Rep. Aaron Schock (R – Downton Abbey) lawyers up after new spending revealed

Following reports that Illinois Republican Aaron Schock paid for private flights to and around his home district using taxpayer and campaign dollars, possibly in violation of House ethics rules, a new report from the Associated Press shows new spending by the Congressman on public and campaign accounts that has led our nation’s most Abercrombiefied member of Congress to lawyer up.


Schock has hired William McGinley and Don McGahn of the Washington law firm Jones Day to lead his legal team. Veteran GOP communications operatives Ron Bonjean and Brian Walsh are helping manage his response, according to sources close to the matter.

As well he should; the spending details are nothing short of impressive. Here’s an abridged list:

  • $40,000 worth of flights on donors’ planes since 2011
  • $74,000 for a Chevy Tahoe
  • Five-star hotel stays; meals at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace; and visits to high-end clothing stores in London
  • Over $50,000 in campaign expenditures for the use of his car
  • Congressional reimbursements for car mileage to the equivalent of roughly 250,000 miles driven during his six years in office

The London trip is especially of interest because it included events sponsored by the Prince of Wales Foundation, a private organization, and was not an official government trip. And, again from POLITICO:

If the trip was approved by the Ethics Committee, Schock then would have had to disclose the itinerary and who paid for it to the ethics panel and on his annual financial disclosure form. Schock did not report the trip.

If it was a political excursion, Schock could have used campaign funds. However, the London itinerary does not appear to involve any congressional or political activities.

So one of the following must be true: Schock either paid for his London trip out of pocket, received improper gifts or, at the very least, is really bad at paperwork.

Given the already-numerous ethics issues surrounding Schock (and his penchant for English decor), both the former and latter seem unlikely. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has already filed an ethics complaint against him regarding the sale of his Peoria home to a donor for a cost above market value. He has also been tied to the donor-swapping scandal centered around disgraced former Congressman Mike “Break You In Half, Like A Boy” Grimm. He also narrowly avoided an official congressional investigation into his allegedly soliciting improper donations from lawmakers in 2012 — that case is still not officially closed.

With that all in mind, Schock certainly hasn’t earned himself any favors from the already-skeptical media and public when it comes to how he manages other people’s money. This is a guy who goes out of his way to flaunt an objectively decadent lifestyle, embodying a man who is practically begging to get taken down a peg for flying a bit too close to the proverbial sun.

But damn, that sun did feel good, didn’t it?

Only the little people pay for their own foreign travel.

Only the little people pay for their own foreign travel.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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27 Responses to “Rep. Aaron Schock (R – Downton Abbey) lawyers up after new spending revealed”

  1. Yalma Cuder-Zicci says:

    Also, he sold his house for much more than market value to a donor who had already maxed out in donations.

  2. nicho says:

    All he has to do is stop waxing.

  3. Ryan P says:

    I’d marry him; that is, if he doesn’t manage to make it illegal on our way to the courthouse!

  4. Thom Allen says:

    I just went over to Schock’s Facebook page. A lot of people are really trashing him. Some calling for him to resign. I don’t expect the negative comments to last long. He has a track record of scrubbing the ones that displease his lordship.

  5. Thom Allen says:

    If he gets all haired-up, he could play a cub.

  6. Thom Allen says:

    Miss Lindsey might want him on staff. Aaron has a crush on Paul Ryan, maybe he – – uh, no. Marcus Bachmann might need another therapist. Shock might have learned about deep tissue massage after his $1400 session to get licensed. He seems to be a whiz at getting great prices for real estate. Fox might want him to be Shep Smith’s back up.He could form a partnership with his photographer. Come out with his own men’s clothing line. Be a travel agent setting up gay tours. He could get a personal trainer certification. His office interior decorating skills might be in demand. There are so many possibilities for him even besides wearing an orange jumpsuit.

    Seriously, we should be feeling sorry for the little guttersnipe (h/t to Bill O’Lielly.)
    Doubtless his attorneys have told him to STFU about his trips, flights, expensed, vacations, etc. And Aaron so loves self-aggrandizement that this will be absolute torture for him to do so.

  7. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Well, we’ve all been there.

  8. Thom Allen says:

    Absolutely. When I saw the pictures, my first thought had nothing to do with Downton Abbey. I thought the office screamed “tacky bordello!”

  9. Indigo says:

    Poor thing.

  10. nicho says:

    Well, he is at that awkward age. Too old for twink porn and too young for daddy porn. It’s a bitch, I tell you.

  11. benb says:

    Seems to me that a single guy who decks out his office like Downton Abbey just isn’t the kind that wants to be seen driving a Chevy Tahoe.

  12. Indigo says:

    It’s good to know he’s not unemployable.

  13. nicho says:

    There’s a whole gay porn niche for older men. It’s not all twinks.

  14. nicho says:

    Actually, his office looks more like an upscale whorehouse than Downton Abbey.

  15. nicho says:

    Even George HW Bush got a separate room for his mistress when he traveled.

  16. Indigo says:

    You know what? He’s overexposed. Take that however you like.

  17. Indigo says:

    He’s getting a little old for gay porn.

  18. BrianG says:

    Longtime Americablog readers may have remembered a name from the Politico article. The Politico article names Aaron Schock’s companion on the trip to London in 2011. Shea Ledford accompanied Congressman Schock as a “special assistant.”

    In 2009, Americablog had a post which quoted Shea Ledford in an article featured in Details magazine.

    The last paragraph of John’s post included a long paragraph about the lack of ladies in Aaron’s love life, and lo and behold, there is a quote from a Shea Ledford who is identified as a concrete worker. Why does Congressman Schock need a concrete worker from Tazewell county to accompany him to Royal Ascot? Who paid for Shea’a hotel room, or is Schock like former Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Rutherford who saved money by only getting one hotel road to sleep with his aide?

  19. 2karmanot says:

    Maybe he could apply to be Sarah Palin’s B-boy.

  20. UncleBucky says:

    I’m from Illinois. This guy is an embarrassment as are MOST Republicans representing Illinois at the Federal level. Less I know about the state reps and senators in the General Assembly, but this guy ESPECIALLY does not match up with the great history of Illinois. He’s a gay version of Blago, I betcha. More will “come out” about this feller. √

  21. Jimmy says:

    R-Downton Abbey. Hilarious.

  22. dcinsider says:

    This is fun. Pass the popcorn. It could not have happened to a more deserving guy. Mr. Schock, the gays will get even eventually. How’s the retribution feel?

  23. gratuitous says:

    Wow, Jones Day is still in business. For the younger set, that’s the firm that Richard Nixon went to for representation during Watergate. They declined to represent him. They are the go-to firm for inside-the-beltway folks. Antonin Scalia used to practice there. If Schock’s consulting them, he must think he’s in big, big trouble.

  24. John Masters says:

    He can go on Dancing with Stars, and then should have a great future in gay porn.

  25. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    As long as it’s only your gaydar that’s throbbing, don’t worry about it.

  26. Duke Woolworth says:

    When I see him, my gaydar starts throbbing, and I’m straight.

  27. caphillprof says:

    I almost feel sorry for Aaron Schock. He has become the poster boy for everything people hate about everybody else’s senators and representatives. The House will throw him overboard in a display of faux rectitude. Schock is young enough that he should be able to find a life. He needs an intervention.

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