Former Speaker Hastert’s Indictment Makes Political Waves In Illinois

 
A March 5. 2008 file photo shows former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert visiting the Illinois House of Representatives floor at the state Capitol in Springfield,

A March 5. 2008 file photo shows former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert visiting the Illinois House of Representatives floor at the state Capitol in Springfield,

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert makes his first appearance in court Tuesday following a federal indictment.

The hush money scandal is making waves in the political world. Prosecutors say Hastert allegedly agreed to pay an unnamed person $ 3.5 million to keep quiet about "past misconduct."

Media reports say it’s related to sexual abuse allegations going back before Hastert’s political career. Hastert is being charged with evading bank regulations and lying to the FBI. If convicted, he could face a maximum five-year sentence and a $250,000 fine on each charge.

After the allegations came out, fellow Illinois Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk said he will donate the money Hastert contributed to his campaign to charity.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says it’s impossible to run background on every contributor. "It is a sad day for our state that someone who has reached this level of prominence and politics is involved in these allegations," Durbin said.

A court filing in the case names a prominent Washington, D.C.-based attorney as Hastert's lawyer. Thomas C. Green was listed as Hastert's lawyer in a filing in Chicago federal court. It wasn't known whether he had an attorney until Monday. 

Story source: Illinois Public Radio