Attorneys seek more time in Hastert case
Attorneys in the financial misconduct case involving former U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert were granted more time Friday to prepare.
U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin granted the request made jointly by lawyers for both sides. He ordered the defense to file motions by Sept. 28 and the government to file its response by Oct. 19. Durkin set Nov. 16 for Hastert's next hearing.
According to the federal complaint, Hastert, 73, agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money so "Individual A" would keep silent about past misconduct. The Associated Press reported the misconduct involved a sexual relationship between Hastert and a former student between 1965 and 1981, when Hastert taught and coached at Yorkville High School. Prosecutors have not described the nature of the misconduct.
Federal authorities charged Hastert in May with attempting to circumvent banking reporting requirements and lying to the FBI.
Hastert, who is free on bail, has pleaded not guilty to "structuring" withdrawals -- withdrawing cash from his accounts in increments of less than $10,000 to avoid federal reporting laws.
Banks are required to report cash withdrawals of more than $10,000 to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The network monitors such transactions, which federal authorities say might suggest money laundering.
Federal prosecutors say Hastert made fifteen $50,000 withdrawals from June 2010 to July 2012 and gave the cash to "Individual A" every six weeks. They say Hastert did not report the withdrawals and reduced their amount after his bank questioned him.
Durkin has barred attorneys from discussing the case.
Durkin, brother of longtime Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, acknowledged at Hastert's arraignment that he donated a total of $1,500 to Hastert's campaign in 2002 and 2004 but said he never met him. Durkin said he could be impartial, and both sides agreed to have him preside over the case.