“A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected former Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-IL) effort to throw out his criminal indictment, a major setback for the Illinois Republican’s efforts to avoid a trial on corruption charges,” Politico reports.
“A federal judge in Illinois on Monday let stand the vast majority of the indictment against former GOP Rep. Aaron Schock, refusing a defense request to dismiss the charges,” Politico reports.
“Schock was indicted in November 2016 on a variety of corruption charges, including wire fraud, mail fraud, filing false federal tax returns, submitting inaccurate reports to the Federal Election Commission, making false statements, and theft of government funds.”
“Defense attorneys for former congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) have asked a federal judge to dismiss the criminal charges against him, arguing in a court filing Tuesday that investigators acted inappropriately in the case, including by exploring Schock’s sex life and whether he was gay,” the Washington Post reports.
Said the laywers: “It is no secret that there has long been speculative gossip in the media about Mr. Schock’s sexual orientation. For no apparent reason, the government has felt itself compelled to investigate this too.”
“The Justice Department accused former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) of running his congressional office and campaign committee like a personal money-making operation in a stunning, 24-count criminal indictment,” Politico reports.
“Federal prosecutors allege that Schock pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in improper mileage reimbursments, camera equipment, and proceeds from selling tickets to the World Series and Super Bowl. Schock even used a front corporation to make money from an annual constituent ‘fly-in,’ the indictment states.”
Chicago Tribune: “Schock also is accused of filing false federal income tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2015. That involved the failure to report additional income he received, the prosecutor said.”
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) “joined his close friend Aaron Schock on campaign and government trips and exotic vacations in 2014 that are being scrutinized by federal investigators looking into alleged spending abuses by the former congressman, who resigned in March,” The Hill reports.
“There’s no indication that federal prosecutors have questioned or sought records from Smith, but his participation on trips now under criminal investigation could drag one of Schock’s closest friends in Congress into his legal mess and undermine Smith’s political image as a humble, salt-of-the-earth fiscal conservative.”
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) “is the target of an ethics complaint over supposedly having his office redecorated for free by the same designer who worked on” disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-IL) “Downton Abbey”-themed office, WBGZ reports.
Darin LaHood (R), son of former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, easily won a special election to replace disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock (R), sending a familiar name to Washington, D.C., from Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) “appeared in court this week to try to fend off a potential civil contempt citation over allegations that he has failed to comply with a subpoena demanding campaign and congressional documents,” Politico reports.
Chicago Sun Times: “A byproduct of what became an open hearing on the civil contempt issue was official confirmation of the existence of the grand jury in Springfield, which has been hearing testimony about Schock for months.”
“House leaders are considering sweeping changes to Congress’ reimbursement requirements in the wake of the Aaron Schock scandal, including forcing lawmakers to provide more detailed documentation about how they spend taxpayer money and disclosing those details to the public,” Politico reports.
“A onetime aide to Aaron Schock told the FBI this week that the embattled ex-congressman and two employees flew on a private jet with an insurance company executive last year, prompting the adviser to raise concerns about the legality of the trip,” Politico reports.
“If Schock accepted travel on a private jet from an individual or corporation without accounting for the trip, it could be a violation of federal law.”
Former Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-IL) use of a couple’s “condo and travel services may run afoul of campaign laws and House ethics rules,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
“And that couple’s financial activity in 2010 raise questions of a possible donor-swapping scheme between Schock’s and now-former Rep. Michael Grimm’s (R-NY) supporters, totaling about $16,000 on each side.”
Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun Times reports Schock also did not report any in-kind donations for a major fundraiser headlined by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) last summer.
While a grand jury investigating former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), a friend tells the Chicago Sun Times he was in Chicago — and looking for a job.
Said the friend: “He’s thinking about the next chapter of his life. He’s not underground. He’s not in hiding. He’s not in disguise running around Antarctica.”
“Aaron Schock once broadcast his worldly travels on Instagram for all to see. But two weeks after a campaign donor filed a federal lawsuit against the former congressman, an attorney for the donor said Wednesday he can’t track the Peoria Republican down,” the Chicago Sun Times reports.
“With federal prosecutors investigating former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), at least three current or former staffers were in Springfield on Tuesday, summoned to testify before a grand jury,” the Chicago Sun Times reports.
“Schock’s resignation from Congress on March 31 did not affect the investigation, which was launched after stories in the Chicago Sun-Times, Politico, USA Today and other outlets raised questions about Schock’s lavish spending of taxpayer and political funds and other dealings.”
llinois state Sen. Darin LaHood (R) “declined to say whether” he would repaint “the red walls of the current Capitol Hill office” of Rep. Aaron Schock (R) if he wins the special election for Schock’s seat, the State Journal-Register reports.
Said LaHood: “That’ll be a good problem to solve if I’m fortunate enough to get elected.”
“The FBI and the federal prosecutors in Illinois are investigating whether Rep. Aaron Schock broke the law in accounting for campaign expenses,” CNN reports.
“Schock in recent days announced plans to resign, citing controversy surrounding allegations that he improperly accounted for travel and other contributions from donors and reimbursements for campaign use of a personal car. But the probe managed by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Springfield, Ill., means his legal troubles are just beginning.”
A person familiar with the case tells the Associated Press that the Justice Department is formally investigating whether Schock “committed crimes with his office expenditures and business dealings.”