I haven’t really said anything about this because we don’t know what happened with Hastert. Since I’m not fond of speculation, I’m going to hold off on comment until we have a better idea of what happened.
To be clear, we have more questions than we do answers. We know that Hastert was paying off someone who was bribing him over something. We know that that something has a sexual component to it and that its being referred to as “misconduct”. That’s all we know from the indictment.
An anonymous source at the FBI said that the person doing the blackmailing (they’re calling him “individual A”), knew Hastert for “most of Individual A’s life.” Another anonymous source at the FBI says that “It was sex.”
That’s all we know.
We don’t know when the misconduct happened, other than it was “years earlier”. That could be five years or it could be twenty-five. We don’t know. Everyone is assuming that it happened while Hastert was a high school wrestling coach, but I haven’t seen a source on that piece of information from any media outlet reporting it. It hasn’t been attributed to anyone. Not an anonymous source at the FBI, not someone close to the victim/blackmailer, not anyone that I’ve found so I can’t treat it as “information” as much as “speculation”.
We know that the extortion started in 2010. That’s the part that makes everything much more murky than people are assuming. If the event happened during Hastert’s tenure as a wrestling coach (from 1965 – 1981), why did the blackmail take so long? Why didn’t the blackmailer step up when Hastert got the speakership was at the height of having so much to lose? Why is Hastert paying? Is he unaware of the statute of limitations? Does the blackmailer have some sort of hard evidence? It’s hard for me to believe that Hastert would feel threatened to the tune of $3.5 million by someone saying that he (Hastert) did something twenty-five years ago. He could easily dismiss the accusations as the wild claims of a would be black mailer.
I feel like there are more questions than there is information here, so I’m not going to speculate on whether he was involved in pedophilia or simply closeted gay sex.
We do know that he’s a hypocrite, but we’re not positive about whether his votes on gay rights issues were hypocritical, or whether his family values platform is where the hypocrisy hive lies.
There is one funny part of the indictment that I can’t resist commenting on. When the FBI questioned Hastert about the large bank withdrawals , he said (from the indictment) that “……he did not feel safe with the banking system”. Right. That’s why as speaker, he went to great lengths to pass regulations that would make banks much safer places for people to keep their money.
Is he aware that he’s a republican, and that the most heinous sexual misconduct he and his party have ever committed involves sodomy with all of the big banks?
I thought that part of the indictment was hysterical.