A former U.S. representative whose lavish Washington office raised questions about use of taxpayer money pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of defrauding the federal government and campaign committees then attempting to cover it up.
Aaron Schock, a 35-year-old former Republican congressman from Illinois, was indicted in November by the U.S. Department of Justice on 24 counts, including wire fraud, theft of government funds and filing false federal income tax returns.
“I look forward to the truth and all the facts coming out in this case. I have complete faith in my legal team, the good people of this community, and that justice will ultimately prevail,” Schock said in an emailed statement.
Schock, elected to the, U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 at the age of 27, gained a following by posting flashy photos on social media of himself traveling around the world.
But he was hounded with questions after The Washington Post reported last year about lavish decorations in his Capitol Hill office based on the PBS period melodrama “Downton Abbey.”
Although staff told the Post that the interior design work had been done for free, the story prompted more investigations into Schock’s spending habits, with several media outlets reporting he failed to disclose some expenditures and had to repay others after improperly using taxpayer funds.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Americans have been conditioned by Trump not to believe intelligence — so why trust them now?: NBC analyst
President Donald Trump denied the 19 intelligence agencies that reported Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election because they wanted him to win. According to Trump, however, none of the intelligence reports are accurate because he won the election on his own. After years lambasting the intelligence services, attacking the FBI and other law enforcement agencies working with intelligence, Trump is between a rock and a hard place.
MSNBC host, and new mom, Katy Tur noted that after being sold a bill of goods about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Americans are likely going to be skeptical. She went on to cite NBC reporter Ken Delaney, who said that American allies "don't have the most trust in us" right now.
CNN reporter explains why the Manhattan Trump subpoena is different — and more serious — than Democrats’ investigation
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," reporter Kara Scannell analyzed the new subpoena by Manhattan prosecutors for President Donald Trump's tax and business records — and how it differs from the existing requests issued by House Democrats.
"As you know, Kara, President Trump so far has fended off multiple attempts to make his tax returns public," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Could this new subpoena in a criminal investigation in New York lead to a different result?"
"Well that is the big question here, Wolf," said Scannell. "Will Donald Trump and his lawyers and the Trump Organization move to quash the subpoena, which is in a criminal context. The other subpoenas that have been sent by the House Democrats seeking Donald Trump's financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, and also a subpoena to Mazars accounting firm, they are playing out in court. But a criminal investigation is somewhat different than what the House Democrats are looking into. There are different rules around that."
‘He has a lot to dish’: John Bolton reportedly in talks to write a tell-all about Trump
On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that former National Security Adviser John Bolton is in contact with literary agents to write a tell-all book about his time in President Donald Trump's White House.
"He has a lot to dish," said a source, telling the Beast that there was no indication that Bolton had yet decided on an agency.
Bolton, a notorious war hawk who has spent years agitating for war against Iran, has had a bumpy relationship with the president ever since he was brought in to replace General H. R. McMaster in 2018. He was reportedly frustrated that the president pushed back on military interventions in various conflicts, and told Trump at one point that he would not go on Sunday talk shows to defend his foreign policy.