Aaron Schock, America’s favorite absolutely-not-at-all-gay former Congressman and Instagram addict, has only been out of his Downton Abbey-inspired office a few weeks, but he’s already the political equivalent of a dead man walking. Schock’s problems continue to mount as he faces new legal problems. If Schock thought that resigning from office would solve his problems, he couldn’t have been more wrong than if he decided to follow diver Tom Daley to establish his heterosexual cred.
In the past few days, five new major headaches emerged from the ab-conscious Schock.
1. His former staff have been summoned to testify to a grand jury about Schock’s profligate spending habits. Four former staffers have been subpoenaed to tell the grand jury what they know. When the choice comes down to saving their skin or saving their former boss, whom do you think the quartet will protect?
2. He’s being sued by a donor for fraud. Howard Foster, a Chicago lawyer, donated $500 to Schock’s campaign in 2012. Foster has now filed a lawsuit against Schock, alleging that Schock “willingly followed well-tread paths of political sleaze for personal gain.” Foster’s lawsuit says that Schock violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corruptions Act (RICO), which is more often used against mobsters than Congressmen.
3. He’s run up more than $300,000 in legal bills. The latest report from Schock’s now defunct campaign fund shows a tab for $313,919 owed to the law firm of Jones Day. That’s just one of several firms that Schock has engaged for his legal defense.
4. He was spending like crazy right up until the end. The same campaign report shows that Schock was dropping big bucks for luxury items almost to the end of his tenure. On the principle that he was entitled to the finest that his donors could buy, Schock spent $4,000 at a luxury hotel in Europe, more than $3,000 for gifts at Tiffany’s and more than $42,000 in travel expenses.
5. He’s being billed for the special election his resignation necessitated. To add insult to injury, the Marshall County, IL, board is asking Schock for $76,000 to cover the cost of a special election to fill Schock’s vacancy. The board insists it doesn’t have that kind of money on hand. In reality, it’s a sign of how little it has to fear from Schock.
At this point, people can’t distance themselves far enough away from Schock. He has the stench of indictment about him, whether it comes to pass or not. It’s pretty clear that there’s still worse to come. Schock’s learning that if you want a friend in politics, buy a dog. Of course, if he had, you know it would have been a designer breed.