Report: Hastert was Paying Man to Keep Quiet About Sexual Abuse Dating from Hastert’s Teaching Days

by David Nir –

dennis hastert 2

A new report in the New York Times fills in some important details about former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert’s shocking indictment:

J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was paying a man to not say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago, according to two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation into the payments.Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced the indictment of Mr. Hastert on allegations that he made cash withdrawals designed to hide those payments and for lying to federal authorities about the purpose of the withdrawals.

The man—who was not identified in court papers—told the F.B.I. that he had been touched by Mr. Hastert when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach, the two people said on Friday. The people briefed on the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a federal investigation.

Hastert is accused of promising $3.5 million to an unspecified “Individual A” to cover up “prior misconduct” on Hastert’s part. That alleged “prior misconduct” was not detailed in his indictment, but it certainly sounds like this is it. The Times doesn’t outright say that the man described above is Individual A, but the piece is framed to strongly indicate that he is. That’s buttressed by a separate report in the Los Angeles Times:

One of the officials, who would not speak publicly about the federal charges in Chicago, said “Individual A,” as the person is described in Thursday’s federal indictment, was a man and that the alleged misconduct was unrelated to Hastert’s tenure in Congress. The actions date to Hastert’s time as a Yorkville, Ill., high school wrestling coach and teacher, the official said. […]Asked why Hastert was making the payments, the official said it was to conceal Hastert’s past relationship with the male. “It was sex,” the source said. The other official confirmed that the misconduct involved sexual abuse.

There is still much we don’t know, including how Hastert and Individual A knew one another, but we’ll be keep track of all developments in this story. You can find our full explainer on the case here.

1:50 PM PT: A new CNN report says that Hastert “was paying a former student in order to keep quiet about allegations of sexual misconduct” from Hastert’s time as a teacher and coach, according to two nameless sources “with knowledge of the federal government investigation.”

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos