Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted for Allegedly Paying $3.5M in Hush Money to Cover Prior Misconduct
It's the mystery engulfing former House Speaker Dennis Hastert - What on Earth is the "past misconduct" he was allegedly willing to pay millions of dollars to hide?
Authorities say the former House Speaker agreed to pay someone referred to only as "Individual A" more than $3 million "to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct," according to the federal indictment.
Hastert became Speaker of the House of Representatives when Newt Gingrich stepped down in 1999.
But before his political career ever started, Hastert was a high-school history teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois. He was with the team when they won the state championship in 1976.
On CNN, Anderson Cooper said, "There is an elephant in the room here. He was a teacher, a wrestling coach, knew this person from the time they were a child."
In a memoir he wrote, Hastert talks of his years as a wrestling coach. He said, "I felt a special bond with our wrestlers and I think they felt one with me."
The indictment says Hastert agreed to hand over $3.5 million in hush money to the mystery person known as "Individual A" who is also from Yorkville. Sometimes Hastert would allegedly make bank withdrawals of $50,000, other times less than $10,000.
The Feds say Hastert broke banking regulations with the transactions and lied to the FBI when questioned about it.
Josh Gerstein of Politico told INSIDE EDITION, "People are really stunned, almost shocked by this news because Hastert was someone that was brought in, in a large sense, to be Speaker because he had a very clean as a whistle, salt of the Earth-type reputation.
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