Former speaker intends to plead guilty
Published 10:11 am Thursday, October 15, 2015
CHICAGO — An attorney for Dennis Hastert told a federal judge Thursday that the former House speaker intends to plead guilty in a federal hush-money case.
John Gallo said during a brief hearing that he expects to have a written plea agreement by Monday. And he asked the judge to set a date for a change of plea. The judge scheduled an Oct. 28 hearing.
Gallo did not mention any of the terms, including what counts Hastert would plead guilty to.
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A plea deal would avert a trial and help keep any potentially embarrassing secrets quiet.
The 73-year-old Illinois Republican is charged with breaking banking laws and lying to the FBI in efforts to pay someone $3.5 million to hide claims of past misconduct.
The Associated Press and other media, citing anonymous sources, have reported the payments were meant to conceal claims of sexual misconduct decades ago.
Hastert allegedly structured cash withdrawals in increments of just under $10,000 to avoid financial reporting rules and then lied to the FBI about the reason for the withdrawals.