Bush special counsel faces some jail time

By Nedra Pickler

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A judge is telling the former government whistle-blower protector that he can't protect himself from serving at least a month in jail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson ruled late last Wednesday that President George W. Bush's former special counsel, Scott Bloch, cannot withdraw his guilty plea to withholding information from Congress.

Bloch argued he thought he could serve just probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor last year. After the judge said the law required imprisonment for the crime, prosecutors said they were willing to negotiate another deal to avoid Bloch's incarceration.

But Robinson noted that Bloch had told her at the time he pleaded that he understood he couldn't withdraw it if the sentence was more severe than he expected.

Robinson agreed to postpone Bloch's sentencing from last Thursday to Monday.

Published: Mon, Mar 14, 2011