counsel’s technicians and phoned Geeks on Call, the mobile PC-help service.
Bloch has angrily responded to the investigations against him by noting that the White House and the Office of Personnel Management “have conflicts of interest making impartiality unlikely in their investigation.”
Steve Benen writes, “Only with the Bush gang is this set of circumstances even possible — Bloch is ostensibly investigating the Justice Department for its political activities, and simultaneously the Justice Department sends the FBI to raid Bloch’s office and home. What’s more, everybody is probably guilty.”