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Hastert deal recommends 0-6 months sentence

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Twitters…

…Adding… From the US Attorney…

Statement by the United States Attorney’s Office Following the Guilty Plea of Former U.S. Speaker of the House John Dennis Hastert

CHICAGO — This morning, JOHN DENNIS HASTERT, 73, of Plano, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of illegally structuring cash withdrawals in order to evade financial reporting requirements. The Honorable U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin scheduled a sentencing hearing for February 29, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois issued this statement following the guilty plea:

“Now that Mr. Hastert has pled guilty, and the Court has accepted his guilty plea, the case will proceed to sentencing. As part of the sentencing process in this case, as in all cases, we will provide the Court with relevant information about the defendant’s background and the charged offenses, and the defendant will have an opportunity to do the same, so that the Court can impose an appropriate sentence taking into account all relevant factors in the case. We have no further comment about the matter at this time.”


  1. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    4 month wait for sentencing? is that common?

  2. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    Wow. So the African American girl who texted in class gets body slammed to the floor. Old white guy who engaged in inappropriate wrestling maneuvers, and tried to hide it…0-6months? I feel sick.

  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    === 4 month wait for sentencing? is that common? ===


  4. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:36 am:

    Best possible outcome for Hastert. He didn’t have to cop to the reasons for the withdrawals.

    He got off very easy, considering.

  5. - Me too - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    Inappropriate maneuvers? He did more than that. Steve was the kids name, and it likely wasn’t just him. The blackmail may have been about inappropriate touching, but the guy did far worse.

  6. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    And the man who was blackmailing him? Charged? Or am I missing something?

  7. - John Parnell - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:46 am:

    Ryan gets 6 years in jail while Hastert gets less than six years. What a farce.

  8. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    Louis the Lawyer, what evidence do you have of blackmail?

    Are you privy to conversations, correspondence, threats, etc?

    Or are you just pounding the table for no other reason than Hastert is a Republican?

    You might want to start picking your fights a little more wisely.

  9. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    You sentence the guy for what he was charged with. Not for other stuff..

    He wasn’t charged for “inappropriate wrestling maneuvers” and depending on when they occurred he can’t be charged for them.

  10. - Stones - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    Just an odd story all the way around. I always had respect for Hastert and what he accomplished in his political career. Very sad and disgusted to learn later what he did while at Yorkville HS.
    I don’t normally agree with Louis G. Atsaves - assuming it was blackmail why was the “victim” not charged?

  11. - UsedtobeGOP - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    More people need to stand up and admit guilt. He is ruined. Prison is not nice, even for a day. I believe that Bill Cosby had paid someone, too. But, I guess he did it legally.

  12. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    @wordslinger, haven’t you been paying attention? As a lawyer I find the whole situation odd. Is this your definition of normal?

  13. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    I have no idea if what he is accused of - the harassment/grooming, not the blackmail - ever took place. Unfortunately, we can never know for sure because the alleged victim is no longer with us.

  14. - Jaded - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    Hastert may deserve to go to jail, but not for illegally withdrawing his own money (just saying that sounds crazy) and giving it to someone (or someone’s family) that he may or may not have harmed in the past. That is pretty much how I see it, and probably how the US attorney sees it.

  15. - Bogey Golfer - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    Hastert pled guilty to the cash withdrawls to avoid financial reporting. His sentene will be based on that only. 360 Turnaround and Me too, stick to the what and not the why.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    If getting the “year and the day” is called the “Vrdolyak Special”, this Hastert plea, and all the information leading to what was actually done to get Hastert to commit his crime is possibly stifled?

    I’d call this getting a “Hastert Hush” - the removing of information for public consumption for a ready-made guilty plea deal.

    Now, will the “Hastert Hush” get a better than “Vrdolyak Special”? We’ll know in late February.

  17. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:12 am:


    Spot on!

  18. - olddog - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    @ Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    === 4 month wait for sentencing? is that common? ===

    Yes. The statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office explains the process.

  19. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:15 am:


    The “why” needs to be dealt with too.

  20. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:18 am:


    The only evidence is of payments. It could be the person approached Hastert and said, “You ruined my life?” Hastert could have responded that he had done harm, owed recompense and offered payment to compensate for that harm.

  21. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    I assume that he could only be charged with the illegal structuring because any statute of limitations will have run on any Yorkville HS inappropriate behavior to the extent it was illegal. See the Roman Catholic church pedophile scandals.

  22. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    “And the man who was blackmailing him? Charged? Or am I missing something? *** As a lawyer I find the whole situation odd.”

    As a lawyer, is “Odd Situation” charged as a felony or a misdemeanor?

    – MrJM

  23. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    No big surprise in these proceedings, the media basically called it ahead of time. The underlying incident (alleged blackmail)is not going to result in charges, neither is the alleged actions (however unclear these may be) that precipitated the blackmail. Well connected and high powered (so called) legal representation helps with that. It is also pretty likely that the prosecutors knew early on what Hastert was involved in that led to the with-drawls/payoffs and worked a deal with the blackmailer to get specifics. That is what made this go so quickly, Hastert wanted to avoid full disclosure even if most people can connect the dots. The feds had to have the goods, even if not prosecutable, to smoke out the guilty plea from Hastert.

  24. - Stones - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put the dots together and assume that some form of extortion may very well have taken place here. Obviously, Hastert was paying Individual A large sums of money for a reason. What was said or done leading up to their arrangement may never be known. I don’t think Hastert was paying out of sheer guilt or just to make amends.

  25. - Me too - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    My issue isn’t what crime he’s being charged with. It is with calling the underlying incident inappropriate wrestling manuevers. But aside from that, being charged with structuring can carry stiffer penalties, and the past actions of the accused should factor into any offer.

  26. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    Louis, as a lawyer, isn’t there quite a bit of ground between “odd” and not “normal” and whether evidence exists of overt acts constituting a crime?

    But, since you’re interested, here’s a handy definition of blackmail I found on the intertubes.

    “Blackmail is an act, often a crime, involving unjustified threats to make a gain or cause a loss to someone unless a demand is met.”

    Huh. That sounds very familiar. I just can’t place it right now….

  27. - zonz - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:39 am:

    To be clear …
    Hastert is such a fool that he refused to deal through a lawyer to pay money to the “person damaged way back when”
    The payment of money could have been accomplished without breaking the law
    Hastert CHOSE to do it illegally, and then lie about it to the FBI

  28. - Bogey Golfer - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:41 am:

    @Jack Stephens, you can’t tack on a longer sentence just because of the why, when he hasn’t been charged with it. Let me add that in NO WAY am I condoning Hastert’s behavior. His remaining years need to be spent as man who’s reputation is forever tarnished.

  29. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    Stones - to my feeble mind, that may have been the case. He may have been paying “hush money” for the sake of, well, keeping someone “hushed”.

    The timing is what makes no sense to me. Again - and perhaps I’m being too simplistic here - asking for $$$ more than 5 years after Mr. Hastert left office is a bit strange. What was going on at that time? Mr. Hastert was well out of the public eye. He had released his memoirs during his tenure as Speaker. Could it be that the interested party saw dollar signs given some of Mr. Hastert’s lobbying contracts?! Hmm.

  30. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    A weird and unexpected crime that popped out of nowhere into the public eye. A charge that gives civil libertarians pause (the “can’t do what you please with your own money” part) but all indications that the “why” he did the crime were beyond disgusting. This cost him his legacy, and untold millions in lobbying income. The sentence may be light, but consequences have come down that are arguably far worse.

  31. - burbanite - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    Martha Stewart got five months and two years probation. Was he charged with lying to the fed?

  32. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    You can sentence a defendant in federal court for what he actually did — up to the limit of the maximum sentence of the crime(s) for which he was convicted. That’s the whole theory of federal sentencing, including the (now advisory) sentencing guidelines.

    An example: Jon Burge was convicted of perjury and obstruction to conceal torture. He was sentenced for his entire conduct- including conduct outside the statute of limitations. (Whether his sentence was harsh enough is a separate question.)

    The government, for whatever reason, agreed to a low recommendation for Hastert. That may or may not be appropriate — we don’t yet know enough to judge. In fact, we still don’t know enough to have an educated opinion as to whether this case should have been brought. We may find out more at sentencing. We may not.

  33. - A guy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    Forget what he’s done to the writing on his tombstone. He’s made the case for an unmarked grave.

  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    Picking leap day is cool

  35. - modest proposal - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    What Hastert did was infinitely worse than was Blago and Ryan did combined. The fact that it is recommended he get only 0-6 months is sickening.

  36. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 11:57 am:


    I agree…. But I’m not referring to the sentencing.

  37. - Sue - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    Love him or hate him but Hasterts conduct does not warrant a prison sentence. 2 years probation, modest fine and community service. What possible benefit is there to sending him to prison .

  38. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    Team Sleep the alleged victim is no longer with us

    We the public are still not sure who Individual A is for sure. There is a deceased man whose sister claims something happened between Hastert and he, but there are also reports suggesting this may not be the same individual.

  39. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:12 pm:

    Six - the reports I read state that Hastert began paying out the money in chunks around 2012. The alleged victim of the alleged harassment/grooming passed away in 1995.

  40. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:26 pm:

    So did the guy that received the money pat taxes on it?

  41. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    -360 Degree TurnAround- @ 9:29
    “Wow. So the African American girl who texted in class gets body slammed to the floor. Old white guy who engaged in inappropriate wrestling maneuvers, and tried to hide it…0-6months? I feel sick.”

    Respectfully, what does one have to do with the other? I generally appreciate and respect your views on here but this kind of race-baiting is offensive. It seems beneath you.

  42. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 8:28 pm:

    I won’t forget the fact that the underlying event for which he is being persecuted is taking his own money out of his own bank. That alone ought to tell us a lot about the US Justice Department and the US Attorney for Northern Illinois. Or, see Scooter Libby.

  43. - Odysseus - Thursday, Oct 29, 15 @ 12:16 am:

    “Yes. The statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office explains the process.”

    It explains the process perfectly. It doesn’t explain why that process takes 4 months, rather than 4 days.

  44. - Lynn S. - Thursday, Oct 29, 15 @ 1:08 am:

    @modest proposal @ 11:27:

    Blago tried to get paid to place someone in a Senate seat, and he was dumb enough to do it while he knew the feds were watching him.

    Ryan’s shakedowns led to six innocent children burning to death on an expressway. Ryan has always refused to admit his fault in their deaths.

    Hastert is alleged to have molested at least one young man from the high school Hastert was teaching/coaching at. Hastert was too cheap to use a lawyer to structure a settlement for the person allegedly shaking him down, AND Hastert lied to the feds when they came asking him questions about his bank withdrawals, AFTER he had already been warned about his conduct. He’s running awfully close to winning this year’s “As Dumb As Blago” award.

    Hastert deserves at least as long a prison sentence as Ryan got, but neither of them will receive a sentence long enough to do justice to the young people they harmed.

    Neither of them has ever believably apologized to the families of the young people they harmed, and we have to trust they will burn in HE– for the willing harm they inflicted on innocent children in this life.

    Somedays I have trouble with trusting they will ever get the fates they so richly deserve…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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