Former House Speaker Hastert Pleads Not Guilty

 
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse Tuesday in Chicago for his arraignment on federal charges that he broke federal banking laws and lied about the money when questioned by the FBI

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse Tuesday in Chicago for his arraignment on federal charges that he broke federal banking laws and lied about the money when questioned by the FBI. The indictment two weeks ago alleged Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to someone from his days as a high school teacher not to reveal a secret about past misconduct.

(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

In his first court apperance since he was indicted last month, Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has pleaded not guilty to charges in a federal hush-money case.

Defense attorney Thomas C. Green entered the pleas on Hastert's behalf. He also waived the reading of the indictment.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin says Hastert must cooperate in collection of DNA if authorized by court and advise officials before changing his name or phone number.

Hastert's attorney says the former House speaker has already surrendered his passport.
 
The May 28 indictment says he agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep someone, referred to only as "Individual A,'' from revealing a secret about past misconduct.

A federal judge is giving attorneys until Thursday to say if they want him to stay on the Hastert case.
 
During the former House speaker's first court appearance on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin said he had no doubt he could be impartial.
 
Prosecutors haven't said if they will ask Durkin to recuse himself after Federal Election Commission records showed he donated $500 to the "Hastert for Congress'' campaign in 2002 and $1,000 in 2004, but the arraignment gives them the opportunity to make that request. Durkin was an attorney at a Chicago law firm at the time of the contributions.

Hastert was swarmed by reporters and photographers as he entered the federal courthouse in downtown Chicago.

Story source: AP