Embattled and soon-to-be-former congressman Aaron Schock is now the subject of a probe from the Federal Bureau of Invesigation. Schock has come under heavy criticism for his spending habits, and faces allegations of corruption and misuse of taxpayer funds.
Schock has been accused of misusing campaign resources, accepting improper gifts from donors, and using taxpayer money to fund personal trips. The total amount of money he spent is unclear, but according to Politico, Schock has been questioned about tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, his personal wealth is roughly $1.5 million, which reportedly came as a result of numerous real estate deals with other donors.
These allegations, and the controversy that came with them, are why Schock decided to announce his resignation. Come March 31, Schock will no longer be a congressman.
Ordinarily, any sort of inquiry would have ended with his resignation. However, a federal investigation will not stop once Schock resigns.
The FBI has started interviewing people close to Schock and delivering subpoenas, as well as examining reports about his spending habits. A federal grand jury in Illinois is currently hearing evidence for the case.
Schock, 33, was the third youngest U.S. representative and regarded by many as someone who could help rebrand the Republican party, which has long been seen as a party which caters to wealthy, older Americans. Young, attractive and fit, Schock was skilled at using social media to his advantage, and also posed shirtless for a piece in Men’s Health.
As a result, his resignation and the controversy surrounding him have come as a disappointment to many younger activists in the Republican Party. Meghan McCain wrote a piece for TIME, expressing her exasperation that someone who showed so much potential ended up just like so many others in government.
“Today, Schock is a giant embarrassment and disappointment to not only all Republicans, but especially to Millennial Republicans. The specific scandal that led to his resignation exacerbates every negative stereotype that exists about Millennials being the over-indulged, selfie-obsessed, ‘me-me-me’ generation. And now, unluckily enough for us Millennial Republicans out there, our first well-known representative will be best remembered for completely blowing his chance to reform our party simply because he got too caught up riding around in private jets and going to Katy Perry concerts.”
Republican House Speaker John Boehner was reportedly unaware of Schock’s resignation before it happened, but said that he supports his decision.
Schock’s father defended him as well, saying that most of the allegations were lies, and that “Two years from now [Schock will] be successful, if he’s not in jail.”
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