Former U.S. Special Counsel Scott Bloch was charged today with criminal contempt of Congress in connection with his notorious use of Geeks On Call to scrub his computer while under investigation for misusing his office, according to a court filing in federal court in Washington.
The “information” filed today alleges that, responding to a request from the House oversight committee, Bloch failed to “state fully and completely the nature and extent of his instructions that Geeks On Call perform ‘seven level wipes’ on his [Office of Special Counsel]-issued computers” and the computers of two other appointees in the office. That was in late 2006.From 2004 through 2008, Bloch led the Office of Special Counsel, which is charged with protecting federal whistleblowers and making sure that federal employees do not engage in partisan political activity.
He was under investigation for allegedly retaliating against employees and dismissing legitimate whistleblower cases when the Geeks on Call incident occurred. The FBI raided his home and office in 2008.
Bloch has maintained he called the tech service to try to kill a computer virus. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jenny Thalheimer Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said: “The Committee vigorously defends its constitutional role to conduct investigations. We applaud the Justice Department for pursuing this case.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington tells us that an arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon before Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson. Read the full court filing here.
TPMmuckraker reported last year that Bloch was granted a law license in Washington while he was under investigation for obstruction of justice after an oversight by a DC court.