F.B.I. Raids Office of Special Counsel – New York Times

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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F.B.I. Raids Office of Special Counsel – New York Times:

The office of the official responsible for protecting federal workers from political interference was raided by F.B.I. agents on Tuesday as part of an investigation into whether he himself mixed politics with official business.

The raid took place at the office of Scott J. Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel. Computers and documents were seized by agents trying to determine whether Mr. Bloch obstructed justice by hiring an outside company to “scrub” his computer files, the Associated Press reported. Investigators also searched Mr. Bloch’s home in suburban Virginia after obtaining a subpoena.

The White House “Office of Special Counsel” is supposed to investigate direct political influence in government activities, something made illegal by the Hatch Act. It seems these raids were specifically initiated by suspicion that Mr. Bloch “mixed politics with official business,” and then tried to cover it up.

I suppose it’s good that one part of the executive (the F.B.I.) feels it can investigate another (the Office of Special Counsel), but whatever happens, allowing such situations to develop in the first place increases the perception of mismanagement and reduces public confidence. I wonder who he knew to get himself appointment in the first place? (Or is that too cynical a view?)