Embattled former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) reportedly told friends that he was a “victim” in the scandal involving his alleged agreement to pay $3.5 million in hush money to an individual he had reportedly sexually abused, Chicago TV station WBBM reported.
Hastert was indicted last week on bank-related charges stemming from the alleged agreement to pay millions of dollars to “Individual A” to compensate for “prior misconduct” against that person that had occurred years earlier. Later news reports based on anonymous federal law enforcement sources said that “Individual A” was a male student whom Hastert had allegedly sexually abused when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois.
Television station WBBM on Friday spoke with nearly a dozen of Hastert’s associates, whom the news station did not identify. Hastert allegedly told friends that he was sorry to put them through such an ordeal.
“I am a victim, too,” Hastert told friends, according to WBBM.
The former House speaker has not been seen in public nor commented on the charges against him since the indictment was unveiled Thursday. It’s unclear whether Hastert has an attorney.