LA Times: Hastert Charges Stem From Sexual Misconduct Cover-Up

Two anonymous federal law enforcement officials said that indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) allegedly agreed to pay out $3.5 million in hush money to cover up sexual misconduct with another man, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Hastert was indicted Thursday on charges of structuring bank withdrawals to avoid federal reporting requirements and lying to the FBI about those withdrawals. The former speaker allegedly had withdrawn $1.7 million in cash out of $3.5 million he agreed to pay an unidentified individual in compensation for “prior misconduct” on Hastert’s part that had occurred years earlier.

One anonymous official told The Los Angeles Times that “Individual A,” the other person is identified in the indictment, is a man. Later, an anonymous federal law enforcement official told NBC News that the man was also a student at the high school where Hastert taught when the alleged abuse occurred.

The official who spoke to the Los Angeles Times added that the misconduct dates back to Hastert’s time as a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Illinois, where “Individual A” is from, and that Hastert was making the payments to conceal a past sexual relationship with him. A second anonymous official told the newspaper that the “misconduct” alleged in the indictment was sexual abuse.

The Los Angeles Times could not reach Hastert or his attorneys for comment, while Hastert’s own lobbying firm declined comment.

This post has been updated.

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