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Former Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted for Violating Federal Banking Laws

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday for violating federal banking laws and lying to investigators.

According to the indictment former Speaker Hastert was involved in a scheme to pay an unknown person $3.5 million to rectify a recent impropriety and was trying to game federal banking laws by withdrawing around $950,000 from his various accounts in small enough increments so as to avoid notifying authorities.

When confronted by federal agents about the suspicious withdrawals Hastert allegedly lied to the FBI and said the withdrawn cash was for his own use. The indictment does not identify the individual Hastert paid off or what transgression Hastert committed to warrant the clandestine payments.

After leaving public service in 2007, Hastert became a lobbyist to cash in on his connections and institutional knowledge of Congress. In the wake of the indictment Hastert has resigned from his position at the lobbying firm Dickstein Shapiro.

When serving Congress Hastert had a reputation for corruption perhaps most notably in the instance where he secured a congressional earmark to improve the value of land he owned. Given that the nature of the crime he is accused of committing involves well documented financial transactions it would appear that Hastert is going to have a tough time escaping all the charges brought by prosecutors.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.

  • bsbafflesbrains

    What is harder to believe with this story; the fact that a former Congresscritter cum lobbyist is being charged with violating banking laws or that there is a lobby firm called Dickstein who presumably made him resign because of “bad optics” and not because they were surprised to find out he was a corrupt favor trading Tammany Hall type politician?

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle
  • Shutter

    So the coverup is whats important here and not the raging fear that drove this slob to cough up 3.5 million bucks?

    And what about Dickstain? Seems like Hastert would fit right in.

  • Beverly Lawson

    As an aside….is there a wife anywhere in this picture? Is it too sexist to ask whether men think it’s important to learn about self-control? This really is a sickening report….somehow made worse that he
    came in to follow the philandering guy from LA…give me a break.

  • ThingsComeUndone

    Dennis was a teacher in 1965 -1981 why the long wait to black mail Dennis? Not doubting you but there is more here. Also the Speaker of the House has handled black mail before the Rep Foley scandal comes to mind why not call the FBI to handle this?

  • ThingsComeUndone

    Married Yes and two sons plus he is Born Again went to Fundy Wheaton college http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Hastert

  • ThingsComeUndone

    Every Gay Bar around Yorkville and open in 1965 -1981 and any Gay bar open later in the Capital of Illinois or on the way to Yorkville and the capital is going to be visited by reporters.

  • ThingsComeUndone

    What constitutes Bribery is so loose these days proving legal insanity might be easier. They probably fired him to help get this scandal over with quick the GOP does not need another Gay scandal Remember Mark Foley “There were also allegations that a second Republican Congressman, Jim Kolbe, had improper conduct with at least two youths, a 16-year old page and a recently graduated page.[7][8]

    The scandal led to Foley’s resignation from Congress on September 29, 2006. In some quarters, the scandal is believed to have contributed to the Republican Party’s loss of control over Congress in the November 7, 2006 election, as well as the end of House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s leadership of the House Republicans.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Foley_scandal

    The GOP can’t run as the family values party with a pedophile Dennis who lost his job in part because of a pedophile scandal by a Congressman even as the press has photos of almost every GOP Presidential Candidate shaking hands with that Duggar pedophile from reality tv. Comedy the law of threes has been evoked

  • ThingsComeUndone

    Dennis just said he was a victim too according to the tv news.

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    It seems to be getting crowded in the nutter’s gay closet…

  • mulp

    As long as the taxes were paid on the payments, they were totally legal, and if Hastert had simply continued withdrawing $50,000 and making payments, or simply written checks, or simply said to the FBI “I’m paying someone for reasons that are none of your business and they are perfectly legal, and the person I’m paying is none of your business”, then he would not be swept up in massive bulk data collection on virtually every innocent Americans without warrants issued by a judge based on probable cause.

    The irony is the 1970 law did not make what he did illegal, but the PATRIOT act of 2001 made attempting to avoid reporting cash transactions to the IRS a crime and increased the penalty for lying to the FBI, and he got it passed, so he screwed himself, just as tens of thousands of innocent people have been screwed.

    Basically, his attempt to have a private life led to becoming a criminal for trying to keep secrets from the government.

    But where are the FDL’rs crying out against the massive violation of the Constitution and Hastert’s civil rights, for Hastert who is certainly innocent of under the law of everything except trying to keep personal secrets from the government agents.

  • ShawnCathcart

    Excellent analysis. Hastert chose to pay his blackmailer rather than have the information held by the blackmailer exposed, there is nothing illegal about that. Hastert’s mistake was in not hiring an attorney to handle the details. In this case an attorney, depending on the wishes of his client, would either have the blackmailer arrested (ala David Letterman) and possibly have Hastert’s secret exposed, or provide advice on how to make payments in a fashion that did not violate the law.

  • dubinsky

    ” his attempt to have a private life led to becoming a criminal for trying to keep secrets from the government.”

    as it seems to be that Hastert was pushing hush money because he had, while a teacher, committed a criminal sexual offense with with a minor …… he didn’t BECOME a criminal by lying to the FBI he merely committed further criminal actions.