28 May 2015

We Already Knew that Hastert was Corrupt

What you will notice in passing is that Hasterd made his money in real estate investments by earmarking money for a massive highway project that ran past his real estate investments, which jacked up the price of the land. (Prior Link)

Now though, we have allegations that Denny Hastert tried to evade the money laundering statutes and then lied to the FBI:
J. Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed person to cover up “past misconduct.”

Hastert, who has been a high-paid lobbyist in Washington since his 2007 retirement from Congress, schemed to mask more than $950,000 in withdrawals from various ac­counts in violation of federal banking laws that require the disclosure of large cash transactions, according to a seven-page indictment delivered by a grand jury in Chicago.

The indictment did not spell out the exact nature of the “prior misconduct” by Hastert, but it noted that before entering state and federal politics in 1981, Has­tert served for more than a decade as a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois.

In 2010, confronted about the “prior misconduct,” the former speaker agreed to pay $3.5 million to the person “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A,” prosecutors alleged.

That person, whose identity was shielded by prosecutors, has known Hastert most of his or her life, growing up in Yorkville, the city next to Hastert’s home town of Plano, in the exurbs west of Chicago. Prosecutors said the actions “occurred years earlier” than the 2010 meeting that sparked the payments.

The investigation began in 2013, by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service, which cited “possible structuring of currency transactions to avoid the reporting requirements.”
First thing to be noted here, if law enforcement (particularly the FBI) wants to have an innocuous discussion with here, tell them no.
  • They know what they are looking for, and you don't.
  • They have a legal right to lie to you.
  • Even the most innocuous misstatement can be characterized by law enforcement and prosecutors as a felony.
  • If they can show inaccuracies in your statements, even honest ones, they can use this to impeach later testimony.
Politely let them know that you are asserting your constitutional rights, and will not talk without a lawyer.

It is important to specifically mention your constitutional rights.  Recent courses by the perfidious Roberts Court have allowed a person's silence against them in court unless they specifically invoke the 5th amendment.

The second thing to be noted is that the prosecutors are being remarkably circuitous about the nature of  Hastert's "Prior misconduct" against "Individual A."

I'm not sure whether the prosecutor is giving Hastert a pass because he was House Speaker, or if the US Attorney will use that as a lever to get a guilty plea

The indictment provides some tantalizing clues though:
  • Hastert and this person have known each other for most of Individual A's life, which implies that they are significantly younger than Hastert.
  • Individual is a resident of Yorkville, Illinois.
  • Before politics, Hastert was a teacher and coach at a school in Yorkville.
My guess is that he sexually abused a student when he was a teacher, but it's just a guess, based on the amount of the blackmail and the above facts.

The interesting thing here is that it is likely, though not certain (Republicans are a perverted bunch), that whatever you and I imagine is far worse than the reality of the situation.

In any case, it's nice to see Tom Delay's sock puppet going down.


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