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Schock legal team makes case to drop charges

CHICAGO, Ill. - A Federal Appeals Court in Chicago is hearing arguments from former Congressman Aaron Schock's legal team.

Schock's lawyers are hoping to have all charges from his 2016 indictment dropped. The former lawmaker from Peoria was accused of misusing government and campaign funds. Recently, the case against him has begun to unravel after debate about whether prosecutors based charges on ambiguous House rules. 

Wednesday, Schock criticized prosecutors, saying they've wasted time and money trying to find wrongdoing. 

“The government spent two years and two different grand juries investigating every aspect of my 14 year public service career. They investigated my business endeavors, from the age of 18 years old to the 3 years since leaving office, and they even investigated my personal life.  It was obvious from day one that this prosecution was convinced of one thing: they needed to find something, anything to prosecute me.  Yet after all that effort and expense - we are here today because in the absence of a crime, this prosecution sought to create them.  They manufactured the case and during the last year have been found lying to a federal judge about violating my constitutional rights.  It’s a sad day in America when our US Justice Department will stop at nothing, not even trampling the constitution in its zeal to prosecute.  Thankfully we have the courts, and I am confident they will provide the necessary check on this out of control prosecution. Despite all this, I remain convinced that justice will ultimately prevail.”

-Aaron Schock

Schock's lead defense attorney, George Terwilliger, released the following statement:

“It is astounding that the government would try to prosecute anyone on the basis of ambiguous rules; fundamental fairness requires that you know what the rules require before you can be said to have violated them. Here the Constitution bars the government making up the rules for Congress and then claiming a member violated them because Congress has the sole constitutional authority to write and interpret the rules for its members. When prosecutors cherry pick interpretations of congressional rules  to prosecute Senators or Representatives the independence of the legislative branch – so important to our system of government – is threatened. That is why you see  a strong position by the House itself asserting the importance of the separation of powers that are at stake in this case. This is also why we are confident in our argument before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

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