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What Is It about those GOP Appointees and their Email Computer Files?

In the latest episode in the ongoing saga of disappearing GOP emails, the WSJ reports that Scott Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, invited Geeks on Call in last year, apparently to delete a bunch of emails computer files.

The head of the federal agency investigating KarlRove’s White House political operation is facing allegations that heimproperly deleted computer files during another probe, using a privatecomputer-help company, Geeks on Call.

[snip]

Recently, investigators learned that Mr. Bloch erasedall the files on his office personal computer late last year. They arenow trying to determine whether the deletions were improper or part ofa cover-up, lawyers close to the case said.

Bypassing his agency’s computer technicians, Mr. Blochphoned 1-800-905-GEEKS for Geeks on Call, the mobile PC-help service.It dispatched a technician in one of its signature PT Cruiser wagons.In an interview, the 49-year-old former labor-law litigator fromLawrence, Kan., confirmed that he contacted Geeks on Call but said hewas trying to eradicate a virus that had seized control of his computer.

Now, this happened last year, well before Bloch incurred the wrath of Ranking Member on the House Oversight Committee, Tom Davis, for being mean to Lurita Doan (Bloch’s meanness started in January, according to Davis). But it is, perhaps, worth noting that as of August, Davis was demanding all of Bloch’s emails pertaining to Doan–or to any Member of Congress.

It’s not unreasonable to imagine that someone in OSC is leaking thismaterial to try to incriminate Davis himself. After all, Davis is conducting a campaign against Scott Bloch, demanding all of Bloch’s political emails.

Davis previously had been a Bloch defender and had praised the OSC fordramatically cutting back its backlog of personnel cases. But at thehearing, the congressman blew up at the witness, explaining that he’dobtained a personal e-mail by Bloch describing Davis as “acting likeDoan’s defense counsel” when she testified before the Oversightcommittee.

Davis then promised to wage what might be called a Blochian crusade: Heannounced his intention to corral all politically sensitive e-mailsBloch may have sent from his personal account that referred in anymanner to Doan or other federal lawmakers. Davis’ chief of staff, DavidMarin, says his boss will punish any failure to comply by urging thecommittee to pursue contempt-of-Congress charges. In other words, ScottBloch, the Bush administration’s in-house Hatch Act enforcer in theU.S. attorneys scandal, could wind up facing the same charges nowconfronting the high-profile noncompliant congressional witnesses inthe case, White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former WhiteHouse counsel Harriet Miers.

As I point out in this post, Davis’ demand for Bloch’s email–including any emails that reference federal lawmakers–would net emails that refer in any mannerto Davis himself. Even if those emails referring to Davis as part ofBloch’s investigation into Rove’s asset deployment teams!!! If the WaPostory came from leaks from Bloch, the leaks may have been an effort toget Waxman–or someone else–to pick up an  investigation stymied byDavis’ collection of Bloch’s emails.

There’s no reason to think these two are related. But there is a good deal of interest in Scott Bloch’s personal email account computer files.

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