A congressman's Downton Abbey-style office is causing more drama than the Grantham family. Rep. Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois, might face an ethics investigation over his fancy digs.
It all started when the took a tour of his offices, which are way different than the boring, beige desks of his colleagues. The walls are bright red, and decorated with old-timey portraits and gold sconces.
One corner is home to a whole bunch of pheasant feathers.
His personal office even has a "drippy crystal chandelier" and "a table propped up by two eagles."
But when Schock's communications staffers found out reporter Ben Terris was looking around, they went into full panic mode. And now, there might be a good reason why. After the Post report, a liberal government watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics, according to . They want to know whether Shock used campaign funds to pay for the over-the-top décor; doing so would be against House ethics rules.
The office is modeled after a room in the Downton Abbey mansion and imagined by designer Annie Brahler, who reportedly donated her time for free. But argues that accepting such a gift, even if the furniture wasn't included, is considered unethical. Normally, the House will provide a new coat of paint on a new representative's office, but in a boring color. All other décor must come out of the lawmaker's pocket.
Schock, who did not respond to The Hill's request for comment, is known for being careful about his public image. He's huge on social media, and he even appeared on the cover of Men's Health a few years ago. But his spending has come under scrutiny lately; reports he has spent thousands on furniture and design in past years. But for what it's worth, he when it comes to office spending.
Also...it's pretty incredible.
Update, 2/5: Shock spoke out about the controversy to . He said he didn't know that the office was based on Downton Abbey, a show he's never seen. He also said he will pay the designer out of his pocket for her services, and his constituents will back him up on his decorations. "I've never been an old crusty white guy," he said. "As Taylor Swift said, haters are gonna hate."