Paul Ryan Gets Rid of Predecessor's Portrait
He 'believed it was appropriate' to shift Hastert painting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2015 12:22 AM CST
Dennis Hastert leaves the federal courthouse on Wednesday in Chicago, where he changed his plea to guilty in a hush-money case that alleges he agreed to pay someone $3.5 million.   (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
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(Newser) – After a night sleeping in his office, Paul Ryan isn't going to have to look at a portrait of a disgraced predecessor on his way to work in the morning. The Hill reports that one of the first things Ryan did after being elected House speaker was to get rid of the portrait of Dennis Hastert that hung in an area outside the House chamber known as the "Speaker's Lobby." Last week, Hastert, a Republican who served as House speaker from 1999 to 2007, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about shady bank transfers in a case that sources say involved an attempt to cover up a sex scandal involving a former student.

John Boehner didn't move the portrait of Hastert after he was indicted, but Ryan "believed it was appropriate to rotate in a different portrait," a spokeswoman tells CNN. The Hastert portrait has been rotated out to join 27 other portraits of former speakers in corridors around the lobby, while a portrait of former Speaker Frederick Gillett joins 21 others in the lobby itself, the AP reports. Gillett, a Republican, was speaker from 1919 to 1925 and his tenure wasn't marked by scandal, though rivals for the position weren't happy about his support for loosening tariffs on Canadian products and his vote against a $1-a-day pension for elderly Civil War veterans, the New York Times reported at the time.
 

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