Top Aaron Schock prosecutor off the case

The federal prosecutor who has led the investigation into former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) for more than three years is officially off the criminal corruption case, just as it appears to be finally heading for trial.

Timothy Bass, a veteran prosecutor who heads the public-corruption unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Central Illinois, notified the federal court there on Tuesday that he was formally withdrawing from the prosecution team.

No reason was given for Bass’s withdrawal, but he faced a series of unpleasant headlines last year as a federal judge complained that he was misled by the prosecutor; as Schock’s attorneys alleged that Bass pried into Schock’s sexuality ; and as lawyers for the House of Representatives charged that investigators in the case engaged in “an apparent theft” of House records.

Sharon Paul, a spokeswoman for the interim U.S. attorney, John Childress, said she could not discuss why Bass was leaving the case. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office does not comment on case staffing decisions,” Paul said in a statement. Bass continues to work for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield, she said.

With Bass‘ departure, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Hansen is expected to take the lead role in the case.

Schock’s attorneys […]

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