Former House Speaker Hastert Indicted

220px-Dennis_Hastert_109th_pictorial_photoThe details on the indictment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, 73, have remained hazy with some notable gaps in the underlying criminal enterprise alleged in the complaint. The theory is that Hastert was paying millions to a blackmailer and tried to hide the payment through “structuring” of withdrawing less than $10,000 to avoid reporting to the federal government. What is interesting however is that the underlying alleged blackmailer has not been charged. There is also the question of the subject of the earlier “misconduct” and whether it could be charged. Some offenses like child molestation can be charged many years after the fact. Hastert was indicted on two counts for charged with lying to the F.B.I. and the structuring of withdrawals, both carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hastert is accused of structuring the withdrawal of $925,000 in cash and then lying to the FBI about the withdrawals. The FBI says that Hastert met with an unnamed individual in 2010 and discussed “prior misconduct.” It must have been pretty serious “misconduct” if the parties agreed on the payment of $3.5 million “in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A.”

From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew a total of approximately $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to this unnamed individual. When the bank raised questions in 2012 about the large withdrawals, Hastert reportedly reduced the withdrawals through structuring. In April 2014, Hastert allegedly lied about the money and said he did not trust banks and was keeping the case — when he was giving the money to this individual.

Hastert has been working with the lobbying and law firm of Dickstein Shapiro LLC.

It is curious to have so little information on the underlying facts and “misconduct” or the status of the person receiving such money. Perhaps we will learn more in the coming days about the nature of the misconduct and why the individual was not charged if this were a case of blackmail.

Source: New York Times

272 thoughts on “Former House Speaker Hastert Indicted”

  1. I repeat…Hastert has been indicted for structured withdrawals. That’s it. Against the law however intended. The rest of the innuendo is supposition. Latter day “witnesses” coming forward are suspect. Where were they when it mattered and could have made a difference? Nothing to do with gayness or pedophilia per se, that we know with any certainty yet…that is all guesswork by those who must find more fault. He may be guilty of it all, but given the time lapse I’m rather suspicious of it. I always doubt those who wait until an opportune time to level vague accusations…in this case decades late. Meantime, he’s not charged with any of the other issues, just structured withdrawals. I didn’t care much for his politics either, but I’ll not level assertions until sworn evidence is presented. And I’d still wonder why the long long wait?

  2. I. Annie

    Not Ad Hominem at all. The criticisms are based in truth.

    Absurd. You throw pedophilia in the face of people who have nothing to do with it rather than address their differing political or social positions.

  3. Pogo is right on. Did you CUT the government schools? Must have if you can think independently, use logic, and can question authority. The Skinnerian govt schools are supposed to wash that out of you, train you to go along to get along, reframe your values clarification, be an efficient compliant assembly line worker and to voraciously consume the factory output under the hypnotic suggestions scientifically devised on the television.

    Dr. Sam Blumenfeld gives the history of our government school demise.

  4. http://chicago.suntimes.com/editorials-opinion/7/71/647442/editorial-dennis-hastert-measure-honor

    “Dennis Hastert and the measure of honor

    Nobody will be putting up a statue of Dennis Hastert anytime soon, and if even the smallest of the allegations against him prove true, nobody ever will.

    The good we do, the achievements we can claim, are weighed against the bad we do, the failures we must own. That’s how we measure honor.”
    ************************
    He was not willing to reveal his own dishonor, while using his position of honor as Speaker of the House to make millions as a lobbyist, after years of disregarding the dignity of gay people who simply wanted equal rights, while in his position of honor in the Halls on Congress.

  5. And Karen, your analogy of an unwed mother to Hastert’s behavior was ridiculous, lol.

  6. Pedophile or not, whatever he engaged in with the high school boy(s) he was willing to pay 3.5 million to keep it quiet. Doesn’t take a Magic 8 Ball to figure that out.

  7. How does a single mother with kids born out of wedlock stop that “behavior?” Give her kids away? Is she only allowed to comment if she gets married?

    I don’t think hypocrisy means what you think it does.

    I just see this blog devolving into Magic 8 Ball predictions. If this guy is proven to be a pedophile, then I’ll heap my derision upon him. But I like to sure before I make such an accusation.

  8. Hastert obviously wasn’t going to fess up to what he may have done. He was willing to pay 3.5 million to keep it hidden. He pretending to be a Family Values guy with this secret being guarded in his past just doesn’t make him a good example of someone who’s repented of their own sins.

    1. Inga – he may have repented of his sins, the question is how long has he been paying for them. Just because you are being blackmailed for your sins, does not mean you have not repented for them. Your grasp of religion is very weak.

      1. If he would’ve repented of his sin he would’ve come clean years ago. Your understanding of repentance us very weak.

  9. Karen, that’s not what I suggested. I said if that single mother was STILL engaging in the SAME destructive behavior she was condemning others for, she is a hypocrite. I’m not talking about someone who has seen the error of their ways, changed and was reflecting on the error.

  10. A single mother who’s learned from her mistakes or makes observations about the consequences of kids born out of wedlock is speaking from experience in the trenches, not a hypocrite.

    Max – some religious people don’t believe in gay marriage. Others do. We have myriad choices on churches, temples, and mosques to find just the right fit. If one church does not believe in gay marriage you can find another that does. I subscribe to the “to each his own” philosophy. I don’t need to force everyone to subscribe to an endorsed view. Human nature being what it is, people judge each other all the time on superficial criteria – age, beauty, job, wealth, political party, speech, clothes, hair. You will never remove that aspect of humanity.

  11. This blog is once again running away with a trial by media. None of us has proven what the blackmail was about. He could be a gay man being bullied with black mail. He could be a pedophile. Cheated with a married person. Have a disease. Who knows?

    It’s best to wait for all the facts to come out. Accusing someone of pedophilia is very serious, and should only be done if absolutely certain. I despise pedophiles as the lowest form of depravity, so the charge needs to be made responsibly. Depending on what he did, he might be a hypocrite, but the party or platform is not. Otherwise the Democratic Party would have crumbled from all the recent high profile arrests. On the other hand, maybe we should chuck the current duopoly and start afresh.

    Too many people keep their torches and pitchforks at the ready.

  12. And Rick, no one has advocated for anyone being “excluded” from any political discussions. It’s always good to have both sides representing their views. We get to challenge each other’s views here on this blog’s comments section. To sweep under the rug what has occurred does nothing to advance the discussion.

  13. What positive solution do you propose Rick?

    I think people who believe others should be excluded fro political conversations because they have tangential political beliefs with abhorrent people should themselves be excluded from political conversations. Such a principle is the only way to return political discussions to the actual subjects rather than a series of ad hominem attacks.

  14. Not absurd at all. What positive solution do you propose Rick? Let’s hear it. I think that the Family Values Party deserves a dressing down for its bigoted, homophobic hateful policies it has pushed for years now, from the ‘pillars of society’ like Speaker Hastert. Karma is a b!t@h.

  15. You are trying to make this thread be about me,

    How absurd. I’m merely pointing out how the standards you (among many others) claim show republicans to be hypocrites also show you to be one in the (probably vain) hope that you (and others of your ilk) will disclaim such absurdities and work toward a positive solution instead of fomenting hate.

  16. Rick, your arguments and distractions are growing weak and tedious. You know full well what Max was getting at. Your disingenuousness is showing.

  17. Max-1

    Rick
    As a gay man, I’ve stood accused as being a pedophile just because I’, gay.

    I’m sorry for you but I’m not sure what it has to do with anything under discussion.

  18. No Rick, a rational person after considering the facts and my comments would not come to that conclusion. You are trying to make this thread be about me, to distract from the subject matter. That is exceedingly evident. Attacking the messenger, so to speak.

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