The Day of Sentencing Judgment for Scott Bloch

When we last left Scott Bloch, the former Bush attorney who was the appointed head of the Office of Special counsel (OSC), it was the original date for his sentencing. The court delayed entry of sentence to further investigate the full extent of his criminal conduct. It appeared that, after strong letters like from this blog and attorney Debra Katz, who represents several former OSC employees and good government groups, the court had real concerns about the entirety of Bloch’s vast criminal conduct compared to the sweetheart whitewashing collusive plea the DOJ was giving him.

Today, the court showed it really was not nearly as concerned as had been hoped. Scott Bloch has just been sentenced to one day in jail and two years probation. The single measly day in jail was stated by the court to be due to the “seriousness” of the offense. What a joke. I guess we should just be thrilled that, unlike James Clapper, Bloch was prosecuted at all. Still, it is a grossly soft sentence considering the entirety of Bloch’s admitted criminal conduct.

Just so the record is complete after all these years, here are the significant documents documents lodged with the court between the first sentencing date and today:

1) Bloch’s supplemental sentencing memorandum

2) DOJ’s supplemental sentencing memorandum

3) Bundle of additional sentencing letters from Bloch supporters

4) Supplemental sentencing letter from this blog

One last thing should be noted, and that is the sheer and craven hutzpah of the Department of Justice in whitewashing this matter. I refer to their supplemental memorandum (item 2 above), but specifically to footnote 1 therein that baldly claims other members of the public and victims aggrieved by Bloch just don’t have all the secret facts that the government was able to collect. It was truly an amazing thing to see the government saying they had the hidden facts mitigating Bloch’s conduct. Simply astounding and, as stated in the responsive letter to the court (item 4 above), it was unconscionable:

The bald faced hubris of the DOJ in footnote 1 of their “Supplemental Memorandum In Aid Of Sentencing” lodged in docket Number 21 to claim, and rely on, uncharged and unstated evidence and facts to mitigate the sentence of the defendant is far the other side of unconscionable and shocking. Hidden considerations cited by the government, in the face of the shocking record of conduct by defendant Bloch, are an insult to the court, and the citizens and rule of law it is designed to protect. In fact, the recitations of fact by the government itself demonstrates how absurd their protestations for mitigation, much those of Bloch himself in his supplemental sentencing memorandum (Docket Number 22), really are.

The perfidy, and obstruction to the American form of government, by Executive Branch officials upon the function of the Congress is a scourge that cannot be tolerated by the American people or the courts of the United States. After the questions germinated by ODNI Clapper’s testimony, there has been a sudden and welcome bi-partisan return of healthy concern over the conduct of Executive Branch officials in front of Congress.

This court stands at the crossroads on a seminal issue to the Constitutional health of these United States and the health of the separation of powers in our form of government. The problem of disdain for, and duplicity in front of, Congress must be addressed and a precedent set for the future. Mr. Bloch violated the trust and damaged the people and their lawfully elected representatives. Frankly the plea in this case is outrageous and should never be accepted, it is not in the interest of justice. But, if it is to be followed, and sentenced thereon, a precedent should be set and an appropriate sentence handed down for the egregious conduct of Scott Bloch.

If not in the instant case, then where? If not now, then when?

The answer is Article II Executive Branch officials and attorneys simply cannot, and will not, be prosecuted for perjury and obstruction of Congress, and neither the Article I Congress, nor the Article III Courts, seems to particularly care that such violation of constitutionally protected powers and prerogative is occurring habitually. It is a sad comment.

14 replies
  1. masaccio says:

    What a joke. This is how courts uphold the rule of law. And this justice department is a bitter joke as well. No one goes to jail in Obama’s America for fraud, or for lying to Congress or for undercutting the system.

  2. emptywheel says:

    Maybe they did have secret facts? Maybe Bloch was covering up for someone like Rove and THAT needed to be hidden?

  3. Casual Observer says:

    Congress: Please pretend to tell us the truth, and we’ll pretend to conduct oversight.

    Witness: Sweet!

    Court: Sure, whatever.

  4. Peterr says:

    You’ve got to love the fact that the judge held firm and did not allow Bloch to serve his one day sentence at home. That’ll teach him.

    Perhaps Bloch should ask the DOJ for a Libby, and get the sentence set aside completely. You know, looking forward and not back and all of that.

    But even if he can’t get a Libby, all is not lost for poor Scott. If Bloch comports himself nicely behind bars, he’ll be out by beer-thirty with time off for good behavior.

  5. orionATL says:

    @Casual Observer

    for the congress, “oversight”, has a special meaning, akin to “overlook”.

    as in “it was just oversight that we did not study closely the implications of the patriot act renewal”.

    or “it was just oversight that we appropriated all those billions for that fighter jet.”

  6. C says:

    In light of this I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Clapper is getting away with it. Clearly Obama and Congress not only want to “look forward” most of them don’t want to look at all and apparently don’t mind pretending that this is only rain.

    I could cite many sources for this but I place the blame squarely at the fact that most members of congress (or at least the “leadership”) dream of growing up to be president one day.

  7. Arblusto says:

    Ok, so another bit of the elite looking out for the elite and a judge being intimidated, but does the conviction affect this asshole continuing before the bar?

    PS Why, after many years responding to this blog, does my comment require moderation?

  8. Arbusto says:

    Ok, so another bit of the elite looking out for the elite and a judge being intimidated, but does the conviction affect this political drone continuing before the bar?

  9. Jana Crowder says:

    Ive seen this before while working with the Iraq Oversight committee on Waxman hearing on Waste Fraud and Abuse. Allowing Hallibuton KBR and AIG to pocket millions of tax payers dollars that was to be spent on medical. Now Mr.Bloch is representing the Halliburtons / KBRs Cayman island shell company SEII employees under the Defense Base Act, but just forgot to mention SEII in his latest Class action suit? Its not KBR filing appeals its SEII. So why would you not list them in a suit being SEII (Service Employers International) had the largest contract with most injured employees? The Boston Globe did a good story on this.

  10. What Constitution says:

    On the plus side, I guess it could be observed that, upon “careful consideration”, the judge here finally meted out a prison sentence upon Mr. Bloch that was in fact infinitely greater than any prison sentence heretofore imposed or even requested by the DOJ. How many times larger than zero is one?

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