Ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert strikes deal in hush-money case


Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has struck an agreement to resolve charges he lied to the FBI about bank withdrawals — money allegedly used to keep sexual misconduct accusations under wraps, lawyers announced on Thursday.

The politician, who was not in the Chicago federal courtroom where the agreement was announced, will appear on Oct. 28 to enter a plea, his attorney said.

It’s unclear whether the deal calls for Hastert, 73, to serve prison time. It will, however, let him avoid an embarrassing public trial and possibly keep further details of his alleged misdeeds secret.

Hastert, who led the House for eight years before retiring in 2007, was indicted in June on charges he structured bank transactions to avoid triggering red flags and then lied about those cash withdrawals to the FBI.

Court papers say he was taking out the money because he agreed to pay a mystery man identified only as “Individual A” some $3.5 million in hush money to conceal “prior misconduct.”

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Federal law enforcement sources have said “Individual A” was a student at Yorkville High School in Illinois while Hastert was a teacher and coach there in the ’60s and ’70s, and that the misconduct was sexual in nature.

After Hastert was indicted, a Montana woman, Jolene Burdge, came forward with claims that Hastert had molested her brother, Steve Reinbolt, a Yorkville grad who died in 1995 of AIDS complications.

In June, a friend of Reinboldt’s told NBC News on condition of anonymity that Reinboldt — who is not Individual A — also told him years ago that he had sexual contact with Hastert.

“I was hanging out at Steve’s house in December 1974, I seem to recall we went for a drive and he told me that he was gay. He also said that his first sexual encounter was with Denny Hastert,” the friend said. 

Nick Bogert contributed. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.