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Special counsel sets procedures to investigate firing of a U.S. attorney and missing White House e-mails.
WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch met with White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding on Thursday as he pushed ahead with an ambitious inquiry into White House political operations.
"I came away believing that the White House intends to cooperate and was glad to open channels of communication," said Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel.
Bloch said he and Fielding set up procedures that his agency would use to investigate the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails and the distribution of political information to Cabinet agencies.
Bloch's office, with 106 employees, enforces laws to protect federal whistle-blowers and prevent discrimination.
It also enforces the Hatch Act, which generally prohibits the use of federal resources for campaign purposes and protects civil servants from political coercion.
Bloch, who was appointed by President Bush, has a lot of critics. He has been at odds with liberal groups and advocates for whistle-blowers and gay rights — and with some White House officials.
Activist groups have called for Bloch to step down, saying he is under investigation by the Bush administration. He is accused of intimidating agency employees and discriminating against gays and lesbians. He also faces criticism for his record on enforcing the whistle-blower law.