The Mystery of What Hastert May Have Done

Indictment's mention of past role as teacher is 'provocative,' says 'WaPo'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2015 10:02 AM CDT
The Mystery of What Hastert May Have Done
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Aug. 17, 2007.   (AP Photo/Brian Kersey, File)

Prosecutors say Dennis Hastert made shady bank withdrawals totaling more than $950,000 and paid an unnamed "Individual A" $1.7 million of a promised $3.5 million to "compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A." That "prior misconduct" is thus far a mystery, which has the Washington Post parsing the seven-page indictment. That it explicitly notes Hastert's role as a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois before 1981 is "provocative," in the Post's view. A father whose son wrestled for Hastert simply tells the AP, "You won't get anyone to say anything bad about him out here." Per the indictment, Individual A claims to have known Hastert for the majority of his or her life; the two allegedly met several times "in or about 2010" and discussed what Hastert had done to Individual A "years earlier."

What Politico sees as the biggest surprise in all this: that the apparent wrongdoing never surfaced while Hastert, carefully investigated by members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was House speaker. "I don't see how this didn't come up on the radar before. It's sort of beyond belief," a former aide tells Politico. "His reputation as speaker was beyond reproach," adds former Rep. Tom Davis. "He was seen as a man of total integrity. ... I hope to God it’s not true." If the case goes to trial, the identity of Individual A will likely surface, notes the Post. But the details of the case could also spill via associated documents if a plea deal is reached. Hastert has resigned from his post at a Washington lobbying firm. (Read more Dennis Hastert stories.)

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