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Ex-Rep. Aaron Schock | AP file photo

Schock judge schedules hearing next week on leaks

SHARE Schock judge schedules hearing next week on leaks
SHARE Schock judge schedules hearing next week on leaks

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WASHINGTON — Opening a new front in the legal saga of ex-Rep. Aaron Schock, a federal judge in Springfield ordered a videoconference hearing on Aug. 18 over leaks of a sealed government brief.

This comes as Schock and federal prosecutors, who are investigating his government and campaign spending, have been battling over the production of documents in a federal courtroom in Springfield.

U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough ordered the hearing after federal prosecutors told the court “that, on August 10, 2015, there were media reports containing information that appear to derive solely from the government’s motion for an order to show cause, which remained sealed as of August 10, 2015.”

“In light of this information, the court sets this matter for a videoconference on August 18, 2015, at 2:00 p.m.,” the judge said in the order.

There was no reference to a specific story in the short order and it is not obvious what report is at issue.

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Stories about the fight over Schock documents were written by a variety of news outlets on Aug. 11, when court records were unsealed.

The government had been seeking a civil contempt finding against Schock over turning over documents, and that threat for now apparently is off the table.

An agreement struck between Schock’s legal team and the government calls for him to turn over some of the disputed records by the end of the month.

In an Aug. 11 brief, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Bass stated they didn’t leak anything: “The government wishes to advise the court that it has not provided any documents, including transcripts, in this matter, sealed or otherwise, to the media.”

Mark Hubbard, a spokesman for Schock’s McGuire Woods legal team, told the Chicago Sun-Times, “We have not leaked any documents and do not know what this inquiry is about.”

A federal grand jury in Springfield has been hearing testimony about Schock’s political, governmental and personal business dealings for months.

Schock resigned from Congress on March 31.

THE MISSING LAPTOP AND SCHOCK

Schock’s 18th Congressional District staff continues to work under the supervision of the House clerk. The arrangement ends when a new representative is elected in September.

It appears that as of June, an iPad and iMac that Shock’s office bought with government funds are missing, according to a letter in the court file.

In an interesting development, court papers show Schock personally intervened in April in the matter of a laptop the government was looking for.

Schock “conferred” with the staffer who ran his Peoria district office, Dayne LaHood, and he “advised Mr. LaHood to remove the MacPro from the district office,” said the letter from the lawyer for the House of Representatives in the Schock court file. LaHood took the laptop to his home.

LaHood said the MacPro was used by now-former Schock staffer Jonathon Link — the photographer who traveled the globe with Schock — “for campaign purposes but also, possibly for some official purposes.”

A source said the laptop was the property of one of Schock’s campaign committees and has been turned over to the government.

Follow Lynn Sweet on Twitter: @LynnSweet

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