CHICAGO, IL – Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert of Illinois finds himself as the latest politician from the Land of Lincoln indicted by the federal government.
Only this time, there’s no allegation of fraud and corruption.
Federal charges accuse the man who was once second in line to the presidency of lying to the FBI and trying to hide large bank withdrawals to pay $3.5 million in hush money.
The indictment only identifies the other person as Individual “A”, someone Hastert has known most of individual a’s life, from back in the day when Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, IL.
Last December, the FBI started looking into Hastert’s large bank withdrawals to see if he was trying to get around federal banking laws he helped pass.
They also wanted to see if he was using the money to cover up some kind of misconduct.
The FBI says Hastert lied when he said he was taking out the cash because he didn’t trust the banking system.
The truth, the indictment says, is that Hastert started making the payments five years ago, payments the feds say were meant to “compensate and conceal” a “prior misconduct” involving Individual “A”.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle were shocked at the charges against the longest-serving Republican speaker.
The big questions now are just who is this Individual “A” and what happened between them that ultimately ended in the benching of the man known in Congress as “coach” because of his quiet ability to bring republicans and democrats together.