Embattled Rep. Aaron Schock ‘Hopes’ He Didn’t Break the Law: ‘I’m Not an Attorney’

In one of the first interviews since he first came under scrutiny for his lavish spending habits and potentially illegal acceptance of gifts, Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) told Politico he didn’t really know if he had broken the law.

“Well, I certainly hope not,” he said in response to reporter Jake Sherman’s question. When pressed: “I’m not an attorney.”

Sherman described Schock as testy throughout the exchange, at one point alleging that if reporters dug into the finances of his colleagues, they would “find a story to write about any member of Congress.”

Schock defended his use of private jets and expensive hotels as necessary for his role as one of the GOP’s ascendant fundraisers, but said he would limit those expenditures in the future. “I think what’s clear is that it’s better for me to do fewer events in my district and drive to them than it is to rent a plane and try to get to more events in my district,” he said.

Schock’s unraveling began almost by happenstance, when Washington Post reporter Ben Terris wrote of his Downton Abbey-themed office last month; Schock had accepted the interior decorating service for free, a potential violation of congressional rules. He has since reimbursed his office the funds.

It was the crack in the dam. Since then Schock has been subject to one revelation after another about suspicious expenditures and lavish trips, many of them documented on a gaudy Instagram account, leading to criticisms that he was using his office as a vehicle for his lifestyle. It’s gotten bad enough that prominent conservative bloggers have started calling for Schock to resign his seat.

Schock hired a team to comb through his expenditures, and pledged to atone for any irregularities. “I take my obligations very seriously, and that’s why I’ve got folks reviewing our processes and procedures and our filings as well as giving me direction and advice on how best to move forward,” he told Sherman.

My apologies to Mediaite’s Senior Aaron Schock correspondent Tina Nguyen for intruding on her beat.

[h/t Politico]

[Image via Aaron Schock/Instagram]

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