Monday, August 07, 2017

Illinois Republican Aaron Schock Isn't On Trial For Being Gay But His Defense Team Sure Wants To Make It Sound That Way


Last night we mentioned that Mafia thug "Mikey Suits" Grimm wants back in Congress and is plotting a primary challenge to Staten Island incumbent Dan Donovan. Though Grimm's best remembered romantic trysts may be when he disappeared into the Owl's Head toilet with some randy drunk woman and when he was dating homophobic psycho Tulsi Gabbard, there was always chatter in DC about how notorious GOP closet queen Aaron Schock had a major crush on Grimm. And they never got to be roomies in prison! Grimm already served 7 months and is out and Schock, also forced to resign from Congress like Grimm, is still fighting prison time... bigly.

Last week, Peoria Journal Star columnist Phil Luciano asked "How weird is the Aaron Schock case getting?" and answered: "Very." Schock was warned by his chief of staff to stop acting so gay, although no one mentioned the rumors about him on his knees in the congressional gym in front of a certain blue-eyed Mafia congressman (from Staten Island).
Schock’s sexuality has always been the subject of snort-and-giggle speculation on the fringe of Schock World. Now it’s dead-center bombast, at the core of his attorneys’ charges of prosecutorial malfeasance. Among other allegations, Schock’s lawyers say the government went on a gay-baiting witch hunt to try to make him look bad in front of a federal grand jury.

...Federal agents questioned Steven Shearer, Schock’s first chief of staff. According to the filings, Shearer said, “Schock was upset with the blogs and media comments about his sexuality. Schock denied the allegations and resented the accusations.”

So, as a top aide, Shearer offered stern advice. According to the documents, “Shearer believes that Schock did things that seemed ‘gay.’ Shearer criticized Schock on behaving in a way that would make people question his sexuality. Shearer has no evidence of Schock being ‘gay.’”

The documents don’t say how Schock might’ve “seemed gay.” Downton Abbey decor? The teal belt? Shirtless poses? Ariana Grande post? Gym fanaticism? Maybe.

For all we know, maybe Shearer and other aides further admonished Schock to avoid watching Ellen, plucking his eyebrows or toting tiny dogs. After all, paparazzi are positively everywhere.

If that sounds stereotypical, that’s the point. Do any of these labels really matter? Apparently, yes, to Schock & Co.-- not just back then but apparently now. Though Schock’s attorneys vilify prosecutors’ sexuality inquiries as “irrelevant” and “offensive,” they also seem to go to great length to stress Schock’s refutation of any hint of gayness.

The judge will decide whether Schock’s sexuality has any bearing on the criminal case. But apparently his sexuality had a big bearing on his political machinations.

Again, like I said, weird.

The legitimate news point here is that in his latest desperate attempt to worm out of going prison, Schock's high-priced lawyers are now accusing federal investigators of prosecutorial misconduct, "alleging that they have improperly probed into personal details of Schock’s life by asking witnesses about his sex life and if he is gay."
Schock was indicted in November on 24 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, theft of government funds, making false statements, filing false reports with federal election officials, and six counts of filing false tax returns. He has been under investigation since resigning from Congress in March 2015 following questions over whether he had violated spending and ethics rules.

In the course of that investigation, other red flags were raised regarding Schock’s spending decisions, including expensive trips abroad with a private photographer, tickets to concerts and sporting events, and the redecoration of his congressional office that was reportedly based on the PBS drama Downton Abbey.

But now Schock’s lawyers are crying foul, alleging that federal investigators have probed into personal details of his life that are not germane to the charges against him or his spending habits, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

In a memo filed in federal court, Schock’s legal team alleges that the “prosecutor and agents have dug into every aspect of Mr. Shock’s life by any means necessary. No topic has been off limits. The federal government has even delved, repeatedly, into the most intimate details of his life, including repeated inquiries to witnesses into who he has slept with and whether he is gay.

“The prosecutor and federal agents have repeatedly asked irrelevant and highly invasive questions about Mr. Schock’s sexual orientation and relationships,” his lawyers write. “The government has investigated nearly every facet of Mr. Schock’s professional, political, and personal life. This even includes his sex life.

“It is no secret that there has long been speculative gossip in the media about Mr. Schock’s sexual orientation. For no apparent reason, the government has felt itself compelled to investigate this too. Indeed, from the very inception of this investigation, the government has discussed with witnesses whether Mr. Schock is gay, whether he really ‘dated’ his ex-girlfriend (a highly accomplished diplomat and attorney), and whether he spent the night or shared hotel rooms with her.

“The government’s inquiries into Mr. Schock’s sexuality and romantic relationships were not just distasteful and offensive. They were prejudicial.”

Prosecutors have never said that Schock’s sexual predilections were related to any of the charges against him. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, which is prosecuting Schock, has declined to comment on the allegations.

Schock’s trial is scheduled for January 2018 before a federal court judge in Urbana, Ill. His lawyers contend that the prosecution intimidated witnesses and exposed them to “false information” about Schock. They also allege that federal investigators improperly turned a junior staffer in Schock’s Peoria office into a “confidential informant” who secretly recorded him and stole documents. As such, they argue, the judge should throw out any evidence against Schock that the staffer provided to the government. All the local papers are buzzing about the former congressman's gayness, although "officially" Schock is still just looking for the right woman even if he's basically seen as Washington's Loras Tyrell, who confessed during season 6 of Game of Thrones, just before being killed off and eliminated from the series, "I have laid with other men, including the traitor Renly Baratheon. I’m guilty of depravity, dishonesty, profligacy, and arrogance." Schock hasn't "confessed" yet but he's certainly playing some kind of gay card for all its worth to keep out of prison. Jim Dey:
[C]ourt records demonstrate clearly that investigators were extremely interested in learning the answer to one of the big questions surrounding Schock during his meteoric rise in local, state and federal politics.

"It is no secret that there has long been speculative gossip in the media about Mr. Schock's sexual orientation. For no apparent reason, the government has felt itself compelled to investigate this, too," Schock lawyers state.

Indeed, the subject of the public-relations problem that morphed into the federal investigation stemmed from speculation surrounding Schock's sexuality as it related to office decoration.

...Questions about his decorating tastes quickly expanded into how he had arranged to pay for the redecoration. Eventually, there was a flurry of stories raising questions about Schock's mileage expenses and how he spent campaign funds.

...Bryan Rudolph, Schock's former district manager and a confidential source in his office, told investigators that he had "heard gossip that 'something was going on' with Shea Ledford... (confidential source) believed Schock's ex-girlfriend was not a 'real girlfriend' and was a 'beard'"-- a reference to a person who helps someone conceal their sexual orientation by pretending to be involved with them.

"As with so many other things, the government's (confidential informant) was wrong. But that did not stop the government from trying to prove him right for the next two years," Schock's lawyers state.

...If Schock was homosexual, investigators wanted evidence to prove it. They asked his chief of staff, Steven Shearer, about it. Shearer noted that Schock was angry about suggestions that he is a homosexual and that he advised Schock to stop "behaving in a way that would make people question his sexuality."

Shearer told investigators he has "no evidence of Schock being gay."

One Schock staff member, Jonathon Link, said he decided to start arriving at events separately from Schock because of rumors that "I was like his personal companion or something like that."

"I was thinking about it, I was like, 'OK, if I'm going to be known as, like, Aaron's gay lover, I may not really want to be seen with him anymore' because, you know, it's like ... obviously, like, for me, it's not true, but like now this rumor is starting to get out there," Link told a federal grand jury.

Schock is tentatively scheduled to go on trial in January on a variety of charges, including income-tax evasion and misusing public funds.

Schock's lawyers contend that the case against him is flawed because the constant questions about his sexuality exposed him to "salacious innuendo" that "reveal the government's malicious intent to impugn Mr. Schock's character."

Schock being sworn in with Link as his side

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