Ex-Speaker Hush Money Tied To ‘Sexual Misconduct’
BREAKING, 2:50pmEDT – MSNBC reports that reporters for the Chicago Tribune have learned that former speaker Dennis Hastert was attempting to cover up “sexual misconduct.” A big get for the Trib:
Indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was paying an individual from his past to conceal sexual misconduct, two federal law enforcement officials said Friday.
Federal prosecutors have announced bank-related charges against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
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.
“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 and his attorneys could not be reached. Representatives of his lobbying firm declined to comment.
7:00amEDT – Ex-House Speaker Denny Hastert is charged with paying off a victim of “prior bad acts.”
In the indictment, Hastert is accused of agreeing to pay one individual $3.5 million.
Although the indictment does not specify the “bad acts,” sources said they could be from before Hastert, who is now a lobbyist in Washington, entered politics in 1980. The indictment does, however, claim that Hastert agreed to make the payments “[d]uring … 2010 meetings and subsequent discussions.” In at least one of those meetings, according to the indictment, Hastert and the individual “discussed past misconduct by [Hastert against the individual] that had occurred years earlier.”
According to the indictment, the FBI began, in 2013, investigating cash withdrawals allegedly made by Hastert “as possible structuring of currency transactions to evade the reporting requirements.”