Disgraced Bush Administration lawyer Scott Bloch has come to center stage in the ongoing crime mystery of an alleged political fraud hoax. Taiwan Civil Government founder Roger Lin and six others, including wife Julian, were arrested in May 2018 following midnight raids ordered by prosecutors of the exiled Republic of China.
Lin is accused of masterminding an expensive, sophisticated hoax to deceive his supporters into making larger donations. The scheme purportedly took advantage of naive members by making them think TCG could get the United States to expel the ROC from Taiwan. News reports in Taiwan quote prosecutors claiming millions of dollars were swindled and that 315 complainants have now come forward against Lin. So what has Scott Block got to do with all of that?
Bloch, who headed the Office of Special Counsel at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, had a stormy five year tenure before being locked out of his office. Bloch was responsible for enforcement of the Hatch Act which prohibits political activity by federal employees, protection of whistleblowers, and preventing discrimination based on gender preference. Bloch managed to stir up controversy in every category of duty which ended up in litigation with his own subordinates. The internal battle spilled over into Congress and Bloch’s office computer files came of interest. Before Congressional staffers could examine Bloch’s computer he had “Geeks on Call” come in and do a seven level swipe.
In May 2008, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Bloch’s office at the Justice Department. Bloch’s reign of trouble at the Office of Special Counsel was soon ended. Bloch plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of destruction of government property and was sentenced to one day in jail, a $5,000 fine, 200 hours of community service and probation. Bloch explained the matter in an online post. “This was a result of political disagreements when I ran a government agency in the federal government and had enemies investigating me.”
Bloch finished his probation, which would have complicated his trip to Taiwan, weeks before his triumphant appearance at a Taiwan Civil Government conference. Bloch’s speech entitled “Taiwan Legal System and Government” was delivered to a largely non-English speaking audience. Bloch told the assembled flag-wavers, “The legal line of the Taiwanese Government is completely correct. Please continue to work hard.”
Bloch and Carr rounded out their junket to Taipei with side trips to TCG offices and a strategy roundtable session at TCG headquarters. Exactly what the “Honorable” ex-official told the group leaders is not known. Bloch declines to answer questions or comment on Taiwan Civil Government.
Bloch’s appearance may have been a pep talk in the wake of an unfavorable ruling in Roger Lin v. United States of America. Lin had sought by litigation to obtain American passports for residents of Taiwan. Lin found a sympathetic court but lost because the appellate judges felt the matter was for President Barack Obama to decide not the judiciary. The court did urge Obama to act expeditiously to resolve Taiwan’s status because the stateless island residents live in “political purgatory.” Obama failed to act and left the matter for his successor in the White House.
Roger Lin and two others are being treated like violent terrorists, confined in harsh pre-trial detention, locked in solitary confinement, held incommunicado without visitors, and denied bail. Taiwan news reports quote prosecutors speaking of unnamed, unindicted co-conspirators in Washington. Although attention has focused on TCG lobbyists Neil Hare and Shelley Hymes as likely co-conspirators, Scott Bloch and his sideman Neil Carr also qualify for the short list. Bloch, who regained his law license after suspension, might not wish to rush back to Taiwan to represent Lin unless he wants to risk being locked up in the next cell. There are no jury trials in Taiwan and this ROC investigation may not be a search for truth.