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Report: Two alleged Hastert victims interviewed by feds

Saturday, May 30, 2015

* Ugh

Federal authorities have interviewed at least two victims of sexual misconduct in the case against former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The longest-serving GOP speaker allegedly paid hush money to cover up sexual misconduct with one male student dating to his time as a coach and teacher in Yorkville, the source said.

The source said federal investigators identified, then interviewed, at least one other alleged victim in the case against Hastert. The second victim’s statements to investigators were critical to corroborating allegations of past sexual misconduct, the source said. There was no allegation of a financial relationship involving the second individual, the source said.

These are usually not isolated incidents, so it’s no surprise and, heck, we could see more. But keep in mind that these are only allegations at this point.

* Even so

I’m told Hastert could have kept the entire thing covered up, if he’d gone to certain lawyers, the kind who are practiced in paying off sexual partners.

The technical problem, if you’ve followed the story, is that Hastert set off alarm bells by first withdrawing too much at one time, and later, by consistently withdrawing less than $10,000.

And I’m sure there are lawyers good enough to arrange hush money payoffs and call it legal. That’s what they do.

But Hastert didn’t go to the lawyers known for this work. He didn’t trust them. If he had, then his secret would have been theirs and apparently, he couldn’t handle it.

So he did it himself. And though I’m speculating here, I think we can see why:

He was ashamed.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - See the forest - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 10:36 am:

    Just read that Mr. Hastert has stepped down from the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government and Public Policy.

  2. - See the forest - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    Forgot to add: … at the conservative Christian Wheaton College.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    No words. No words.

  4. - Anonymous - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    “In a December 2006, the House Ethics Committee determined that Hastert and other congressional leaders were “willfully ignorant” in responding to early warnings of the Mark Foley congressional page scandal, but did not violate any House rules.[46][47] In a committee statement, Kirk Fordham, who was Foley’s chief of staff until 2005, said that he had alerted Scott Palmer, Hastert’s chief of staff, to Foley’s inappropriate advances toward congressional pages in 2002 or 2003, asking congressional leadership to intervene.[” Wikipedia

  5. - Anonymous - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 10:43 am:

    This is just sad for the kids, the community, and for Illinois. There is a special place in H e l l for people who do this.

  6. - Team Sleep - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    I met Speaker Hastert on numerous occasions. I really liked him and was impressed at the kind of leadership and political team he employed when he was Speaker.

    I also remember that several contemporaries from back home had attended his wrestling camps when he was still holding them (even when he was state rep) and they said that he was one of the nicer and more kind coaches they had ever met. I told them about my experiences with him from a political perspective, and the stories all matched up.

    Even with all of his “business dealings”, I always thought that Speaker Hastert was an honorable, mostly simple guy.

    I now have no idea what to think.

  7. - Wensicia - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    I don’t believe it was shame; I think it was fear. The incredible size of the continuing payoff shows Hastert was desperate to keep the blackmailer quiet, possibly he threatened to uncover other victims if Hastert talked to anyone else about the payoff.

  8. - Harry - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    Yes they are only allegations and it doesn’t look like they will ever go to an indictment (the sexual part)… but Hastert was willing to fork over 3.5 extra large and break banking laws in order to pay up, so it seems pretty likely and we don’t have to convict him in a court of law in order to say, yeah, looks like he did it.

    And, indeed, he was at Yorkville HS for 16 yrs, so there could be many more… or, not.

  9. - Stones - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    The silence from Hastert is deafening. Really sad to see someone with a previously good reputation go down in flames in this fashion.

  10. - walker - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 12:33 pm:

    Tragedy written all over it.

  11. - Six Degrees of Separation - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    Wencesia, shame and fear are close cousins. I think this was so sensitive to Mr. Hastert that he did not want ANYONE else to know, so instead of turning to someone that could’ve handed it in a more professional manner, he decided to go it alone, with the predictable results. And I do think these were probably isolated instances where something happened and the shame and fear might have prevented further escapades. It’s hard to imagine multiple victims (more than one or 2) keeping quiet for so long. But who knows.

  12. - cdog - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    two thoughts.

    - Any victim of a sex crime is always deserving of sympathy. HOWEVER, there is no crime at this time. The age of this person(s) at the time of this embarrassing situation, the existence of any element of being consensual, and whether there was any coercion by relationship, are all very material. Regardless of all that, it is now a fact that this publicly labeled victim is really a predator too. Blackmail is a serious and illegal game. I would like to see charges against this person. It is only fair and just. (IRS, shouldn’t this have been taxable income?)

    - Two paths to the same destination. Mr. Hasert could have paid the damages through a civil action and suffered the public fallout. Or, pay the blackmailer and live in fear of the potential of public fallout.

    Mr. Hasert, rolled the dice in an attempt to avoid the public fall from grace, but chose to put himself into a terrible hell-like existence while he paid this criminal blackmailer and tax cheat. Mr. Hasert has only been charged with the money crimes and I hope that he can come out (of whereever he needs to come from) and live the truth. This too shall pass.

  13. - Just Sayin … - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    Sad all around. This is another example why GOP can’t say they are the party of “family values.” Conservatives are keeping pretty quite.

  14. - Wordslinger - Saturday, May 30, 15 @ 3:57 pm:

    It’s astounding that he didn’t lawyer up when the squeeze was first put on, a man of his stature in that predicament.

    Ashamed? For crying out loud, who cares what their lawyer thinks of them? What does the lawyer care? If people didnt get in trouble, lawyers would be out of business.

    Tell him a b.s.story if you like, but set up a payment schedule that won’t bring heat.

    And if the FBI comes a knocking, say nothing and call the lawyer. The FBI doesn’t make social visits.

    Apparently, Hastert could get it past his family that he was being bled for $50K every six weeks. He was home free.

    Except, there’s no reason to believe that after the $3.5 million was paid, another request for payment would not be forthcoming.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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