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Aaron Schock, ex-Illinois U.S. representative, is indicted

Aaron Schock, 35, resigned his U.S. House seat in 2015.

Aaron Schock, 35, resigned his U.S. House seat in 2015.

Aaron Schock, the former representative of Illinois whose taste for first-class travel and a Downton Abbey-themed office design led to questions about his judgment and adherence to spending rules, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on 24 counts, including wire fraud and theft of government funds.

The indictment came after his lawyer, George J. Terwilliger, said in a statement that the charges were expected and described them as a "misuse" of prosecutorial power by the Justice Department.

"This indictment will look bad, but underneath it is just made-up allegations of criminal activity arising from unintentional administrative errors," Terwilliger said in an email. "These charges are the culmination of an effort to find something, anything, to take down Aaron Schock."

Schock, who resigned his House seat in 2015 amid a government inquiry, said in the statement, "I intend to not only prove these allegations false, but in the process, expose this investigation for what it was."

A New York Times article last year described his Capitol Hill office as being decorated like a drawing room from Downton Abbey and that with his "buff physique and natty wardrobe," he had cultivated an image that was more about lifestyle and less about lawmaking.

Ethics questions arose after the Washington Post reported on his opulent office in February 2015, which prompted a government investigation. Schock personally paid back $40,000 for office renovations, which included blood-red walls, a crystal chandelier and a plume of pheasant feathers.

Schock, now 35, resigned in March 2015.

Aaron Schock, ex-Illinois U.S. representative, is indicted 11/10/16 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2016 7:49pm]
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