House GOP Leader: ‘Premature’ To Consider Removing Hastert Portrait

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Monday that it would be “premature” to consider removing embattled House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-IL) portrait from the Capitol.

“Let the investigation take place,” McCarthy said, according to The Washington Times.

Hastert was indicted Thursday on bank-related charges stemming from his alleged agreement to pay $3.5 million in hush money to a person identified only as “Individual A.” Hastert agreed to pay the money “in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct” against “Individual A” that had occurred years earlier, according to the indictment.

Later news reports cited anonymous federal law enforcement sources who said “Individual A” was a male student and the “misconduct” was sexual abuse that allegedly occurred while Hastert was working as a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois.

McCarthy also told reporters that he was “shocked” by the “disturbing” news about Hastert, according to The Hill. The leader added that the chamber should let “due process” play out before it considers launching its own investigation or review of the former speaker, according to the report.

Hastert’s alma mater, Wheaton College, announced Sunday that it would remove the former speaker’s name from its school of government and economics. Hastert had resigned from his namesake school’s board of advisers on Friday.

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