Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Haster will plead guilty to charges that arose after he lied to the FBI about the nature of large cash withdrawals he was allegedly using as payoffs to keep a decades-old sexual misconduct accusation from becoming public. NBC News reports:
The politician, who was not in the Chicago federal courtroom where the agreement was announced Thursday, will appear on Oct. 28 to enter a plea, his attorney said. It’s unclear whether the deal calls for Hastert, 73, to serve prison time. It will, however, let him avoid an embarrassing public trial and possibly keep further details of his alleged misdeeds secret. Hastert, who led the House for eight years before retiring in 2007, was indicted in June on charges he structured bank transactions to avoid triggering red flags and then lied about those cash withdrawals to the FBI. Court papers say he took out the money because he agreed to pay a mystery man identified only as “Individual A” some $3.5 million in hush money to conceal “prior misconduct.” Federal law enforcement sources have said “Individual A” was a student at Yorkville High School in Illinois while Hastert was a teacher and coach there in the ’60s and ’70s, and that the misconduct was sexual in nature.
Days after Hastert was first indicted, an Illinois woman came forward with claims that he had molested her brother, a former student of Hastert’s who later died of AIDS.
RELATED: Following the 2006 House page scandal resignation of former GOP Rep. Mark Foley, Hastert was alleged to have known about Foley’s actions. Hastert retired from the House in 2007.