Disgraced former Republican Speaker of the House and convicted child molester Dennis Hastert has reportedly settled one of his ongoing legal issues surrounding his abuse of teenagers during his time as a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School, Illinois. The Associated Press reports that a “tentative out-of-court settlement” was reached between Hastert and one of the men he abused as a child regarding hush money Hastert had promised to pay back in 2010.
The settlement comes days before a civil trial between Hastert and the man (only identified as James Doe) was to begin. According to AP, the trial would have focused on whether or not Hastert still owed the man $1.8 million in a hush-money deal the two had verbally agreed upon. In the deal, the victim, a student of Hastert’s when he was abused, would keep quiet about Hastert’s sexual abuse in exchange for a total $3.5 million paid out over 5 years. The agreement between the former Speaker and James Doe was the focus of Hastert’s indictment on federal charges in 2015, after Hastert was investigated for moving around large sums of money in violation of banking reporting requirements. That investigation revealed the details of his sexually predatory past.
Hastert was elected U.S. House speaker in 1999 and was considered as clean as one could be in a Republican house leadership filled with people like Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston. He stepped down in 2007, having become the longest-serving Republican speaker in history. Hastert’s history as a legislator is marked by all of the classic moral hypocrisy we have come to expect from GOP leadership over the years.
The lawsuit claimed that Hastert had breached a contract with James Doe, only paying him about half of the agreed-upon $3.5 million between the years 2009 and 2014. Hastert reportedly stopped paying the plaintiff after FBI agents began questioning the former GOP Speaker concerning the large amounts of cash he had withdrawn and failed to report. The plaintiff’s attorney Kristi Browne told NBC Chicago, “Let me say this: it’s never over for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. It’s never over. It impacts them for the rest of their lives. This resolves this case. This resolves my client’s claims against Mr. Hastert. It resolves Mr. Hastert’s counterclaim against my client, and it resolves all of the issues in litigation between them.”
G.W. Bush’s first Cabinet meeting in January of 2001
After federal agents began snooping around Hastert’s dubious banking activities, Hastert attempted to frame up James Doe, by saying he was being extorted. According to the federal government, Hastert agreed to allow the FBI to listen in on his conversations with James Doe, but this only revealed that Hastert had “willingly entered an agreement with the former student to pay for his silence.”
Hastert was indicted in 2015 for allegedly trying to get around bank reporting requirements. At the time, Hastert told investigators that he didn’t trust banks and pled not guilty. As the year went on, stories began leaking out about how much of a dirtbag Dennis Hastert was, leading Hastert to plead guilty to breaking banking laws in a deal that offered the 73-year-old a shorter prison sentence.
After Hastert’s attorneys claimed he suffered a small stroke and then caught a blood infection, sentencing was delayed. While Hastert was allegedly recuperating from this travail, more details emerged alleging that Hastert sexually abused at least four former students when they were minors. Former Republican House Majority leader Tom DeLay and 41 other colleagues wrote, signed, and sent a letter pleading with the judge to give Hastert a light sentence because of how “very few” flaws the former Speaker has and the fact that he “loves the lord.” Federal Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced Hastert to 15 months in a federal prison in April of 2016, calling him a “serial child molester” and saying he could only sentence him on the banking charges Hastert faced.
Hastert has been delusional about the extent of his molestation and abuse of boys under his charge as a wrestling coach. During sentencing, 53-year-old Scott Cross gave a statement saying Hastert had molested him when he was 17-years-old: “Judge, I wanted you to know the pain and suffering he caused me then, and the pain and suffering he causes me today.” The sister of a man, now deceased, who Hastert had abused during his time at Yorkville High School addressed Hastert in the courtroom: “Don’t be a coward, Mr. Hastert. Tell the truth. What you did was not misconduct; it was sexual abuse of a minor.”
Hastert served “roughly 85 percent of a 15-month sentence at the Rochester Federal Medical Center in southeast Minnesota” and was released on a two-year court-supervised probation in July 2017. Shortly before his release, Hastert began arguing that the plaintiff in this now-settled case had “breached” the contract for hush money, having spoken to family, a therapist, and friends about the deal with the powerful Republican.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.