Scott Bloch, the former Bush administration official who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor contempt of Congress but has been trying to withdraw that plea since a judge ruled he would have to spend at least one month in prison, appeared in a Washington, D.C. court Monday to formally ask a federal judge to reconsider her refusal to allow him to take it back.
Bloch’s lawyer wrote in a 12-page motion filed on Monday that “it will be a manifest injustice if this Court does not reconsider its prior ruling and grant Mr. Bloch’s Motion to Withdraw his Guilty Plea.”
The former head of the Office of Special Counsel, the office charged with protecting government whistleblowers, says he wouldn’t have pleaded guilty if he had known he wouldn’t able to get a sentence of probation with no jail time.
Bloch previously admitted that he unlawfully and willfully withheld pertinent information from a committee of the House of Representatives when he “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,” as a DOJ press release put it last spring.
Bloch’s lawyers today questioned the “complete failure” of Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson to discuss two recent cases, including that of baseball star Miguel Tejada and former Reagan administration official Elliot Abrams, reports the National Law Journal’s Mike Scarcella. Tejada and Abrams both received probation for contempt of Congress.
Bloch’s sentencing has now been scheduled for March 30.