Republican Former Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday for allegedly violating federal banking laws by attempting to conceal $1.7 million in “hush money” to a male from his past.
According to two federal law enforcement officials speaking to Los Angeles Times Friday morning, that hush money was to cover up for “misconduct” committed when Hastert was a teacher and coach:
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.
Hastert was to pay individual “A” $3.5 million to compensate for and conceal what the indictment refers to as “prior misconduct”. The Illinois Republican was once a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois.
According to two sources who spoke to Buzzfeed, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon agreed to withhold the details of the “prior misconduct”.
Additionally, Buzzfeed reported that investigators considered adding a second victim to the indictment:
A source familiar with the investigation told BuzzFeed News that U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon considered but did not pursue additional charges against former Speaker Dennis Hastert, which would have included a reference to an Individual B, one of potentially several alleged victims of “prior misdeeds.”
Political strategist Joe DiSano observed, “Should be noted that all 3 GOP speakers (Gingrich, Livingston, Hastert) who went after Clinton had their own sex scandal.”
But it’s kind of worse, because a sex scandal is not sexual abuse.
In this case, if the official who spoke to the Los Angeles Times is correct, Hastert forced undesired sexual behavior upon these individuals. I am keeping my fingers crossed that these individuals were not underage or his students at the time, but no matter what the details, we once again this week have a gross sexual violation of a human being in the news, and the Duggars aren’t even canceled yet.
Update 5:20 PM: Sources say it was a student.