Prosecutors, Hastert’s lawyers ask for delay in filing pretrial motions

Chicago Tribune

Federal prosecutors have joined together with attorneys for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert to ask for a delay in the filing of pretrial motions by the defense.

The court filing said Hastert’s lawyers may not need to raise “certain issues” in pretrial motions if the deadline is pushed back two weeks, giving the two sides more time for discussions they have been engaged in.

“This extension, if granted, will allow the parties time to address these issues and may therefore obviate the need for (Hastert) to raise, and the Court to address, these issues,” the filing said.

It is unusual for the prosecution to join in a motion of that nature. Typically, if prosecutors don’t object to such a delay, they would just allow the defense in its motion to make its position clear to the judge.


The court filing did not elaborate on the nature of the issues under discussion, but Hastert’s Washington-based lawyer, Thomas Green, has twice lashed out in court over leaks in the case, calling allegations reported in the media of sexual abuse in Hastert’s past “unconscionable” and saying a fair trial could be jeopardized. He has said he planned to file a motion seeking to dismiss the indictment on those grounds.

Green has also said the defense team will issue subpoenas seeking more information about Individual A, the mysterious figure who prosecutors say took cash from Hastert to keep quiet about a dark history with him.

“We have some serious things to say in these motions,” Green said.

The indictment unsealed in late May alleges that Hastert agreed to make $3.5 million in hush-money payments to Individual A to cover up wrongdoing from decades ago during Hastert’s time as a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville. According to the charges, Hastert lied about the reasons for his withdrawals of $952,000 in cash over the previous 2 1/2 years when the FBI questioned him in December.


Though the indictment only hints at the alleged wrongdoing, federal law enforcement sources have told the Tribune that Hastert was paying to cover up sexual abuse of a Yorkville High School student. The FBI also interviewed a second person who raised similar allegations against Hastert, sources said.

Similar information has surfaced in media outlets around the country, launching frenzied attempts to identify Individual A. But so far the person’s identity remains a mystery.

Hastert has pleaded not guilty to one count each of evading currency reporting requirements and lying to the FBI and remains free on his own recognizance.


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