Appeals court rejects Schock's effort to dismiss indictment
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A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected an effort from former Rep. Aaron SchockAaron Jon SchockNew co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials Former GOP Rep. Aaron Schock comes out as gay Now that Aaron Schock is 'out,' he can be a powerful LGBTQ ally MORE (R-Ill.) to have the corruption charges against him dismissed, allowing criminal proceedings against the former lawmaker to move forward.Three judges at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Schock's argument that federal investigators overstepped their authority when charging him with taking thousands of dollars in reimbursement claims from falsified car mileage reports.

Schock had argued that the mileage reports were protected under the Constitution's speech or debate clause, which protects legislative activities from criminal prosecution, and insisted that it was a violation of separation of powers for the executive branch to charge him with a crime. The court dismissed both of those arguments.“On the merits, however, the Speech or Debate Clause does not help Schock, for a simple reason: the indictment arises out of applications for reimbursements, which are not speeches, debates, or any other part of the legislative process,” the judges wrote.George Terwilliger, Schock’s lead attorney, called the ruling “disappointing.”“The ruling is not consistent with those rendered by other US Courts of Appeals in similar circumstances, thus we will be evaluating our options regarding further appeal on these constitutional issues,” he said in a statement. “The ruling does not have any impact on the fact that the indictment is founded upon prosecutors’ after-the-fact interpretation of reimbursement rules established and administered by Congress.“As we continue to contend in court, the charges are the result of a determination to indict in spite of the true facts, not because of them. We are confident justice will ultimately prevail in a case that has unnecessarily now dragged on for more than two years at significant taxpayer expense,” he added.Wednesday's decision follows an appeal from Schock after his original motion to dismiss the charges was rejected last fall. The former Republican lawmaker faces a total of 24 charges, which federal prosecutors unveiled last year.Schock is also charged with violating an anti-obstruction statute surrounding his actions taken in response to the investigation. If convicted on the charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison. --Megan R. Wilson contributed to this report, which was updated at 5:20 p.m.