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Ex-Illinois congressman Aaron Schock, pleads not guilty to spending scandal

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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.

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“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.

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(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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Americans have been conditioned by Trump not to believe intelligence — so why trust them now?: NBC analyst

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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.

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CNN reporter explains why the Manhattan Trump subpoena is different — and more serious — than Democrats’ investigation

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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.

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‘He has a lot to dish’: John Bolton reportedly in talks to write a tell-all about Trump

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