Lawyers for indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) are negotiating a possible guilty plea with federal prosecutors, The Chicago Tribune reported Monday.
John Gallo, an attorney for Hastert, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block discussed the negotiations before U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin at a Monday hearing. Gallo told Durkin that Hastert’s legal team and federal prosecutors were talking about how to resolve the case before it goes to trial, according to the Tribune.
Hastert pleaded not guilty in June to structuring bank withdrawals to evade reporting requirements and lying to the FBI about those transactions. The indictment against Hastert alleged that he withdrew the money in order to pay out $3.5 million in hush money to an unidentified individual as compensation for “prior misconduct” against that person.
News reports based on information from anonymous federal law enforcement sources later alleged that the “prior misconduct” was sexual abuse and that the unidentified “Individual A” was a male student at Yorkville High School when Hastert taught and coached wrestling there from 1965 to 1981.