Dennis Hastert Pleads Not Guilty At Chicago Arraignment
Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET
Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has pleaded not guilty to two charges: that he lied to the FBI about paying hush money and that he tried to evade the banking system's cash withdrawal reporting requirements.
Hastert appeared in a federal courtroom in Chicago for an arraignment hearing Tuesday. He will reportedly be released on bond.
Our original post continues:
For those who don't remember: Hastert was indicted on the charges by a federal grand jury back in May. The U.S. attorney's office alleged that Hastert paid $3.5 million to a person identified as Individual A to "compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A."
Further reporting has revealed that the payments were tied to allegations that Hastert sexually abused Individual A when Hastert was a high school teacher and a wrestling coach.
Today's arraignment would mark Hastert's first public appearance since the charges became public. But, as the Chicago Tribune reports, don't expect to learn much:
"At his arraignment Tuesday, Hastert, like hundreds of other defendants each year at Chicago's federal courthouse, will likely waive a formal reading of the indictment and enter a plea to the charges — probably through his attorney. His plea starts the legal clock ticking toward trial.
"After the judge informs him of the maximum penalties against him if convicted — up to five years in prison on each of the two counts — Hastert will likely be told the obligations he has while on bond awaiting trial. Typically, he would be required to notify the court of any travel outside northern Illinois and barred from possessing any firearms as well as other routine restrictions. He may also be required to surrender his passport.
"Hastert will also be processed Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals office on the 24th floor of the courthouse, a procedure that can sometimes take up to two hours. Hastert will be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed by pretrial services before being released on his own recognizance. Unlike in state court, his mug shot will not be made public."
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.