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*** UPDATED x2 *** Denny Hastert oddities and ends

Friday, May 29, 2015

*** UPDATE 1 *** From 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.

“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.

Ugh.

*** UPDATE 2 *** New York Times

J. 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. […]

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.

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* Riopell takes a look at some unanswered questions about the federal Denny Hastert indictment

Who is “Individual A?”

The indictment accuses Hastert of agreeing to pay an unnamed person, “Individual A,” $3.5 million in order to cover up some kind of “misconduct” on Hastert’s part. The document says Individual A is a longtime Yorkville resident who has known Hastert most of his life.

What is the “misconduct?”

The indictment is silent on this point. It doesn’t describe what federal authorities say Hastert was trying to cover up.

When did it happen?

The accusations also don’t describe this. Given the long time “Individual A” is said to have known Hastert, the “misconduct” described could predate his career in politics. Hastert was the longest-serving Republican speaker and spent 20 years as a member of Congress. Before that, he served at the Illinois Capitol. The indictment noted that before entering state and federal politics in 1981, Hastert served for more than a decade as a government and history teacher and wrestling and football coach at Yorkville High School.

* Politico

Hastert’s case was assigned Thursday to U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin, an appointee of President Barack Obama. The former speaker was apparently not arrested. A statement from the U.S. attorney’s office said he would be arraigned at a later date.

* More on Durkin

Judge Thomas Durkin is the brother of House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, the GOP’s leader in the Illinois House. Jim Durkin is in the middle of a budget fight in Springfield against Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Judge Thomas Durkin was confirmed to the federal bench in 2012 and used to be a partner in the law firm Mayer Brown.

Hastert’s son, Ethan Hastert, is an attorney at Mayer Brown.

Leader Durkin, by the way, was not pleased with the lack of support shown for his US Senate campaign by Speaker Hastert.

* Tribune

On Thursday, there were signs that Hastert’s world has been turned upside down. A spokesman for the CME Group confirmed that Hastert had resigned from the board of directors of the Chicago-based futures market operator. Hastert also resigned his position as co-leader of Dickstein Shapiro’s Public Policy and Political Law practice, a spokesman for the lobbying firm confirmed late Thursday.

It also emerged that the Illinois House put on hold a proposal to spend $500,000 to put a statue in the state Capitol honoring Hastert. He declined the offer about a month ago, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said.

* About a month ago, eh? Hmm

Rumors that Hastert had serious legal problems were bouncing around the Capitol in recent weeks. In an interview with POLITICO last week, Hastert, the longest-serving Republican House speaker in U.S. history, denied that he had problems with the IRS and denied that he was about to be indicted.

“I read what you heard, but that’s not correct,” Hastert told POLITICO when asked about problems with the IRS. “I’m not going to talk to you.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.,talks to reporters in his office on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. Clyburn said South Carolina can’t improve if it continues to elect Republicans. Clyburn is South Carolina’s only Democratic congressman. (AP Photo).

When a POLITICO reporter told Hastert in a phone interview that he was about to be indicted, he said, “Well, it’s not true.”

“I’m not speaking to you right now, thanks,” Hastert said, before hanging up.

* The Tribune’s editorial is headlined “Denny Hastert’s dark secret”

On paper, he’s accused of moving money around illegally and fibbing to the feds about it. Between the lines, prosecutors suggest he has harbored a dark secret.

* Mark Brown

There’s no small irony in the fact that Hastert survived a career in Illinois and Washington politics with his reputation relatively unscathed only to have it crash down upon him in retirement for something that may predate his first run for the Illinois Legislature.

An individual of modest means when he first became speaker, Hastert is now wealthy enough as a lobbyist paid to influence the government of which he was a part that he could allegedly pay out $1.7 million over a four-year period to help clear his conscience.

It must have been something pretty bad.

* And I don’t know if it means anything at all, but watch the video. It is super creepy…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

104 Comments
  1. - walker - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    Jim Durkin is a stand up guy. No doubt so is his brother. Not a big deal.

    Still, for such a high-profile case, it might be better to have somebody with more bench experience, and no obvious ties to a public figure, to handle this one.


  2. - walker - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    BTW, this one is just a little side piece, but Riopell has been knocking them out of the park lately.


  3. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    This is the rare instance where the cover up is not even close to as bad as the underlying issue.

    What he was indicted for, if we are to believe the worst, is nothing compared to what he was trying to hide. And this secret has been out there for decades. What changed in 2010 to make Individual A confront Hastert?


  4. - Individual B - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    =Who is “Individual A?”=

    it is i… Individual B! the last person you’d ever suspect!


  5. - Snucka - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:19 am:

    That CSPAN call is definitely weird. If the indictment is true, Hastert was making large cash withdrawals at the time of that interview and giving them to Individual A. Wow.


  6. - The Muse - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    The look on Speaker Hastert’s face when the individual asks, “Remember me from Yorkville?”…. I’m trying really hard not to speculate. However, I cannot help but wonder why would the indictment include seemingly unimportant information regarding his career prior to becoming an elected official?


  7. - Nick Naylor - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    Why would “Bruce” be “Individual A”? If he already extracted a $3.5 million “deal” to keep his mouth closed in 2010, why would “Individual A” call C-SPAN to taunt the Speaker in 2014?


  8. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    Buzzfeed quotes unnamed sources saying that Hastert lawyers negotiated with the federales to keep the alleged misconduct out of the indictment.

    If that’s true, I’d imagine we’ll see some sort of guilty plea in short order that also keeps the underlying conduct under wraps.

    If you’re willing to pay $3.5 million to keep a secret, you’re probably willing to take a pinch for it, too.


  9. - ChiTownSeven - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:26 am:

    Denny should’ve talked to his lawyer as soon as A tried to extort the money. He could’ve got a confidential settlement agreement with A, then withdrawn the money, then told the feds “It’s for a confidential settlement agreement, none of your business.” But he didn’t, so now he’s subject to real over-reaching on the part of the feds. Come on. After how many months of investigation, after how many thousands of dollars spent, the best the feds can to is charge him with lying to the FBI? I’m no defender of Denny if his misconduct of 20-30 years ago hurt someone bad. But if the indictment is the best the feds can do, they should be ashamed for bringing it. How about going after the bankers (not the corporations) who caused the economy to tank?


  10. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    The Hastert indictment took up the first 5-10 minutes of the Diane Rehm show’s national news roundup this morning. In addition to the topics discuss on this blog yesterday and today, they spent a lot of time wondering where he got all that money.


  11. - A guy - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    A great big “ew” at the 13:00 mark. What a shame.


  12. - MrJM - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    “If he already extracted a $3.5 million ‘deal’ to keep his mouth closed in 2010, why would ‘Individual A’ call C-SPAN to taunt the Speaker in 2014?”

    Asked and answered.

    – MrJM


  13. - ChiTownSeven - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    One other note: the feds are really good at choosing their words with care in an indictment. It’s interesting that they used the term “misconduct” instead of “conduct that would have been criminal at the time” or something similar. Misconduct is pretty broad. Even years ago, the crime “aggravated battery” covered a lot of ground.

    Aggravated battery


  14. - too obvious - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    Obviously it’s something so bad and embarrassing that he didn’t even want to initially tell his lawyers, despite the fact they likely could have avoided this indictment.


  15. - Illinoisvoter - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    Is this the link you wanted for Bruce the caller?
    http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4539325/dennis-hastert-strange-yorkville-call
    Thanks once again for your excellent access to
    primary source material Mr Miller.


  16. - William - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    I’m quite certain everyone had those same questions yesterday. Not sure what news the DH really made.


  17. - OneMan - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    Well, Yorkville isn’t that big now and it was a lot smaller back then, so I am kind of amazed that you don’t have people from Yorkville coming out and saying they know what it is.


  18. - Soccermom - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    I am trying to figure out what kinds of proof of misconduct would be worth $3.5 million. I mean, before 1980 it was much more difficult to take photos or record videos of misconduct — not impossible, but not as easy as it is today.

    Hmm…


  19. - Century Club - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    When are politicians going to realize they shouldn’t associate Individual A? Blagojevich, Rep. Smith, and now Hastert - That guy is bad news!


  20. - LathamPlace - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    47th Ward - what’s the decade(s) old secret?


  21. - Belle - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    I find it baffling that he didn’t make the person an employee and pay him/her in a more legal fashion. He didn’t want to waste money paying taxes on the $3M so he gets caught instead?
    The Yorkville call is very strange and creepy.


  22. - Precinct Captain - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    ==- LathamPlace - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:55 am:==

    Take a guess based on the evidence so far. Also take a look at some of the speculation of why there was a major miscommunication between Hastert and his chief of staff Scott Palmer over the Mark Foley situation.


  23. - 60611 - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    Soccermom: something in his writing, perhaps? Or a recording from 2010 when the blackmail started that admitted the prior misconduct? Really, the only other “proof” (and cause to pay significant money) would be a child he fathered.


  24. - Bogey Golfer - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    =Well, Yorkville isn’t that big now and it was a lot smaller back then, so I am kind of amazed that you don’t have people from Yorkville coming out and saying they know what it is.=
    Those who were around when it was a lot smaller have kept their mouths shut, because its one of theirs. Someone who only been here say 30 years, he’s fair game.


  25. - Illinoisan - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    Who knows Patty?


  26. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    Read the indictment LathamPlace.


  27. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    Soccermom, I’m picking up what you’re putting down regarding “proof,” but if that were the case, I think the money flow would have started shortly after the alleged misconduct.

    My guess is the sort of “proof” you’re referring to is not possible in this case.


  28. - Under Further Review - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:25 am:

    “they spent a lot of time wondering where he got all that money…”

    Never a Hastert fan. Always considered him a mediocrity. I am also wary of politicians who make a mint while in elected office. But I also wondered if Hastert had a percentage in the family restaurant which was something of a chicken fried gold mine forever…


  29. - LathamPlace - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Thanks, 47th.


  30. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    Hastert made a load in Kendall County real estate. The late, great Ray Gibson of the Trib was hot on the trail for some time connecting the dots between Hastert real estate deals and federal highway earmarks.


  31. - Soccermom - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Word — we don’t know when the money flow began. We know when the structuring began — that’s different.

    I mean, it could be that the 2010 conversation involved a portion of Hastert’s estate rather than a regular flow of smaller sums….


  32. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Hastert made a load in Kendall County real estate.

    So did almost everyone else who sold land in Kendall County from about 1995 to 2008. It is impossible to know how much influence that “federal highway earmarks” had on the perceived value of land…ask 3 appraisers what a piece of property is worth and why, and you’ll get 3 different answers. I do know that ridiculous sums of money were paid for Kendall County property that is post-crash hard to sell for a fraction of what it once went for.


  33. - MrJM - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    Some info on the juicy intersection of Denny Hastert’s Kendall County real estate deal and Denny Hastert’s federal earmarks for Kendall County: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/speaker-hasterts-land-deal-questioned/

    – MrJM


  34. - zonz - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    Until he resigned the other day Hastert was co-leader of the lobbying group at Dickstein Shapiro, and he likely was earning well north of $1 million per annum.

    It seems that this prosecution began with the IRS and Individual A’s spending of big bux without having much reported income.

    To all who want to look objectively, realize that Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in cash instead of paying a larger amount that ‘Individual A’ could report as income and pay taxes on.

    Hastert was a willing participant in tax evasion scheme he set up with ‘Individual A’

    Hastert’s purpose in doing so was to preserve his own income and reputation.
    _________________
    - 47th Ward - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    This is the rare instance where the cover up is not even close to as bad as the underlying issue.

    What he was indicted for, if we are to believe the worst, is nothing compared to what he was trying to hide. And this secret has been out there for decades. What changed in 2010 to make Individual A confront Hastert?


  35. - A guy - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    === Soccermom - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Word — we don’t know when the money flow began. We know when the structuring began — that’s different.

    I mean, it could be that the 2010 conversation involved a portion of Hastert’s estate rather than a regular flow of smaller sums….====

    The agreement and the money flow could be separated by time and convenience. Whatever the evidence is, it’s enduring evidence and solid enough to withstand over 20 years. More solid than he said….

    Good pickup there Mom.


  36. - zonz - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    @Six Degrees of Separation

    what are you smoking?

    OMG
    __________
    - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Hastert made a load in Kendall County real estate.

    So did almost everyone else who sold land in Kendall County
    … It is impossible to know how much influence that “federal highway earmarks” had on the perceived value of land…


  37. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Soccermom, from the indictment, the payments started shortly after the conversations with Ind. A in 2010; 50K cash a crack every six weeks for about two years.

    After Hastert’s bank questioned him on the pattern, that’s when the structuring began, the federales alleged.


  38. - Toure's Latte - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    Hoping it has to do with his blatant land manipulation, fearing it’s a coaching sexcapade. Either way get the jail cell ready.


  39. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    MrJM, in your link the proximity of the land to the highway seems to be an issue…also, there was no guarantee the highway would ever be built. There are more than a few new freeway exits that were built in IL in the hopes of something happening there, and all that happened were lots that are still vacant. Still, the mere appearance of a legislator profiting off of a land sale where they had other influence should be a caution to “don’t do it”…and much of the earmark reform that happened in the last several years was in response to projects of dubious value or subject to influence peddling. The less of all that, the better.


  40. - Tom Joad - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    Hastert’s purchase with others in Kendal County went hand in hand with the proposal of a new highway using state Route 47 and ending in Minooka. The talk of many new jobs and businesses were rampant. The rumor floated around for a few years then was never heard of again.


  41. - Tom Joad - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    Correction: It was a sale not a purchase of land.


  42. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    – there was no guarantee the highway would be built–

    Yeah, it was just serendipity that earmark got stuffed in the federal highway bill.

    Dude, he was the Speaker of the House!


  43. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    Word-

    I guess it goes to show you that even the Speaker of the House couldn’t get his highway built, and can’t get off the hook from the FBI and the DOJ. When the story about the land deals came out, it killed any momentum for the highway, even though he was still in power. Things are different these days, in some ways for the better. Former Speaker Tip O’Neill got the whole nation to invest $13 billion or more into the Big Dig in Boston…we’ll probably never see the likes of earmarks like that any time soon.


  44. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==a proposal to spend $500,000 to put a statue in the state Capitol honoring Hastert. He declined the offer about a month ago, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said==

    What is it with Madigan offering money for statues and libraries that people either don’t want or don’t need?

    The library will raise plenty of money by itself, and Hastert had to decline the offer to build him a statue. There must be plenty of money laying around somewhere /s


  45. - crazybleedingheart - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    ==I guess it goes to show you that even the Speaker of the House couldn’t get his highway built,==

    He didn’t care if the highway was built. He sold the land. He didn’t need the highway.


  46. - Let'sMovetoTexas - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:44 pm:

    A good lawyer, consulted candidly at the right time, could have avoided this indictment and made Mr. A the bad guy. A shame.


  47. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    All the accusations and indictment gets a 4,500 bond?

    Something does not add up.


  48. - Snucka - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Hastert is a hypocritical POS. I hope that the story of Individual A is told, and I hope it puts a humiliating exclamation point on his sorry career in public “service”.


  49. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    That cspan call is odd.

    Also, ==bad day== seems an understatement from the Sun Times in their story title

    ==Bad day for Illinois: Chicago ranks as most corrupt, Hastert indicted by feds==


  50. - Snucka - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    =All the accusations and indictment gets a 4,500 bond?

    Something does not add up.=

    He’s not really a flight risk. He is a well-known 72 year old man with strong ties to his community. If he pleads out, he may get a couple of years in prison, but it’s not as if he is looking at 10 years or anything.


  51. - Peoria Guy - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    First time offender. I would be surprised if he received significant jail time.


  52. - MrJM - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    Tribune: “Hastert paid to conceal sexual misconduct, sources say” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-dennis-hastert-indictment-20150529-story.html

    – MrJM


  53. - Wensicia - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    Individual A is male the feds say and involved sexual abuse.


  54. - Nick Naylor - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    =and involved sexual abuse=

    That likely means it was a minor or a student at the time.


  55. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    That’s only worth $3.5 million if Individual A was a student when the affair began. Hastert wouldn’t be the first, or last, closeted gay Republican to serve in high office. But if he had an inappropriate relationship with a student and/or a minor, that is an order of magnitude higher on the scandal meter and might still be a criminal matter.


  56. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:53 pm:

    It’s an abuse of great power for the federales to go beyond a public indictment and start whispering in the ears of reporters.

    If you have something to say, say it in court.

    The feds have the FBI, IRS and unlimited time and resources to tune someone up. To prosecute in the court of public opinion through unnamed leaks is grossly unethical. Makes me sick.


  57. - MrJM - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:53 pm:

    “even the Speaker of the House couldn’t get his highway built”

    Well, he did double his money speculating on the land near the proposed highway.

    But it doesn’t sound like he’ll get to keep a lot of it…

    – MrJM


  58. - Juvenal - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    === if he had an inappropriate relationship with a student ===

    It’s called sexual abuse, not “an inappropriate relationship with a student.”

    Let’s not sugar coat.


  59. - anon - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    If the individual was a minor, it would have been criminal (statutory rape), not just “misconduct.” So not jailbait but not exactly very upright either.


  60. - Juvenal - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    === It’s an abuse of great power for the federales to go beyond a public indictment and start whispering in the ears of reporters. ===

    Truth is an affirmative defense to charges of defamation, slander and libel.


  61. - anon - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 1:58 pm:

    Current age of consent is 17. Don’t know what it was back then.


  62. - Nick Naylor - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    @ anon =Current age of consent is 17. Don’t know what it was back then.=

    If the victim was a student, age of consent doesn’t apply. The abuse would still be a crime.


  63. - MrJM - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    Second victim: http://www.buzzfeed.com/johnstanton/former-us-speaker-of-the-house-dennis-hastert-indicted?utm_term=.tgaWq8wXA&sub=3792872_5858506

    – MrJM


  64. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    But it doesn’t sound like he’ll get to keep a lot of it…

    Sounds like he didn’t get to keep a lot of it even before the story broke, LOL


  65. - A guy - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    The other shoe just dropped….twice. Ugh x 1000.


  66. - anon - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    Teacher/student status only extends age of consent by a year. Sex with an 18 year old student is not criminal. From the statute: “A person commits aggravated criminal sexual abuse if that person commits an act of sexual conduct with a victim who is at least 13 years of age but under 18 years of age and the person is 17 years of age or over and holds a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to the victim.”


  67. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    ===Let’s not sugar coat.===

    Whoa, slow down big fella. Until the facts are in, neither one of us knows exactly what happened or what to call this. Be patient. The full story will come out soon enough.


  68. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:11 pm:

    ==Until the facts are in, neither one of us knows exactly what happened or what to call this.==

    Bingo.

    Your earlier question also remains unanswered. What changed in 2010?


  69. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:27 pm:

    Juvenal, I’m not talking about libel or slander. I’m talking about the federal government using its enormous power to indict an individual, then abusing that power to prosecute, anonymously, in the court of public opinion.


  70. - Walter Mitty - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    If he is guilty… Lock him up…. I will say this,0 tolerance for this behavior. If true. I will say that I don’t think it’s remotely coincidence that so many specifics have leaked from Federal sources about the Former Speaker of the Republican party… Party should not matter… But clearly, in this case, it does. I struggle to find a case that within 20 hours so many federal sources have leaked information. The focus should be on fact and alleged crimes…. Not trying the case in public by the Feds.. Gross on all!


  71. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:32 pm:

    @wordslinger 1:53 nails it.

    Many of us suspect Hastert did something vile. If he did, it is disgusting and he must face justice. Saying more right now would probably get me banned.

    But a government character assassination campaign using only unverifiable, unnamed leaks is inappropriate. La Shawn Ford, and others, might have something to say about that.


  72. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Jane’s Addiction said it best: Nothing’s Shocking.
    But this comes pretty close.


  73. - Ethan Hawk - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    Hastert made a small fortune by having inside knowledge on the proposed Route 47 extension to Minooka, Illinois. Nancy Pelosi and others in Washington have also used their office in order to know what is in tomorrow’s newspaper a day before everybody else. These people are the nation’s aristocracy so it is and has always been just accepted and understood. My guess is that Denny is trying to prevent the embarrassment and emotional pain of a previous transgression by Denny from hurting his family members and especially his son. Lying to the FBI represents only a year sentence. He won’t serve much (if any) time in a white-collar crime dormitory. Jessie Jackson Junior did very little time. Most people have already forgotten about his crime. His Democrat Party leaders and his old man were there to throw a pillow under him when he tripped and fell down. The alleged scandal will probably vaporize and disappear for Denny Hastert after a month or two goes by.


  74. - OneMan - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    Wonder who else might have known about this back when he was an elected official…


  75. - MrJM - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:23 pm:

    “The alleged scandal will probably vaporize and disappear for Denny Hastert after a month or two goes by.”

    Unlikely.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dennis-hastert-indictment-fed-say-cover-was-related-sexual-misconduct-n366776

    – MrJM


  76. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:26 pm:

    This may be wrong, but now this makes me think all over again about his reaction to the Mark Foley stuff in retrospect…


  77. - illini - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    Yet John Shimkus skated through his mishandling of the Foley matter and has been reelected numerous times!


  78. - Soccermom - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:49 pm:

    Aw, gee — This is why the best response to a blackmailer is usually “publish and be damned.” So often it comes out anyway. If you’re going to be publicly humiliated anyway, you might as well save your money. And a public confession ahead of time usually limits media attention — it’s no fun chasing somebody who’s not running.


  79. - OneMan - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Well the other thing might be, assuming it is what the rumor are, are in fact true. He might have been trying to do right by someone by giving him a cash settlement, because over a million to keep this quiet at this point in his life?

    It just seems like there is something else there, either him genuinely trying to fix something or something more to it IMHO.


  80. - zonz - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:11 pm:

    OneMan,
    More to it? Yes, a lifetime of income from his co-leadership in a major lobbying practice, at an average over his remaining life of ~$2 million per annum
    _________________________
    - OneMan - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Well the other thing might be, assuming it is what the rumor are, are in fact true. He might have been trying to do right by someone by giving him a cash settlement, because over a million to keep this quiet at this point in his life?

    It just seems like there is something else there, either him genuinely trying to fix something or something more to it IMHO.


  81. - Precinct Captain - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==- Formerly Known As… - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 2:32 pm:==

    The feds were allegedly willing to put out a much more direct and explicit indictment, but Denny’s people talked ‘em out of it according to BuzzFeed.


  82. - A guy - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    === Soccermom - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:49 pm:

    Aw, gee — This is why the best response to a blackmailer is usually “publish and be damned.” So often it comes out anyway. If you’re going to be publicly humiliated anyway, you might as well save your money. And a public confession ahead of time usually limits media attention — it’s no fun chasing somebody who’s not running.===

    Amen S Mom. Still smitten. Mentally, this guy’s been in prison for 30 years already. And for him, it won’t count as time served. The evidence here must be something quite extraordinary.


  83. - Team Sleep - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    Illini - that is 100% false. The House Committee on Ethics found there to be negligence and they noted that Congressman Shimkus should have done more. However - and this is a key point - Mr. Shimkus was not censured and the Ethics Committee recommended NO adverse action against Mr. Shimkus. The Ethic Committee is also split amongst party line, and Speaker Hastert was dinged pretty hard for his role (or lack thereof).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/washington/09foley.html?_r=0


  84. - A guy - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:20 pm:

    There’s a power sander, maybe even a jack-hammer headed to a college very soon.


  85. - Snucka - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    I just can’t figure out why he would pay. If the guy wants to make allegations from 30+ years ago, how could he possibly prove them? The existence of an “Individual B” sheds some light, and makes one wonder how much further down the alphabet the Feds could go.


  86. - ChiTownSeven - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:28 pm:

    I’m a democratic liberal — I also believe that the criminal justice system should be fair. Bill Clinton lied to a grand jury about his conduct as President and never get indicted by the G; Denny Hastert lied to an FBI agent about his conduct as a coach 30 years ago and gets indicted by the G? What kind of hypocrisy is this?


  87. - Levois - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:49 pm:

    OK, this got really weird really quick. This was to cover up something that occurred years ago? Now I wonder how it came to light…and I have yet to watch that C-Span clip now I’m even more curious. Still this was a WOW! From the time it happened to further revelations now.


  88. - vole - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:59 pm:

    Buzzfeed update: “Hastert is fighting another unrelated court case saying he misused government funds.”


  89. - zonz - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:59 pm:

    - A guy,
    Given the facts now out, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Individual A wanted cash so he could spread it around to the various individuals he was negotiating for - - i.e., the ex-wrestling students who had been scarred by Hastert’s actions.

    Calls these to mind…
    SVU Episode 14-8: Lessons Learned
    http://allisonleotta.com/2012/11/svu-episode-14-8-lessons-learned/
    AND
    An extraordinary story of alleged sex abuse of students at elite private school over decades http://wpo.st/5sRJ0
    ____________________
    - A guy - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    === Soccermom - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 3:49 pm:

    Aw, gee — This is why the best response to a blackmailer is usually “publish and be damned.” So often it comes out anyway. If you’re going to be publicly humiliated anyway, you might as well save your money. And a public confession ahead of time usually limits media attention — it’s no fun chasing somebody who’s not running.===

    Amen S Mom. Still smitten. Mentally, this guy’s been in prison for 30 years already. And for him, it won’t count as time served. The evidence here must be something quite extraordinary.


  90. - zonz - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:04 pm:

    - Levois,
    It’s pretty clear the IRS got this rolling, perhaps due to big cash deposits by Individual A or big spending beyond his reported income.
    _________
    - Levois - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 4:49 pm:

    OK, this got really weird really quick. This was to cover up something that occurred years ago? Now I wonder how it came to light…and I have yet to watch that C-Span clip now I’m even more curious. Still this was a WOW! From the time it happened to further revelations now.


  91. - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:15 pm:

    Zonz, my guess the bank. According to the indictment, they questioned Hastert on the regular $50K withdrawals every six weeks.

    After that, a pattern emerged of more withdrawals under $10K, but in the same overall amount of $100K every three months.


  92. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    Zonz, methinks you watch too much TV.

    For my two cents worth, the G got interested when the banks got nervous about the new withdrawal pattern, not because of anything to do with A, B, or whomever.

    I’m also in agreement with Word that it’s a crock (avoiding banned words) that the Feds can’t seem to save their case for the courthouse.


  93. - zonz - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:32 pm:

    maybe, Wordslinger.

    Though Hastert banked in various institutions, including small banks, they all supposedly have compliance obligations to examine (and software to flag) multiple sub-$10,000 cash withdrawals within a confined period number of weeks; the one bank that addressed the cash-withdrawal issue with Hastert when he was making his over-$10,000 cash withdrawals may have put him in a compliance report, or maybe it was other banks later on.

    Obviously money laundering folks / IRS etc
    in the federal gov’t have software too - - and it aggregates cash transactions being done at a group of banks. Hastert was apparently using various accounts.
    ____________________
    - Wordslinger - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:15 pm:

    Zonz, my guess the bank. According to the indictment, they questioned Hastert on the regular $50K withdrawals every six weeks.

    After that, a pattern emerged of more withdrawals under $10K, but in the same overall amount of $100K every three months.


  94. - zonz - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:38 pm:

    AA-
    I think it is obvious the feds went to Indiv A before Hastert, and I believe they only started talking to Hastert six months ago; that is why I have focused on what Indiv A did to attract attention initially.
    These cases generally take a long time to ripen to an indictment - - when there is no Blago-type urgency.

    I do concur about the “crock” of the leaks.
    ______________________________
    - Arthur Andersen - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    Zonz, methinks you watch too much TV.

    For my two cents worth, the G got interested when the banks got nervous about the new withdrawal pattern, not because of anything to do with A, B, or whomever.

    I’m also in agreement with Word that it’s a crock (avoiding banned


  95. - illini - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 5:43 pm:

    Team Sleep - you are both right and wrong. Cong. Shimkus was not censored, nor penalized in any way, yet he did refuse to tell the Dems on his subcommittee any of the details that came to his attention because he was afraid that they would use it for their political advantage.
    And, as I said, he has continued to run unscathed by his partisan decisions. In addition, he broke his promise to his constituents to only serve 4 terms and not become the career politician he has become.
    Please don’t make excuses for Cong. Shimkus.


  96. - reader - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 6:14 pm:

    Interesting read considering today’s news: http://www.infowars.com/flashback-investigative-journalist-broke-ex-speaker-hastert-blackmail-sex-scandal-in-2006/


  97. - Kooky in Kalifornia - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 6:15 pm:

    They will throw the book at the former student, look past the crimes against him and Hastert will be made out to be the victim in all of this. Cheney and Bush indicted yet?


  98. - AnonymousOne - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 6:16 pm:

    People are gagging over the sex stuff. I’m gagging over the amount of money amassed by a public servant. He entered office as a former teacher with a total net worth of $270,000 according to Fox News. Somehow, as a taxpayer funded employee, he amassed between $4 million and $17 million by 2007. And gets a public pension. And folks are bent out of shape that a the average teacher pension is $40 some thousand, exclusive of any other retirement income? How does one go from $270,000 to $17 million on the taxpayers’ dime? And why isn’t this a problem?


  99. - Carhartt Representative - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 7:18 pm:

    It just proves what Rauner has been saying. Teacher pensions are out of control


  100. - illini - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 7:25 pm:

    Just checked on Open the Books - Hasterts pension is $2267 a month from his short teaching career.


  101. - Wensicia - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 8:22 pm:

    Network and cable news stations are pointing out how devastating this is for Hastert. What about the victims of his abuse?


  102. - Anonymous - Friday, May 29, 15 @ 10:47 pm:

    I hate to say this, but Kass wrote an excellent column. It’s up on the Tribune website.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-kass-hastert-met-0531-20150529-column.html


  103. - zonz - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 12:03 am:

    oh really
    2nd man comes forward with accusation against Hastert (by R.Serrano & K.Skiba, Tribune Washington Bureau) via @seattletimes http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/2nd-man-comes-forward-with-accusation-against-hastert/


  104. - Bruce - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 6:32 pm:

    Mark Allen Collman


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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