OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL RAIDED BY FBI
Agency Head and Staff Suspected of Obstructing Justice


Washington, DC — In a notably ironic turn of events, FBI agents raided the office of Special Counsel Scott Bloch this morning, seizing computers and documents as part of an ongoing obstruction of justice investigation. Bloch, who is charged with protecting federal whistleblowers, has been under investigation for, among other things, whistleblower retaliation within his own agency.

Marshall Chriswell, Communications Director of the National Whistleblower Center issued the following statements on this issue:

“It is shocking that the individual who is primarily responsible for investigating federal whistleblower complaints would be the target of an investigation in which he and his staff are suspected of obstructing justice.”

“The Bush administration must take whistleblower protection seriously, relieve Mr. Bloch of his position, and appoint a Special Counsel who possesses the necessary qualifications and integrity to do the job right.”

 

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Since 1988 the NWC has championed whistleblower protection. The NWC is currently supporting FBI Whistleblower Bassem Youssef, who has reported serious misconduct in the War on Terror, and the NWC is currently assisting Bunnatine Greenhouse (the former Army Corps of Engineers top contracting officer who opposed the no-bid multi billion dollar contracts awarded to Halliburton for the reconstruction of Iraq)

For more information, please visit www.whistleblowers.org and www.whistleblowersblog.org.

 

 

 

FBI Agents Raid Office of Special Counsel

 

OSC Employees’ Attorney Sends Letter to the White House

 

 

The Wall Street Journal has reported that “more than a dozen” FBI agents served grand jury subpoenas this morning while searching the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the home of Special Counsel Scott Bloch. According to the Journal, OSC employees say the raid is in connection with allegations of obstruction of justice by Bloch, who in 2006 used a computer service, Geeks on Call, to completely erase his work computer’s hard drive. 

 

Bloch asked the company to eradicate his computer’s files as he was being investigated by the Office of Personnel Management Inspector General in connection with a complaint submitted by a group of anonymous OSC employees, GAP, the Project On Government Oversight, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Last week, attorney Debra Katz, who represents the groups and the anonymous OSC employees, sent a comprehensive summary of Bloch’s abuses during his tenure to President Bush, and called on the President to use his authority to remove the Special Counsel “for cause.”

 

 

To Read the Summary Letter

 

>>>  Click Here  <<<

 

 

 

FBI Agents Raid the Office & Home

of Special Counsel Scott Bloch!

 

 

 

 

 

By JOHN R. WILKE

 

May 6, 2008    3:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided the Office of Special Counsel here, seizing computers and documents belonging to the agency chief Scott Bloch and staff.

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.

 

The independent agency, created by Congress in the wake of the Watergate scandal, is charged with protecting federal employees and deciding whether their complaints merit full-scale investigation — a first line of defense against fraud and mismanagement in government. It also enforces a ban on U.S. employees engaging in partisan political activity.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Mr. Bloch had used “Geeks on Call,” an outside computer-service firm, to erase his computer and those of two former staff members in December 2006. (See related article)

Mr. Bloch’s agency is typically involved in sensitive investigations of alleged government wrongdoing. Before the departure of White House political director Karl Rove, Mr. Bloch’s staff was looking into whether he or other White House officials improperly used federal agencies to help re-elect Republicans in 2006.

At the same time, Mr. Bloch has been under investigation himself since 2005. At the direction of the White House, the federal Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general is looking into claims that Mr. Bloch abused his investigative authority, improperly retaliated against employees or dismissed whistleblower cases without adequate examination.

The computer erasures became part of that investigation and are one of the reasons behind today’s raid, employees said. Investigators were trying to determine whether the deletions were improper or part of a cover-up, the Journal article reported.

Bypassing his agency’s computer technicians, Mr. Bloch phoned 1-800-905-GEEKS, the mobile PC-help service. It dispatched a technician in one of its signature PT Cruiser wagons. In the Journal story, Mr. Bloch confirmed that he contacted Geeks on Call but said he was trying to eradicate a virus that had seized control of his computer. He said the erasures didn’t delete any files related to the inquiry.

Mr. Bloch was in the office this morning during the raid but couldn’t be reached for comment. The search was still under way early this afternoon, witnesses said.  

 

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121009238217171025.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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