Hastert charges colored by politics

Posted6/6/2015 1:00 AM

Most are surprised and puzzled by the allegations of long-ago sexual misconduct by Illinois native and former Speaker of the U.S. House, Dennis Hastert. However, I am more surprised by the federal charges that have been filed in this case.

Recall that the federal charges have nothing to do with the alleged sexual misconduct from Speaker Hastert's that dates back to years as a high school wrestling coach. Instead, he is being indicted on a charge of illegal financial structuring and lying to federal investigators about the structuring.


Yes, these are important concerns, but Hastert's movement of money was not undertaken to support or further any criminal enterprise or conduct. For heaven's sake, he was being blackmailed.

Nor did his lies to the feds support or further any criminal conduct. This was a desperate try to save his personal reputation.

It seems to me that Department of Justice staffers would have looked at this 73-year-old guy, now a private citizen but with decades of service to the public, and seen a person who has been working his tail off to come up with the cash he needed to pay off a black mailer in an effort to salvage his reputation. Then, after applying common sense, the DOJ should have concluded that charges weren't warranted.

Why didn't they do that? Is it possible that common sense was trumped by political motives when a Democrat Party-dominated DOJ leadership had the chance to just stick it to a retired Republican Party stalwart?

A more worthy use of DOJ investigative resources would be inquiries into the acquisition and management of funds by the Clinton family with its murky foundation, other business entities, and its continuing pattern of dodgy conduct.

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But, they are Democrats, so I guess that their conduct isn't bound by any particular rules.

Charles F. Falk


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