'It Was Sex.' Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert Paid To Hush Up Former Student, 'Federal Sources' Allege

‘It Was Sex.’ Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert Paid To Hush Up Former Student, ‘Federal Sources’ Allege

The nation’s capital was in shock Friday as former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted by the FBI. Despite close ties to Tom Delay, who left Congress under a cloud of corruption, Hastert retired from the House after an 8-year tenure as Speaker with a clean reputation. But the indictment may not have stemmed from any political corruption, or anything from his time in office. As allegations leaked to the media, Washington’s shock deepened. Quoting “two federal law enforcement officials” who spoke on condition of anonymity, the LA Times reported,

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.

“It goes back a long way, back to then,” the source said. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.”  Thursday’s indictment described the misconduct “against Individual A” as having “occurred years earlier.”

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.

The New York Times, quoting two sources (possibly the same ones), reported,

The man – who was not identified in court papers — told the F.B.I. that he had been inappropriately touched by Mr. Hastert when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach…

The allegation stunned those who knew Hastert at the time. NBC News reported,

Hastert’s former assistant coach, Anthony Houle, and Hastert’s first state wrestling champion, Gary Matlock, said they were shocked by the indictment and defended the former coach and Congressman’s character, in interviews conducted before sources said the case involved alleged sexual misconduct.

“The gentleman was a super professional as a teacher, as a coach, as a human being,” Matlock said. “I would refer to him as my second father.”

Al Jazeera and Reuters reported,

Before his terms in Congress, Hastert served three terms as an Illinois state representative and was a teacher at Yorkville High School in suburban Chicago for 16 years.

The Yorkville school district that employed Hastert from 1965 to 1981 said in a statement on Friday it “has no knowledge of Mr. Hastert’s alleged misconduct, nor has any individual contacted the District to report any such misconduct.”

The district said it was first made aware of any concerns regarding the former congressman when the indictment was released.

The LA Times explained how Hastert caught the attention of the FBI,

Federal prosecutors alleged that Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in apparent hush money to the individual, then lied to the FBI when asked about suspicious cash withdrawals from several banks.

The stunning indictment of the longtime Republican powerhouse alleged he gave about $1.7 million in cash beginning in 2010 to the acquaintance.

When the FBI approached Hastert about withdrawing well over a million dollars in cash, he told them he kept it because he didn’t trust the banking system. Clearly that cunning story didn’t convince the FBI.

Buzzfeed quoted an “anonymous source” who alleged that there could be “several alleged victims” from Hastert’s past who were not included in the indictment.

C-SPAN posted a bizarre short video from 2014 in which someone calling himself ‘Bruce’ called in and asked Hastert, “Do you remember me from Yorkville?” The caller then laughed oddly, and hung up.

Watch the video below:

Feature image via C-SPAN video screenshot.

Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.

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Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App