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Man suing Dennis Hastert wants to keep some details secret

Dennis Hastert

Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert mug shot | Lake County Sheriff's Department via AP

A Kendall County judge is considering whether to keep confidential certain documents related to the hush-money deal that landed former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert in prison.

Lawyers for the man on the other end of that deal filed a motion for a protective order last week as they pursue his lawsuit against the former speaker. If entered by Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer, it could shield various documents from public view.

Such arrangements are not unusual. The federal judge who oversaw Hastert’s criminal case agreed to a similar order. But lawyers in the civil case have yet to agree on all the details. The order is being sought by the man known publicly as Individual A.

Hastert, 76, left the Rochester Federal Medical Center in southeast Minnesota last July after serving roughly 85 percent of a 15-month sentence for illegally structuring bank transactions while trying to cover up his past sexual abuse of teenage boys.

Though Hastert has admitted to the abuse, authorities could not prosecute him because the statute of limitations had long run out. Instead, the feds hit him in May 2015 with a seven-page indictment that accused Hastert of the illegal structuring and lying to the FBI.

Central to Hastert’s indictment was Individual A, who says he was molested in a motel room by Hastert when he was 14 and agreed to a $3.5 million hush-money deal with the former speaker in 2010. Hastert paid Individual A only $1.7 million, and Individual A is suing Hastert for the remaining balance.

Hastert has filed a counterclaim seeking repayment of the $1.7 million.