Identity of witnesses in Hastert case to stay secret

  • Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert enters the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago last week.

      Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert enters the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago last week. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/16/2015 7:24 PM

The identities of potential witnesses in the case against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert -- including so-called Individual A -- will be kept secret, a U.S. District judge ruled.

Judge Thomas M. Durkin granted prosecutors' motion not to disclose the identity of the witnesses or other sensitive information related to the case, court records show. Durkin's order prevents either side from revealing "sensitive information, the unrestricted dissemination of which could adversely affect law enforcement interests and the privacy interests of third parties."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That would seemingly include Individual A, the person to whom authorities say Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep silent about past misconduct. The Associated Press reported the misconduct involved a sexual relationship with a former student that occurred sometime between 1965 and 1981, when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School.

According to the complaint, Hastert, 73, paid about $1.7 million in hush money to Individual A between 2010 and 2014.

The Plano Republican was charged last month with attempting to circumvent banking reporting requirements and lying to the FBI. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $4,500 bail.

Durkin, the brother of Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, acknowledged during Hastert's arraignment that he donated a total of $1,500 to Hastert's campaigns in 2002 and 2004 but said he had never met him.

Durkin said he could be impartial and both the defense and prosecution agreed to have him continue presiding over the case.

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