REPORT: Former House speaker hush money scandal involved sexual abuse

Dennis HastertREUTERS/John GressFormer House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Illinois).

Former House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Illinois) paid hush money to cover up sexual abuse of a male victim long time ago, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Hastert was indicted on a bank-related charge on Thursday, but federal prosecutors did not reveal much beyond the allegation the former House leader paid millions in hush money to an unnamed individual conceal “prior misconduct.”

The indictment did suggest, however, that the misconduct was related to Hastert’s tenure as a high school teacher and wrestling coach before he arrived in Congress.

“It goes back a long way, back to then,” the LA Times’ law enforcement source said. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.”

The Times’ source said the payments went to a man and were designed to “conceal Hastert’s past relationship with the male.”

The paper’s source directly added, “It was sex.”

A second source apparently characterised the scandal slightly differently, however, saying that the misconduct involved “sexual abuse” of a victim. BuzzFeed further reported Friday that there was a second victim as well.

Business Insider was unable to get in touch with Hastert’s lawyers. Hastert and his son, a Chicago-based attorney, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Additional reporting by Hunter Walker.

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