Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) has been charged with lying to the FBI and withdrawing cash from banks in a manner intended to hide the transactions from bank reporting requirements. The amount involved was $1.7 million.
According to the indictment, Hastert paid an unnamed individual to “compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct.”
When questioned by the FBI, Hastert said that he was keeping the money for himself and not giving it away. According to the indictment, he said, “Yeah, I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.” He also said he didn’t trust the banking system.
Hastert, 73, was speaker from 1999 to 2007. Prior to that, he was a six-term Congressman from Illinois. Chicagobooth.edu and Christian Broda recall how he became speaker after Newt Gingrich resigned following a divisive period in Congress involving the Clinton impeachment.