Jailed Hastert to Accuser: I Want My $1.7M Back

Ex-speaker files countersuit to man's demand for rest of 'hush money'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2017 8:49 AM CST
Jailed Hastert to Accuser: I Want My $1.7M Back
In this April 27, 2016, file photo, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert departs the federal courthouse in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Dennis Hastert has had seven months behind bars to figure out his next move, and he's just made a big one. The former US speaker of the House is not only asking a judge to spurn a breach-of-contract complaint filed against him by a man who says Hastert sexually abused him as a teen, he's also demanding his accuser pay him back $1.7 million that was given to keep the man quiet about his allegations, the Chicago Tribune reports. The man known in court documents as Individual A says his 2010 oral contract with Hastert—who's been behind bars in Minnesota since June, serving out a 15-month sentence for trying to finagle bank withdrawals so no one would know he was obtaining the so-called "hush money"—called for a total payout of $3.5 million. Individual A filed a suit against Hastert in April asking for the remaining $1.8 million, which Hastert says isn't coming.

Not only that, but he says the money he already gave Individual A is due back to him since the man broke his word on the unwritten deal and talked to the FBI, NBC News reports. Hastert's counterclaim filing Wednesday in Illinois' Kendall County Circuit Court said Individual A was supposed to keep quiet "for the remainder of his life," per the AP. Hastert also wants his attorneys' fees paid for by his accuser. Individual A's lawyer, Kristi Browne, says Hastert's latest maneuver is "predictable." "He admits to agreeing to make payments, but then denies that it is an agreement that he has to keep," she says, per the Tribune. Hastert, 75, who wasn't actually charged with any sex crimes in the case due to an expired statute of limitations, is set to be paroled in August. (Read more Dennis Hastert stories.)

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