A federal judge this week rejected former Bush administration official Scott Bloch’s request to withdraw his guilty plea because he wasn’t expecting to get jail time when he initially agreed to a plea deal.
Bloch, whose sentencing has been repeatedly delayed since he first plead guilty last April, is now scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
The former head of the Office of Special Counsel admitted that he unlawfully and willfully withheld pertinent information from a committee of the House of Representatives when, as a Justice Department press release last spring put it, “refused and failed to state fully and completely the nature and extent of his instructions that Geeks On Call perform ‘seven level wipes’ on his OSC computers as well as the two OSC-issued computers of two non-career OSC staff members in December of 2006.”
Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson wrote in a ruling Wednesday night that Bloch’s “disagreement with the court’s determination that the mandatory minimum penalty provision means what it says is not a basis upon which to find that [Bloch] was unaware of it.”
“The court finds that any suggestion that Defendant - a lawyer represented by retained
counsel - did not read the statute which contained both the offense to which he decided to plead guilty, as well as the penalties upon conviction of said offense, would defy credulity,” Robinson wrote.
“His assertion, through his affidavit, that he would not have pled guilty had he ‘been informed’ that he would not receive probation is, simply put, not entitled to credence,” Robinson wrote.
As Mike Scarcella reports, Bloch’s lawyer William Sullivan, Jr., is “expected to file a motion urging Robinson to reconsider her decision denying Bloch’s request to withdraw his plea.”
In court [Thursday], Sullivan argued Robinson had ignored “crucial precedents” that informed Bloch and government prosecutors during plea negotiations. Sullivan pointed to two cases, including the prosecution of baseball star Miguel Tejada, in which defendants in Washington were sentenced to probation for contempt of Congress.