Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, 73, faces federal indictment.

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, 73, faces federal indictment.
Screen capture from official House biography.

WONDER IF the federal indictment of former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert is surprising anyone? The man who presided over the House of Representatives during the Terry Schiavo scandal, Mark Foley’s embarrassing outing, and the corruption charges of Tom Delay, is now in serious trouble. Certain details of his alleged crimes are being withheld.

The Los Angeles Times, however, dropped a bombshell alleging it involves misconduct linked to sexual abuse.

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. [Los Angeles Times]

From John Stanton of BuzzFeed

U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon agreed to withhold details of the alleged “prior misconduct” as part of an indictment against the Illinois Republican, two sources familiar with the case told BuzzFeed News.

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.”

When the FBI interviewed Hastert on Dec. 8, 2014, he was asked whether the purpose of the withdrawals was related to his lack of trust in the banking system, which he confirmed. According to the indictment, Hastert said, “Yeah … I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.” The indictment counters that Hastert “then well knew, this statement was false,” because he had agreed to provide the individual with $3.5 million “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against” the person.