Federal prosecutors deny that they improperly looked into former Rep. Aaron Schock's sexuality as part of a larger probe into his inappropriate use of campaign funds.
A court filing on Friday responded that Schock's claims made in a motion to dismiss an indictment against him are "completely erroneous." Schock, a Republican congressman from Illinois, resigned in 2015 after allegations of misusing campaign funds. He faces a 24-count grand jury criminal indictment over accusations of using House and campaign funds for personal gain.
The prosecutors say that references about Schock's sexuality as a topic of gossip in the media "pre-existed the grand jury investigation." They added that Schock's attempts to "attribute misconduct on the part of the government based on an issue that he himself admits pre-dated the grand jury investigation is simply meritless."
Schock also alleged that the government improperly questioned witnesses about his sexuality, which the government denies.
Schock further charged that investigators improperly pressed witnesses about his sexuality in relation to Karla Gonzalez, a diplomat from Panama, according to the filing.
An indictment against Schock alleges that the lawmaker spent $8,054 in campaign funds on a private flight for Peoria, Ill., to Washington to meet Gonzalez to then go to Europe for a vacation, the filing said.
Prosecutors say it was "incumbent upon government investigators to determine the nature of the relationship between the congressman and the diplomat, whether expenses were accurately reported, or whether the [Federal Elections Commission] and House travel reports contained false representations."
Prosecutors did not investigate Schock's sexuality or inquire about who he slept with.
The filing asks the court to grant the federal government's request for an evidentiary hearing and deny Schock's motion to dismiss.