How much will the public ever learn about the “past misconduct” the FBI alleges former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert committed?
With or without a trial, there will be documentation available to the public if Hastert was paying hush money, says former federal prosecutor David Weinstein.
“If he decides to resolve this case by the way of a negotiated plea settlement, then they’ll have to provide what’s called a factual proffer or a factual basis to the court upon which they’re relying, so some of the information might come out then,” he said.
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The fact that there are claims now that the misconduct involved sex with underage boys doesn’t help Hastert, says former prosecutor Patrick Collins.
“Certainly the more victims there are, with sexual misconduct being this misconduct that’s referenced generically in the indictment, I think it makes it a harder case to defend,” he said.
Hastert was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Chicago.
Hastert is charged with structuring – deliberately making bank withdrawals to avoid reporting requirement – and lying to the FBI. Collins says if there was sex with minors underlying this, that would be a hard case to pursue because of the statute of limitations.
Hastert allegedly withdrew money to pay $3.5 million to an “Individual A” to keep quiet about misconduct which occurred in the 1960s and 70s when Hastert was a teacher and coach at Yorkville High School.