The indictment against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is something no one saw coming, according to a Republican consultant.  The federal grand jury indictment accuses Hastert structuring cash bank withdrawals to avoid reporting requirements, and lying to the FBI. The withdrawals were allegedly used to pay part of $3.5 million in hush money to keep someone silent about “prior misconduct.”
Former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady says it’s anyone guess what the alleged cover-up is all about. “Even the speculation is kind of painful because I do think he’s a great family guy and has been a great public servant,” Brady said. “It’s very unfortunate and certainly shocking.”
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Brady lives in the congressional district where Hastert served for 20 years. He said there are usually rumblings in the media before charges like these come out, but not in this case.
Brady said he suspects the person who allegedly took the money got immunity for cooperating with the investigation and helping the feds implicate Hastert. He expects that person will be identified if the case goes to trial.
Hastert is a Plano resident who was the longest serving Republican U.S. House Speaker in history, from 1999 to 2007.  He could face up to five years in prison if he’s convicted.
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