This one couldn't wait till Wrestle Wednesday.
Just when you thought Republicans couldn't stoop any lower, the longest-serving speaker of the House drops this bombshell -- from a prison cell -- trying to recoup the money he paid a wrestler he molested (when the boy was 14 and not even in high school) to keep quiet about the abuse. (And kudos to the guy for suing for the remainder of the hush money since it was Hastert -- not him -- who who brought the disgusting event to the authorities' attention by withdrawing the money in huge amounts, thus raising suspicion!)
The Chicago Tribune reports:
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has asked a Kendall County judge to not only reject a sexual abuse victim's breach-of-contract lawsuit, but also to make the man pay back the $1.7 million in secret hush-money payments.Read the full story HERE.
In response to the lawsuit and in his counterclaim, made public Thursday and signed by Hastert, he denied that the oral pact is akin to a valid and enforceable contract and, if so, it would be the plaintiff who breached it when he spoke to federal authorities. Hastert also is seeking "reasonable expenses, attorneys' fees, and costs."
The lawsuit was filed in April by a now middle-age married man whom Hastert coached decades ago at Yorkville High School.
The man, known as Individual A in the federal case against Hastert, said Hastert had agreed in 2010 to pay him $3.5 million if he didn't disclose publicly that Hastert inappropriately touched him in the 1970s, when Individual A was 14, during a wrestling trip while the two stayed overnight in a hotel room. The boy at the time was not yet in high school, but Hastert was close friends with his parents.
The boy went on to become a standout student-athlete in high school. He later suffered panic attacks, unemployment, bouts of depression and psychiatric treatment, according to his lawsuit.
Hastert paid the former wrestler $1.7 million over 41/2 years through 2014, but he stopped making payments that December after the FBI questioned him in his Plano home about the large bank withdrawals. Hastert is serving a 15-month federal prison sentence in Rochester, Minn., for illegally structuring the bank withdrawals to avoid reporting requirements. In his lawsuit, Individual A seeks the remaining $1.8 million.
At his April sentencing hearing, Hastert admitted to inappropriate conduct with the man and some of his former student-athletes before going into politics in the 1980s. In his response this week to the lawsuit, regarding the sexual abuse allegations, Hastert said he had "insufficient information with which to admit or deny the allegations."