A federal judge agreed Monday to shroud in secrecy some of the evidence in the Dennis Hastert alleged hush-money case – which could include the identity of the mystery man described in the indictment as “Individual A.”
Prosecutors, with the agreement of the former House Speaker’s lawyers, asked for a protective order last week, citing “sensitive information” and the “privacy interests of third parties.”
U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin – who is staying on the case even though he once donated money to Hastert’s campaign fund – granted the request, according to a court filing.
Hastert, who led the house for eight years before retiring in 2007, was indicted two weeks ago 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 “Individual A” $3.5 million in hush money to conceal “prior misconduct.”
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 the misconduct was sexual in nature.
The Illinois Republican pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in federal court in Chicago last week but has not made any public statements about the allegations.