Feb. 2, 2015
The Washington Post publishes an article by style section reporter Ben Terris about the bold decoration of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s Washington, D.C. office, which staffers told Terris was inspired by the “red room in Downton Abbey.” Terris noted the “drippy crystal chandelier” that also would be mentioned in Schock's federal indictment nearly two years later. The article, and the efforts by Schock and his then-communications director to kill the story, raised questions about who would pay for such lavish decorating expenses.
Feb. 5, 2015
Schock’s communications director Ben Cole resigns after media reports about racially charged posts on social media. Cole, a “senior adviser” to Schock, was prominently featured in the Washington Post article and would later be interviewed by a federal grand jury.
Feb. 24, 2015
Schock hires a team of lawyers and public relations professionals following a bombshell report by The Associated Press that Schock used taxpayer and campaign funds for personal travel and entertainment expenses, a conclusion reached, in part, by cross referencing his reimbursement requests with posts to his social media accounts.
March 11, 2015
Schock brushes off calls for his resignation, saying he’s “not going anywhere.”
March 17, 2015
Schock announces his resignation, effective March 31, calling his time in Congress the “highest and greatest honor I have had in my life.”
June 4, 2015
Federal agents execute a search warrant at Schock’s Peoria offices, loading files, at least one computer and other office equipment into FBI trucks as a grand jury continues to review the case in Springfield.
Oct. 7, 2015
Prosecutors say Schock is “grandstanding” in a back-and-forth over whether certain documents would be included in the investigation. Schock turned over thousands of documents, many more were seized by investigators, and prosecutors continued to ask for more. After a judge’s review, Schock produced an additional 16 financial documents.
June 8, 2016
Schock raised eyebrows when he exercised his lifetime House floor privileges to attend a speech by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom Schock first met in 2013. As the federal inquiry loomed, Schock told a Journal Star reporter on the scene, “In hindsight, could I have done things better? Sure. ... But that doesn’t make me a criminal. Heck, I wouldn’t have had so many people working for me, so many third-party compliance people, if I wasn’t trying to follow the rules.”
Nov. 3, 2016
Schock invites members of the local media to an ambiguous afternoon news conference at Peoria Heights Village Hall, which is canceled minutes before it is scheduled to begin. Schock himself was seen only from his vehicle, as he stopped to pick up an aide notifying press members of the change of plans.
Nov. 10, 2016
A 24-count indictment filed in federal court includes charges of wire fraud, falsification of Federal Election Commission filings, mail fraud, theft of government funds, making false statements and filing a false tax return. All are felonies that carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Schock, members of his legal team and his family schedule a pre-emptive news conference at Peoria Heights Village Hall, where Schock said he was eager for the chance to defend himself in court.