Hastert Was Snagged By Patriot Act He Helped Pass
On Oct. 24, 2001, then-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) shepherded the Patriot Act through the House of Representatives. It passed 357 to 66, advancing to the Senate and then-President George W. Bush’s desk for signing.
Hastert took credit for House passage in a 2011 interview, claiming it “wasn’t popular, and there was a lot of fight in the Congress” over it.
Little did Hastert know at the time that the law he helped pass would give federal law enforcement the tools to indict him on charges of violating banking-related reporting requirements more than a decade later…
The indictment suggests that law enforcement officials relied on the Patriot Act’s expansion of bank reporting requirements to snare Hastert. As the IRS notes, “the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 increased the scope” of cash reporting laws “to help trace funds used for terrorism.” The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, which was amended by the Patriot Act, had already required banks to report suspicious transactions.