June 1, 2015

Denny Hastert "was a bland, utterly conventional supporter of the status quo; his idea of reform was to squelch..."

"... anyone who disturbed Congress’s usual way of doing business," writes John Fund "How Did Denny Hastert Get Rich Enough to Pay Millions to an Accuser?"
I saw him become passionate only once, when he defended earmarks — the special projects such as Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” that members dropped at the last minute into conference reports, deliberately leaving no time to debate or amend them....

The [Sunlight Foundation] found that Hastert had used a secret trust to join with others and invest in farm land near the proposed route of a new road called the Prairie Parkway. He then helped secure a $207 million earmark for the road. The land, approximately 138 acres, was bought for about $2.1 million in 2004 and later sold for almost $5 million, or a profit of 140 percent. Local land records and congressional disclosure forms never identified Hastert as the co-owner of any of the land in the trust. Hastert turned a $1.3 million investment (his portion of the land holdings) into a $1.8 million profit in less than two years. Hastert claimed at the time that the land deals had nothing to do with the federal earmark he had secured. “I owned land and I sold it, like millions of people do every day,” he told the Washington Post. Or, as George Washington Plunkitt, the former Tammany Hall leader in New York, once said of someone who made a killing in local land that later became part of a lucrative subway development: “He saw his opportunities and he took ’em.” Plunkitt called such “opportunities” a form of “honest graft.”...
ADDED: But getting that money isn't the crime Hastert is charged with. Nor is conveying that money to a person who accused him of wrongdoing. Lawprof Noah Feldman describes the conduct the government cites in its charges (I've added some boldface):
First, [Hastert] made 15 withdrawals of $50,000 each from his own accounts. The withdrawals were not criminal, but they did trigger a federal law that requires a bank to report any transaction or series of transactions of more than $10,000. In April 2012, according to the indictment, bank officials questioned Hastert about the withdrawals.

Presumably, in those conversations or in conjunction with them, Hastert realized for the first time that he shouldn't be making withdrawals of more than $10,000 if he didn't want to trigger scrutiny. Beginning in July 2012, Hastert switched his withdrawals so that they were less than $10,000 each -- to a total of $952,000. That was a crime under the law that prohibits knowingly structuring transactions to avoid reporting. And it's a crime that seems easy to prove, given Hastert’s change in his withdrawal practices.

Unfortunately for Hastert, when the FBI and IRS questioned him about the structure of the transactions in December 2014, he lied to them, insisting that he “did not feel safe in the banking system.” When asked directly what he did with the money, he said, “Yeah, I kept the cash. ... That's what I'm doing.” The lie to federal officials was a crime, too.
All of that is easy to prove, but we might nevertheless wonder whether the choice to prosecute is really based on the alleged wrong that Hastert spent so much money to hush up. Feldman asks why the government keeping things hushed up too and observes that if the underlying accusation is false and Hastert "was being blackmailed unjustly, then the government's prosecution seems heartless to the point of being abusive." Feldman concludes: "we should know what happened or Hastert shouldn't be charged."

But that assumes that the crimes Hastert seems to have committed should go unprosecuted unless there's something else that that makes us want to convict him of something. I think what is abusive is to have crimes that we don't believe in enforcing that are sitting around only to be used on occasions when we have some other problem with a person!

71 comments:

Chris Low said...

No one should be surprised. People were so sick of Congress after Hastert they dealt the Republicans a historic defeat that gave Pelosi the Speakership.

Michael K said...

Hastert was a member in good standing of the Illinois "Combine." John Kass knows him well.

Dennis Hastert is a Republican boss of the infamous Illinois Combine that has run this politically corrupt state.

As such, Hastert even tried to influence the selection of federal prosecutors and prevent politically independent outsiders from wielding federal subpoena power.

I know he says otherwise. That's his public stance. And here's mine: He pushed and a few of us pushed back hard, and readers of this column pushed back even harder, and he dropped it.

He lost that public battle to the conservative Republican reformer, Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, and to those of us who supported Fitzgerald against the Combine.


Illinois Republicans forced out Senator Fitzgerald and we got Obama instead.

Humperdink said...

Going along to get along now has the US $18+++ trillion in debt. And made it's members, current and retired, multimillionaires.

Laslo Spatula said...

And to imagine: at one point he was just a guy, naked in the shower, with a dream.

I am Laslo.

Brando said...

The shame of it was the GOP was in a position to enact some great reforms and expand its political base for a time. Instead, the debt kept going up and the corruption showed they were no different from the Democrats. By the time of the financial crisis the party had sunk so low in the public's perception that they were in no position to do anything.

And right now they may have this opportunity again, and they may blow it again.

tim in vermont said...

Imagine if a Democrat got rich this way, say Harry Reid... Naah!

Don't get me wrong, this is the kind of thing that needs a real good airing, on both sides.

Bobber Fleck said...

Much ado about Hastert...

Perform an investigation, determine the facts, charge him if needed, give him a trial if warranted, punish as needed. The media coverage is shameless.

Laslo Spatula said...

All that money, and he still can only think of those youthful naked male buttocks, flexing and unflexing. Riches may hide the shame, but not the longing.

Flexing, unflexing, flexing, unflexing: Oh Brutal Memory, may it be gone, along with the vexation of that young flicking tongue.


I am Laslo.

MadisonMan said...

Never answer a question from the Government without a lawyer present. (And even then, don't say anything).

There are some people who don't like silence and will talk to prevent it. I rather like it myself.

Michael K said...

"Three Felonies a Day," is what it is called.

Ann Althouse said...

"The media coverage is shameless."

Really? Why?

It's seems that the government has strong evidence about the structuring and the lying. But there's an issue as to whether he should be prosecuted. I don't see ENOUGH intelligent discussion of this.

As for what Hastert did or didn't do years ago... I guess you could say there's something wrong with smearing him about things that he isn't getting prosecuted for. That's Feldman's issue. But the govt is keeping that part unspoken. You think the media should shut up about it?

I'm agnostic on all this. Hastert apparently paid what would be an absurd amount of money if the underlying story wasn't true. If he's the real victim here, why did he pay that money?

And then there's Fund's issue: Why did Hastert have that kind of money? I think we're right to look into that, for Hastert as well as for Reid (who is discussed in Fund's article).

Largo said...

Remember: it is a crime for *you* to withdraw *your* money from *your* account in amounts that *you* like.

AReasonableMan said...

Chris Low said...
No one should be surprised. People were so sick of Congress after Hastert they dealt the Republicans a historic defeat that gave Pelosi the Speakership.


That was Bush/Cheney, not Hastert. Most voters would have been unable to name Hastert.

MadisonMan said...

I think we're right to look into that

Everyone KNOWS how he made the money -- by being a politician. The problem is that politicians are none to keen to change the laws to prevent this. Would you expect pigs to organize themselves so they cannot access the trough? (Apologies to swine, of course, for the association).

Peter said...

"The [Sunlight Foundation] found that Hastert had used a secret trust to join with others and invest in farm land near the proposed route of a new road called the Prairie Parkway."

I don't get it. That transaction had a smell in 2004 when the Prairie Parkway was still a political possibility, but, it never got built. Did the state buy Hastert's land anyway?

David Begley said...

Althouse is right.

Where is prosecutorial discretion when you need it?

As to Fund's question about Hastert's income, besides the corrupt land deal Denny was also a lobbyist. Congress has set up American life such that is necessary for business to pay them big money.

We go to a smaller government and with a flat tax and the DC metro area is no longer the wealthiest area in America.

Sebastian said...

"if the underlying accusation is false and Hastert "was being blackmailed unjustly, then the government's prosecution seems heartless to the point of being abusive." Feldman concludes: "we should know what happened or Hastert shouldn't be charged.""

So there is such a thing as just blackmailing? Is that covered in the criminal statutes? And if the blackmailing is "just," then going after the blackmailee is not "heartless"?

"But that assumes that the crimes Hastert seems to have committed should go unprosecuted unless there's something else that that makes us want to convict him of something. I think what is abusive is to have crimes that we don't believe in enforcing that are sitting around only to be used on occasions when we have some other problem with a person!"

What do you mean, "we"? The point of various "crimes" is to be "sitting around" for use on such "occasions." UW Law does teach that, doesn't it?

"I think we're right to look into that, for Hastert as well as for Reid"

We await your probing report with bated breath.

robother said...

Ann: "But the govt is keeping that part unspoken."
Really? The only source journalists cite about the nature of Hastert's alleged sexual acts is a "top federal law enforcement official." This is the real creepy part of abusing prosecutorial discretion in using vague RICO-like criminal statutes: the anonymous leaks that seek to assure the public that yeah, this is a real bad guy. And the beauty part is, the feds don't have to prove any of that in a court of law.

Bob Boyd said...

"Why did Hastert have that kind of money? I think we're right to look into that"

Right.
People like Hastert created laws saying, if it comes to the government's attention that a citizen has a large amount of money, the government is entitled to look into that and demand that the citizen explain where it came from.
Why should the Hasterts not be subject to the same scrutiny? If anything they should be subject to much stricter scrutiny.

David Begley said...

To hear the likes of Rachael Maddow squeal with delight about this case tells one all you need to know about this DOJ prosecution.
"Everyone does it."
"The Clintons don't look so bad now, do they."
"The Clinton impeachment was a fraud."
"Denny is a closeted gay hypocrite."

sparrow said...

Bad laws unevenly enforced, lots to criticize.

chickelit said...

For all we know, Individual A got and still has those $10k installments. If the money was ill-gotten* where is the justice in letting Individual A walk away with the public's money?
________________

*ill-gotten in the old-fashioned way: Ill corruption.

Bobby said...

I'm with Bob Boyd on this one- those who created the intrusive and non-sensible rules, or who had ample opportunity to have them reformed but declined, should be the first ones held to the standards they established. I think it was Lincoln who said the best way to repeal a bad law is to enforce it.

But it needs to be enforced against leaders in both directions and not just as a partisan tool against the party out of power.

tim in vermont said...

Why is Scooter Libby a felon again? Because of something that Richard Armitage did?

I have always maintained that a winning investment strategy is to buy real-estate in the district of the Speaker of the House apparent.

William said...

I think it's true that the majority of Congressmen use their inside knowledge to work favorable trades......I don't expect this Hastert thing to trigger any curiousity about the wealth of Pelosi's banker husband. LBJ's wife made tens of millions of dollars with her purchase of radio stations. She was a shrewd businesswoman. Only a misogynist would suggest otherwise......Hastert's underlying crime is difficult, almost impossible, to defend against. But that's why it's important t know more than the sketchy details. And the fact hat the details are so sketchy tends to make one question the government's case.

Bobber Fleck said...

Althouse said:

"The media coverage is shameless."

Really? Why?


My statement was not triggered by this article, but rather by some the breathless reactions of the talking heads and the implication that this situation is of great national import at this moment in time.

I suspect some of the coverage is intended to function as a shiny moving object to direct attention away from other national issues.

The story is newsworthy at some level. Getting to the truth is always worthwhile. Finding out where the money came from is an ongoing issue with politicians, but is not suddenly an urgent issue. Just like Ferguson and Baltimore, I can wait for the results of the investigation to be presented.

Michael K said...

"That was Bush/Cheney, not Hastert. Most voters would have been unable to name Hastert."

No, Hastert wrecked the opportunity for the Republican Congress to do some real accomplishments. Gingrich started it but got sidetracked with his book deal and his personal problems. Livingston got smacked down by the Democrats' smear machine and Hastert arrived with no morals.

The hard left, as in ARM, think Bush/Cheney was the problem but they weren't. Maybe if they had been able to head off the financial crash but that was lost when the Dims took Congress in 2006 and trompted on the accelerator. Fannie-Freddie was a Democrat retirement lan for loyal bureaucrats like Raines and Johnson.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you don't like what they do with the power, then do not let them use the power.

It's safe - and prudent - to assume your employees will steal from you. They are easier to watch if they are local.

Or it may be best just do the job yourself. Time was, I had a lot more control over things like where to get medical care, my kids' education, things like that.

CWJ said...

sparrow wrote -

"Bad laws unevenly enforced, lots to criticize."

Agreed. I and one or two others have already mentioned Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby, but they are high profile cases. I wonder how many ordinary people served time for lying about a "not crime?" Or is this an exclusively politically enforced statute?

damikesc said...

I'd argue that recent history of prosecutions of Republicans that the case is likely far weaker than we realize.

steve uhr said...

If he should be prosecuted for anything it should be for being an idiot. If he just continued to make withdrawals in increments of $50,000, and told the FBI to go fish when they inquired, he would be fine right now. Scary to think such a dunce was two heartbeats from being President.

MikeR said...

Honest graft? No, just graft.
Why would anyone think that I support these kind of old-time big government "country-club" Republican politicians? Because he had a R in front on his name. In favor of earmarks!
This kind of thing was the whole point of the Tea Party, regardless of what the propagandists from the liberals want them to be.

tim in vermont said...

Remember when they grabbed the Alaska Senate seat through and unfounded prosecution of Ted Stevens? The only punishment for the prosecutors was a letter in their file that will only serve as a glowing recommendation to future employers.

This is what Democracy looks like!

Louis said...

whether he should be prosecuted.

Why would it be that he shouldn't be prosecuted? Because he was a lawmaker? Because being dragged out of the closet is a misfortune? I don't see the other side well.

I am all for abolishing all these laws that exist for the sake of prosecution. For that purpose it is good when a high-profile case beings attention to the vulnerability we all have to an intrusive, outrageous government.

hombre said...

"I think what is abusive is to have crimes that we don't believe in enforcing that are sitting around only to be used on occasions when we have some other problem with a person."

No kidding! Back in the old days prosecutors called it "the chickenshit doctrine." Today it is called SOP for Democrat prosecutors where the "problem" is being Republican or Conservative.

Bill said...

If you require the banks to report repeated transaction under the $10,000 limit, there may not be a reason to make structuring illegal.
As to selective prosecution, it might overwhelm the DOJ with recordkeeping, but it would be great to have data (if it doesn't exist) on when the government does and doesn't decline prosecution.
Hastert's crime could well have been prosecuted because the amount involved, and not because of the underlying bad conduct.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

Show me the man and I will find you the crime. ~ Beria

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The reporting law is on the books to catch crime lords and tax cheats, but is written in such a way that innocent purpose is not a defense.

Let's say you accept the premise that the payments to the accuser are an innocent purpose. If they are in settlement of a personal injury, they aren't taxable. Maybe no crime was committed in the making of these payments, as opposed to the evasion of reporting them.

But, how does the prosecutor know that's where all the cash went? For example, if Hastert were sufficiently devious, he might be using the accuser as a cover for cash he paid in bribes to public officials. Even if he made a series of large payments to the accuser, how do we know that accounts for all the cash?

So, even if a prosecutor might be talked out of prosecuting if the purpose were innocent, Hastert may have covered his tracks so well that he is not be able to document his complete innocence.

KenK said...

How the hell did we get to the point in this country where withdrawing your own money from a bank became the gov's business? We need more Rand Pauls and fewer Denny Hasterts.

stan said...

Meanwhile, the Clintons keep on Clintoning. Jon Corzine continues to walk free after stealing over a billion from clients. Al Sharpton walks free.

Democrats -- corrupt to the core in using power. About everything. All the time.

madAsHell said...

$10,000 ain't what it used to be.

My mother maintains multiple savings accounts because of the $100,000 FDIC limit. $100,00 ain't what it used to be.

CWJ said...

madAsHell,

Exactly. When this became law $10k was perhaps a meaningful trigger for a reportable transaction. Not anymore. Over the last few years, I've made a number of by this standard large withdrawals for important but quite ordinary purposes. Before now, I never gave a thought to the feds keeping a record of this. Now I'm none too happy realizing that conceivably I could be interrogated about a new roof, a new (used) car, year end property taxes and insurance premiums, replacement windows, or even living expenses when withdrawn to cover multiple months.

You would think the feds would be so overwhelmed with data that no one would stand out UNLESS they had already targeted you for monitoring.

Clyde said...

Two words: Term limits.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Bob Boyd @ 0851. Bingo!

cubanbob said...

The reporting and structuring laws have got to go.If the government can't find enough to prosecute the underlying crime then the reporting and structuring charges are invented crimes. Prosecutors need to stripped of qualified immunity if their conduct has been shown to be lawless and if so then they should be held personally accountable to the maximum punishment the law would have punished the wrongfully accused and they should be left utterly destitute and stripped of any pensions. Same for police officers and judges as well as all civil servants.

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HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...I think what is abusive is to have crimes that we don't believe in enforcing that are sitting around only to be used on occasions when we have some other problem with a person!
Yes, that's correct, especially when at least part of the "some other problem" goes back to political disagreement with the target. But, respectfully, what the hell are any of us going to do about it? Did anyone here exepect Eric Holder's DOJ to be fair? Or, if you prefer, John Ashcroft's? The bigger, more difficult problem isn't the people at the top, nor the high-profile cases they bring. It's the workforce the put in place combined with an expansive criminal code no one can fully understand. Ashcroft and Holder can at least be voted out. What about Lois Lerner or her IRS division? How many citizens face seemingly-arbitrary prosecution for crimes a hundred other citizens commit without penalty? What do we do if it looks like there's a pattern in who ends up facing charges or penalties? Remember, profiling is bad, except when it's good. We've expanded the size and the scope of the state and along with that has come ever more intrusive laws, enforced by agents of the state seemingly at their whim.
Maybe when we elect Jeb or Hilary things'll turn around.

damikesc said...

The bigger, more difficult problem isn't the people at the top, nor the high-profile cases they bring. It's the workforce the put in place combined with an expansive criminal code no one can fully understand. Ashcroft and Holder can at least be voted out. What about Lois Lerner or her IRS division? How many citizens face seemingly-arbitrary prosecution for crimes a hundred other citizens commit without penalty? What do we do if it looks like there's a pattern in who ends up facing charges or penalties? Remember, profiling is bad, except when it's good. We've expanded the size and the scope of the state and along with that has come ever more intrusive laws, enforced by agents of the state seemingly at their whim.
Maybe when we elect Jeb or Hilary things'll turn around.


I whole-heartedly advocate a return to the spoils system. Make SOMEBODY responsible for the abuses.

HT said...

I'm reading about Hastert now in the Washington Post. They say that in this "tight knit" community, someone would have heard about this by now. And that may be. But it also may be that in such communities, no one dare release the first hint of this. It's freaky, but that's how things work sometimes. As to the crime - in this country, we all agreed to those rules - as far as I understand, and I could be wrong - with anti terrorism stuff in the patriot act, right? So, while I understand the outrage people feel when they think they can dispense with their own money however they want, I do believe we all agreed to those rules (some acronym I can't remember now). Please correct me if I'm wrong.

HT said...

"The media coverage is shameless."

Well, there IS media coverage, if that's what you mean.

Hastert's nowhere to be found, I do not get a sense of shamelessness at all. I just read articles that people say it's "sad" and they're scratching their head. Maybe he's covering up someone else's crime, what do we know.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I am honestly baffled by Hastert's decision to talk to the Feds, though. He should know better. Hell, I know better, and I'm not hiding anything.

William said...

If Hastert was some kind of Sandusky figure who used his coaching position to groom victims, then I'm all for the government screwing him by any means available. If, however, this was a one off, I'd be inclined to take a more charitable view. Hastert committed a reprehensible crime, and he deserves his disgrace, but I don't know if it's fair for the government to go so far out of their way to prosecute him.......I'll await further developments, but it does seem that if pederastry were his sexual orientation, then more victims would come forward. Of course, at one time, you could have said the same thing about Bill Cosby. If ever a case deserved withholding judgment, it's this one.

tim in vermont said...

I agree with Insty in that we ought to elect ore Republicans only because that is the only way the press will do its constitutionally assigned job.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

tim in vermont:

Headline: Vote Republican for journalistic integrity!

Headline: Vote Democrat for blackmail deterrence!

n.n said...

There are so many ways to collect and redistribute capital and debt. I wonder why he chose to access his own capital through easily traceable channels.

libertariansafetyguy said...

Prosecuting guilty people does no good. Nope, we have to prosecute a few innocent people to create power.

David said...

Presumably, in those conversations or in conjunction with them, Hastert realized for the first time that he shouldn't be making withdrawals of more than $10,000 if he didn't want to trigger scrutiny.

So he had to violate the law to know what was in it? Maybe he did this to impress Nancy Pelosi.

David said...

Maybe everyone should chill out and re-read Lolita.

clint said...

"I think what is abusive is to have crimes that we don't believe in enforcing that are sitting around only to be used on occasions when we have some other problem with a person!"

Yes. Exactly.

Which is the problem with the law on structuring withdrawals. And probably the one on making false statements to the feds, the way it seems to be enforced.

Titus said...

The bigger question is who would do Denny?

Unknown said...

Oh come on Titus. You know you lust for his dadbod. You would let him give you a Cleveland Steamer just to see where it came from. Have fun getting raped in Bushwick?

Titus said...

Please unknown-I am not a chubby chaser. Also, Denny is 40 years too old for me.

Bushwick was great-no raped though.

Unknown said...

Oh come on Titus we all know about you. Put down the roofie flavored jello pudding pop and come clean.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Peter said...6/1/15, 8:42 AM

"The [Sunlight Foundation] found that Hastert had used a secret trust to join with others and invest in farm land near the proposed route of a new road called the Prairie Parkway."

I don't get it. That transaction had a smell in 2004 when the Prairie Parkway was still a political possibility, but, it never got built. Did the state buy Hastert's land anyway?


The government did not buy Hastert's land, and it never was supposed to. Four months after President Bush signed the law containing the earmark into law on August 10, 2005, Hastert (and others) sold it to a developer, who hoped to make money building 1600 houses a few miles from the highway. It was actually a 727-acre piece of land, of which Hastert and his family owned 69 acres, and 1/4 of another 69 acres.

Now you mean to tell me that the developer lost out? ((or was this more convoluted, and that sale a sweetheart deal by the developer, who never expected to make money from it?)

The developer paid $4.9 million. I don't see how Hastert made millions, if he only owned 11.86% of the land. That should have made him, gross, slightly under $600,000.

http://sunlightfoundation.com/press/releases/2006/06/15/dennis-hasterts-highway-to-financial-heaven/

Apparently, the $4.9 million is just for his portion - Little Rock Trust #225 (Little Rock, as in Arkansas?) In a 2004 disclosure, Speaker Hastert had valued that land as between $250,001 and $500,000. Before selling it, Hastert transferred his land into a trust headed by Dallas C. Ingemunson, Hastert’s campaign treasurer, which kept his name off the papers.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Michael K saus John Kass of the Chicago Tribune says that Dennis Hastert was one of the Republican bosses of the "infamous Illinois Combine" that opposed Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald.

Does that mean we owe Barack Obama to Dennis Hastert?

If so, we also owe the prevention of the election of Hillary Clinton to Dennis Hastert.

Sammy Finkelman said...

We are learning all these things we should have learned years ago.

And you know, I didn't even know that Senator Ted Kennedy was in the army - I knew he had cheated on a Spanish language test and had to wothdraw from Harvard, but I didn't know thst he had joine dthe army against his father's wishes, but his father made sure he got an easy job, and was kept out of Korea and wa slet out of the army after two years.

That Haster was a lobbyist was not such a big surprise. The New York Times writes (Sunday) that he lobbied for e-cigarettes and candy flavored cigarettes on behalf of Lorriland Tpbacco, and for Peavpody coal in 2013-2014 - and then switched sides in 2015 to lobby for reneable fuel production for Fuels America.

He also worked for Light Squared, which had a wreless venture, until Light Squared went bankrupt when regulators ruled its technology would interfere with GPS.

There were no earmarks by the time Hastert lobbied, but he would lobby for policy riders and programmatic changes. He did lobby for seection of a major transportatoopn facility for the Army Reserve on behalf of an Illinois developer, enterPoint Properties. For a company that supplied security guards, he pressed fror Congressionakl review of procurement by the TSA.

He didn't specializxe in anything, except maybe Appropriations bills. He worked on the annual labor and healh spending bill for the American College of Rheumatology. The New York Times doesn't say what the American College of Rheumatology wanted.

Hastert's advantage was he knew the system and he knew the people, most of whom would readily take his call.

The size of the blackmail sounds like he must ahve bene paying all of his income after taxes to he blackmailer.

Sammy Finkelman said...

William said... on 6/1/15 @ 12:57 PM

I'll await further developments, but it does seem that if pederastry were his sexual orientation, then more victims would come forward.

They say there's two - there's another they know of, but the second person didn't try blackmailing him.

There also was a report that Hastert wanted to keep the underlying allegations out of the charges, and that in return he would plead guilty.

Haseert has not said anything, but he's resigning from everything.

Kirk Parker said...


Largo,

"Remember: it is a crime for *you* to withdraw *your* money from *your* account in amounts that *you* like."

This. This in spades.

It's tyranny, plain and simple: total, unadulterated, unAmerican tyranny.

Unknown said...

See, now if THIS guy had committed suicide, things would be so much simpler.

Unknown said...

Hey. What if he needed the money to pay a kidnapping ransom?