Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » US House general counsel has serious questions about Schock probe
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
US House general counsel has serious questions about Schock probe

Friday, Apr 28, 2017

* I’ve kinda ignored the back and forth pleadings in this case because defense lawyers say a lot of stuff. But this can’t be ignored

The lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives asserted Wednesday that investigators looking into the financial dealings of former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., possibly committed a crime themselves when they directed a staffer-turned-informant to take materials from Schock’s district office.

In a letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office that supervised the case, U.S. House of Representative General Counsel Thomas Hungar wrote that he had “serious concern” about investigators’ tactics, which he asserted the U.S. Attorney’s Office had “erroneously characterized as lawful.”

Requesting a staffer take records from a congressional office without authorization from the congressman or House clerk, Hungar wrote, “amounts to a solicitation of that employee to steal official records.”

“Such conduct likely constitutes a federal crime, both on the part of the employee who steals the records and, quite possibly, on the part of the federal agents who induce the commission of that underlying crime,” Hungar wrote.

The full letter is here. Whew.


Hungar’s letter asserts that while the surreptitious recording may be a “legitimate law-enforcement technique in some circumstances,” recording a member of Congress triggers “special constitutional concerns.”

“(T)he separation of powers precludes non-consensual review of legislative communications by Executive Branch officials in the absence of appropriate constitutional safeguards … however, it appears that the procedures followed by your office in this regard did not ensure compliance with those constitutional safeguards,” Hungar writes. […]

“The letter is helpful because the government needs to be held accountable for its conduct. Conduct we believe was driven to find a crime where one does not exist. As has been acknowledged repeatedly, these were clerical errors and omissions by former Congressman Schock for which he has taken full responsibility,” said Mark Hubbard, a spokesman for the defense team, in a written statement to CNN. […]

The Justice Department did not immediately return a request for comment and no official response to Hungar’s letter has been filed on the public docket.

* Politico

A spokeswoman for Hansen’s office confirmed receipt of the letter, but declined to comment.

However, in a court filing last week, prosecutors defended the tactics used in the case and disputed any claim of impropriety or illegality. However, they said they do not plan to use the records obtained by the informant at trial.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    Potentially opens up a “fruit of the poisonous tree” argument to throw out the case. Interesting.

  2. - ste_with_av_en - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    A “shocking” development indeed.

  3. - J. Bieber - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Pretty boy is gonna skate. Was Wondering why there has been much heard about this case lately.

  4. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Way to botch a case guys. This is bad. Just the fact that they aren’t fighting to use the documents because they know they have a problem is damning, token protests notwithstanding.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Don’t like the guy but he deserves to skate. Talk about overreaching. Bet they hang the poor intimidated employee and the Feds also skate.

  6. - Notary Public - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    Schock certainly has benefitted from prosecutorial missteps. Even in Schock’s pre-congress days, the prosecutor conveniently “forgot” to file charges against Schock for using his notary public authority to backdate documents in a financial fraud scheme. This looks like he could away again. Sheeesh!

  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    –However, in a court filing last week, prosecutors defended the tactics used in the case and disputed any claim of impropriety or illegality. However, they said they do not plan to use the records obtained by the informant at trial.–

    Yeah, right. We took the guy’s stuff without his consent, but it turns out we don’t need it. No worries.

    This is tricky stuff. In addition to the separation of powers argument, what about unlawful search and seizure?

    Can the Justice Department insert a mole in anyone’s home and office and have them remove possibly incriminating evidence that doesn’t belong to them?

    Shouldn’t a judge sign off on a warrant for that, at the very least?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Question of the day
* Illinois counties with high firearm suicide rates tend to be "gun sanctuaries"
* It's just a bill
* HRO chair wants to kick Chicago out of Illinois
* About that expungement issue
* All rise!
* Prizker nixes state bailout for private foundation
* Bluhm's "penalty box" language could apply to... Bluhm?
* PPP poll: 58 percent support governor's "Fair Tax" in targeted House districts
* When Will The Illinois House Pass the Reproductive Health Act?
* High-speed rail advocates call Pritzker capital bill "retrograde"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Addendum to today's edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Revenue Committee sends Pritzker's constitutional amendment to House floor
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...










Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller