special counsel bloch's white house/karl rove investigation reaches front page of today's wall street journal -- but not in the way one might expect
well, i guess any exposure of this
scandal is good exposure, right?
now -- let me say at the outset, there
may very well be something amiss in scott
bloch's office, but let's compare that
undocumented, generalized suspicion of him,
to the documented powerpoints and
sworn testimony, before congress, by one
lurita doan -- about plain hatch act vio-
lations. . . all directed by karl rove. . .
but no. . . not enough for the
capitalists' main tool of record:
the story the wall street journal leads with
today highlights not the rove-directed
hatch act violations (nor GSA head lurita
doan's, among others), but with -- of all things,
a largely political-dust-up over removal
of a virus from scott bloch's computer, by geeks
on call. riiiiight. here's a link to the
entire wsj article today, but let's read
what matters, below:
. . . .Mr. Bloch was a loyal member of the Bush administration, serving in the Justice Department's office of faith-based programs, when the president named him to head the Office of Special Counsel in 2003. Unlike many administration appointees, Mr. Bloch doesn't serve at the pleasure of the president. He has a fixed five-year term and may be removed only for malfeasance. That is supposed to ensure his agency has the independence to pursue any probe.
Mr. Bloch's investigation of the White House political operation began after a Rove deputy gave a series of political presentations to government agencies on Republican prospects in specific congressional races. Mr. Bloch's office wants to know whether such presentations violated the Hatch Act, a law forbidding the use of federal resources to back candidates for office.
The Office of Special Counsel has set up a task force of lawyers and investigators, led by Mr. Bloch's deputy, James Byrne, to determine which agencies got political briefings from the White House. The agency plans to interview officials at more than 20 agencies and is examining White House emails and documents.
In one email, sent by the U.S. drug-control office and disclosed this summer, an official quotes Mr. Rove as being pleased that officials at the Commerce, Transportation and Agriculture departments went "above and beyond" the call of duty in arranging appearances by cabinet members at Republican campaign events.
Mr. Rove has resigned from the White House and is no longer under jurisdiction of the Office of Special Counsel. His attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to comment.
The special counsel's probe has already found one alleged violation, at the General Services Administration, where Rove deputies gave a presentation on Jan. 26. At the end of the presentation, according to a report by Mr. Bloch's office on the incident, GSA Administrator Lurita Doan asked, "How can we help our candidates?" Twenty participants in the meeting recalled substantially the same words, the report said.
In a letter to President Bush, Mr. Bloch urged that Ms. Doan "be disciplined to the fullest extent for her serious violation of the Hatch Act" and for failing to cooperate "fully and honestly" with the probe. The White House hasn't acted on Mr. Bloch's request. In a response, Ms. Doan said the investigation was "far off the mark." Her lawyer urged the White House to ignore Mr. Bloch's findings, citing a "clear lack of objectivity and impartiality."
Now, Mr. Bloch is facing claims that he too isn't cooperating with investigators. Agents working for the inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management are seeking his emails and a copy of an encrypted flash drive he bought from the Geek service.
"I have nothing to hide and I've cooperated with all legitimate requests," Mr. Bloch said. . .
UPDATED: the republican national
committee has paid $231,000 to
the forensic computer consultants
tasked with recovering rove’s “lost”
e-mails — and about $41,000 to
covington & burling, according to
FEC documents filed by the RNC. . .