BREAKING: Hastert Made Payments to Hide Allegations of Sexual Misconduct From His High School Coaching Years
There are stories wrongly called “bombshells.” This one, though, is a…real bombshell. The LA Times:
Indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was paying an individual from his past to conceal sexual misconduct, two federal law enforcement officials said Friday.
One of the officials, who would not speak publicly about the federal charges in Chicago, said “Individual A,” as the person is described in Thursday’s federal indictment, was a man and that the alleged misconduct was unrelated to Hastert’s tenure in Congress. The actions date to Hastert’s time as a Yorkville, Ill., high school wrestling coach and teacher, the official said.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert indicted
Federal prosecutors have announced bank-related charges against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
“It goes back a long way, back to then,” the source said. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.” Thursday’s indictment described the misconduct “against Individual A” as having “occurred years earlier.”
Asked why Hastert was making the payments, the official said it was to conceal Hastert’s past relationship with the male. “It was sex,’’ the source said. The other official confirmed that the misconduct involved sexual abuse.
Hastert has not responded to requests for comment. Representatives of his lobbying firm declined to comment.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in apparent hush money to the individual, then lied to the FBI when asked about suspicious cash withdrawals from several banks.
The stunning indictment of the longtime Republican powerhouse alleged he gave about $1.7 million in cash beginning in 2010 to the acquaintance.
Hastert, 73, of Plano, was charged with one count each of structuring currency transactions to evade currency transaction reports and making a false statement to the FBI, counts that each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. He will be arraigned later at U.S. District Court in downtown Chicago.
Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was paying a man to not say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago, according to two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation into the payments.
Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced the indictment of Mr. Hastert on allegations that he made cash withdrawals designed to hide those payments and for lying to federal authorities about the purpose of the withdrawals.
The man – who was not identified in court papers — told the F.B.I. that he had been inappropriately touched by Mr. Hastert when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach, the two people said on Friday. The people briefed on the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a federal investigation.
…………The indictment stunned Mr. Hastert’s friends and former Capitol Hill colleagues, who said Friday morning that they were struggling to make sense of the federal charges against him.
“In my dealings with Denny, he was always straight up, aboveboard and never even close to crossing the line on anything,” said Tom Davis, who represented Virginia as a Republican House member.
The indictment said Mr. Hastert was structuring the cash withdrawals in increments designed to avoid bank reporting requirements. Federal prosecutors said in the indictment that Mr. Hastert, 73, had made cash withdrawals from banks in a way that was designed to hide that he was paying the person a total of $3.5 million. The indictment said that Hastert had made $1.7 million in payments so far.
The indictment also said Mr. Hastert, a Republican who served as speaker from 1999 to 2007, had lied to the F.B.I. about the transactions.
1. There are some who debate the accurate of our oft stated principle in this country but someone is considered innocent until proven guilty. But their image is soiled until proven they are innocent.
2. I’m expecting this to eventually become one more partisan football, with some people talking about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. If so, sorry. This is a separate case and he will be judged guilty or not guilty on that. It’s irrelevant what Bill Clinton did or Bob Filner did or any of the other scandals that have involved Democrats or Republicans.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 29, 2015
Hastert castigated Bill Clinton for his "inability to abide by the law." http://t.co/nWIQ54y0hL
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) May 29, 2015
The #Hastert story making me explode. GOP, party in grip of groups calling gays predators, was actually run by predator, allowed Foley too
— Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) May 29, 2015
The Hastert news puts the 9 year old Foley scandal in a very different light http://t.co/R56G6qNQTU
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 29, 2015
If the Church could finally do it, surely the GOP House can investigate sexual coverup of Hastert-Mark Foley era. http://t.co/eCB9kYE5Td
— Frank Rich (@frankrichny) May 29, 2015
That alleged Hastert agreement- where someone compensates a victim & pays them to keep quiet- happens every day in every court & law office.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 29, 2015
graphic via shutterstock.com