Politics

Government Says No Misconduct Took Place During Schock Investigation

Federal prosecutors have shot down former GOP Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock’s allegations they violated legal boundaries by using one of his staffers as an informant in his corruption case.

In a 62-page document filed late Tuesday evening, federal prosecutors said the FBI and the deputy assistant attorney general granted approval to record conversations between his office manager and Schock — having provided detailed instructions to the staffer who voluntarily agreed to provide information to federal agents. Schock’s lawyers filed court documents in March alleging the FBI used the staffer to obtain confidential information and “steal” documents including other staffers’ emails. The defense then requested additional information on his indictment. The government argued he failed to make a preliminary showing and “should therefore be denied the extraordinary relief he seeks.”

The prosecutors said Schock “has engaged in an increasingly aggressive search” in an attempt to find an instance of government misconduct in the investigation to first hinder his indictment and now avoid trial. They said the disgraced former congressman’s requests for more information should be denied, noting he’d been provided more than the precedented amount given in similar cases.

“This quest, with all of its attendant inflammatory rhetoric, has led to the filing of the instant motions for discovery and production of grand jury minutes. In these motions, Defendant Schock futilely attempts to manufacture claims of governmental misconduct during the course of the investigation,” the filing reads. “The government respectfully submits to this Court that he has not made even a preliminary showing, and he should therefore be denied the extraordinary relief he seeks.”

The informant provided documents including travel records and invoices of office purchases made on Schock’s personal American Express card, which were found in the desk drawer of his former chief of staff, Dayne LaHood.

According the prosecution, Schock attempted to improperly influence witness testimony during the course of the investigation.

“He also predicted to the OM what his staff members would say, stating: “[staff member A] will never say that I told her to do what she did, and [staff member B] will never be able to say that I told her what to do . . .” (Exhibit 7, 3/20/15 #2 Tr. at 4),” the filing reads. “According to the statements of those same staff members, Defendant Schock’s statements were false.”

Once seen as a rising star in the Republican party, Schock was indicted in November following year-long criminal investigation by the Department of Justice into his use of federal funds. Questions arose on his alleged misuse of federal dollars after it was discovered he spent roughly $40,000 in taxpayer dollars, which he later reimbursed, ornately remodeling his Capitol Hill office in the fashion of the PBS hit series “Downton Abbey.”

The disgraced congressman – who gained notoriety for his enthusiasm by posting on Instagram and posing shirtless in Men’s Health magazine – stepped down from his seat in March 2015, saying the media attention drawn from the scandal was “too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself.”

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