Hastert Lawyers Ask He Be Spared Prison In Hush-Money Case
Dennis Hastert's lawyers want a judge to spare the former U.S. House Speaker from prison time in his hush-money case and give him probation. A filing Wednesday comes before the 74-year-old Republican's sentencing by a federal judge April 27.
It cites Hastert's health and says he's already paid a hefty price. It says his "fall from grace has been swift and devastating'' and that he knows "the public warmth and affection'' is being "replaced by hostility and isolation.''
Hastert pleaded guilty in October to violating bank laws as he sought to pay $3.5 million in hush money. His plea deal calls for a sentence of no more than six months in prison.
According to a report Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune, the former U.S. House speaker said in a court filing that he's "profoundly sorry" for the harm he caused others decades ago.
UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune Thursday cited unidentified law enforcement sources as saying at least four people have made "credible allegations of sexual abuse'' against Hastert.
In a Thursday story, the newspaper says it has determined the identities of three accusers - men whose allegations stem from when they were teenagers and Hastert was their coach in Yorkville, Illinois. One of them is dead. The Tribune says the other two - described in court documents as Individuals A and D - declined to speak publicly when approached by the newspaper.
Hastert is to be sentenced April 27 for violating banking laws as he sought to pay $3.5 million to ensure Individual A stayed quiet about past misconduct.
The Associated Press and other media outlets, citing unnamed sources, previously reported that Hastert wanted to hide claims he sexually molested someone. The issue was first raised in court last month.