Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) wrote a letter of support for his erstwhile lieutenant Dennis Hastert ahead of his sentencing in a federal hush-money case, asserting that the former House speaker “doesn’t deserve what he is going through.”
“He is a man of great integrity. He loves and respects his fellow man. I have never witnessed a time when he was unkind to anyone,” DeLay wrote in a letter made public Friday that asked the court for leniency. “He is always giving to others and helping anyone including me so many times.”
DeLay wrote that Hastert, whom he helped position as speaker, never disappointed him “in any way.” He pointed to their shared faith, writing that Hastert started a Bible study between the two of them and a pastor.
“We all have our flaws, but Dennis Hastert has very few. He is a good man that loves the lord,” DeLay wrote. “He gets his integrity and values from Him. He doesn’t deserve what he is going through.”
Hastert pleaded guilty last year in the case, which stemmed from him paying a person identified only as “Individual A” millions of dollars to cover up prior misconduct. Several news outlets later reported, citing federal law enforcement sources, that the money was compensation for sexual abuse of a former male student at the Illinois high school where Hastert once taught.
Politico reported Monday that a “James Doe” who appears to be “Individual A” filed suit against Hastert for $1.8 million, the amount outstanding after Hastert allegedly promised to pay the student $3.5 million in compensation for sexual abuse against the individual.
Hastert’s lawyers have asked for probation, citing the former Republican lawmaker’s failing health after what they called “shaming and humiliation of an unprecedented degree.” The former House speaker is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.