5 mysteries in the Dennis Hastert criminal case

SHARE 5 mysteries in the Dennis Hastert criminal case
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Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert | AP file

WASHINGTON – Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, not seen since his May 28 federal indictment, is scheduled to appear before a judge in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.

Hastert is charged with breaking federal banking laws and then lying about it to the FBI. He did this — though it is not part of the charges – to cover up alleged sexual misconduct with a student decades ago when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville.

Here are 5 mysteries from his case:

1. Who is “Individual A?” That’s the unidentified person the indictment says made a deal with Hastert to get $3.5 million to compensate for “past misconduct” that occurred “years earlier.” The indictment emphasized that Hastert was at Yorkville High between 1965 and 1981. Over four-and-a half years, Hastert withdrew $1.7 million in cash from his bank accounts for “Individual A.”

2. Timing. Why did “Individual A” not surface until, according to the indictment, “in or about” 2010?

3. Why cash? Did “Individual A” demand the cash? Or was it Hastert who wanted a cash deal?

4.The 9-word “lie” to the FBI. Hastert is charged with lying to the FBI, with the indictment not including a transcript of the portion of the interview where the “lie” occurred. Rather, the indictment says, “in response to the agents’ question confirming whether the purpose of the withdrawals was to store cash because he did not feel safe with the banking system, as he previously indicated,” Hastert said, “Yeah…I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.”

5. Did “Individual A” blackmail Hastert? We don’t know.

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