Feds: How we made case against ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert
When the FBI came calling early on a rainy morning in December 2014, Dennis Hastert's wife answered the door.
The authorities hadn't warned the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives they'd be visiting his Plano home that day. They just showed up, secretly wired, at 8:15 a.m., records show.
But the once-powerful Republican didn't seem particularly surprised, FBI Special Agent Lisa Strong, one of the two lead agents on the case speaking publicly for the first time about Hastert, told the Chicago Sun-Times. He's "accustomed to talking to a lot of people," Strong said.
The agents asked for "Mr. Hastert." They wanted to speak to him about the massive amounts of cash Hastert had taken out of his bank accounts, raising their suspicions.
Strong, who had never seen the popular politician in person, soon found herself in his living room, having a cordial conversation. It began with a question: "Are you and your family safe?"
Their talk lasted less than an hour, Strong says. And though records show Hastert was told, "They do have enough evidence to charge you," the agent said the conversation wasn't adversarial.
Still, because of the lies Hastert told that day, it forever changed the way history will view the longest-serving Republican speaker of the House.