The Latest on Hastert: Ex-speaker somber in court appearance

AP News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2015 4:18 PM
The Latest on Hastert: Ex-speaker somber in court appearance

3:15 p.m. CDT

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert stood motionless and somber during his first court appearance since an indictment alleged the Illinois Republican agreed to pay $3.5 million to someone to keep quiet about past misconduct.

The 73-year-old stood before a federal judge during Tuesday's 20 minute arraignment, his hands folded and his eyes downcast. When the judge asked if he understood he could go to jail if he violated conditions of his release, Hastert answered quietly, "Yes, sir."

Sitting at a defense table before the hearing started, he kept rubbing his chin and biting his lip. He occasionally scanned courtroom benches crowded with several dozen reporters.

Hastert at one point reached into dress-coat pocket and pulled out his U.S. passport. A lawyer surrendered it to court officials.

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2:50 p.m. CDT

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has answered "yes, sir" when a judge asked if he understands he could be jailed if he violates the conditions of release in his hush-money case.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin set a $4,500 unsecured bond, which Hastert would have to forfeit if he misses his next court appearance. He also must cooperate in collection of DNA if authorized by the court and advise officials before changing his name or phone number.

The former congressman surrendered his passport, pulling it out of his coat pocket.

A May 28 indictment says he agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep someone from revealing a secret about past misconduct.

During his first court appearance Tuesday, an attorney entered "not guilty" pleas on Hastert's behalf.

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2:25 p.m. CDT

A federal judge is giving attorneys until Thursday to say if they want him to stay on the Dennis Hastert hush-money case.

During the former House speaker's first court appearance on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin said he had no doubt he could be impartial.

Prosecutors haven't said if they will ask Durkin to recuse himself after Federal Election Commission records showed he donated $500 to the "Hastert for Congress" campaign in 2002 and $1,000 in 2004. But the arraignment gives them the opportunity to make that request. Durkin was an attorney at a Chicago law firm at the time of the contributions.

Hastert's attorney issued not-guilty pleas on his behalf.

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2:10 p.m. CDT

A federal judge has set the conditions for Dennis Hastert's pretrial release after he pleaded not guilty in a hush-money case.

During Hastert's first court appearance in the case, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin said he must not violate any laws, cooperate in collection of DNA if authorized by court and advise officials before changing his name or phone number.

Hastert's defense attorney says the former House speaker has already surrendered his passport. He's also required to have no contact with victims or witnesses in the case and have any firearms removed from his property by June 23.

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2:05 p.m. CDT

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has pleaded not guilty to charges in a federal hush-money case.

During Hastert's first court appearance since he was indicted last month, defense attorney Thomas C. Green entered the pleas on Hastert's behalf. He also waived the reading of the indictment.

The judge is considering conditions for Hastert's pretrial release.

The May 28 indictment says he agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep someone, referred to only as "Individual A," from revealing a secret about past misconduct.

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1 p.m. CDT

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has arrived at a federal court in Chicago for his first appearance in a hush-money case.

Hastert, accompanied by at least one of his lawyers, was seen walking into an elevator more than an hour before the hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. Outside the courthouse, he was swarmed by members of the media.

A judge will hear Hastert's plea and is expected to set bail. An indictment says he agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep someone from revealing a secret about past misconduct.

A person familiar with the allegations told The Associated Press the payments were intended to conceal claims Hastert sexually molested someone decades ago. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

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This item has been corrected to say the indictment says he agreed to pay $3.5 million.

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11 a.m. CDT

New court filings are in keeping with the theme of secrecy in former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's hush-money case.

Prosecutors filed a bail report and a supplemental document under seal Tuesday before the Republican's afternoon arraignment in federal court in Chicago.

A May 28 indictment says he agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep someone, referred to only as "Individual A," from revealing a secret about past misconduct.

A judge will hear Hastert enter a plea and is also expected to set bail. Defendants who aren't considered flight risks frequently aren't arrested and Hastert wasn't detained after his indictment.

Bail reports usually aren't made public because they include financial information about a defendant and can include details from investigators that haven't yet been revealed.

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9:30 a.m. CDT

Anticipation is growing at the federal courthouse in Chicago for Dennis Hastert's first court appearance since an indictment that alleges the former House speaker agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a secret about his past quiet.

A crush of reporters, photographers and TV cameras began gathering at dawn Tuesday to ensure they didn't miss the 73-year-old if he arrived early for his afternoon arraignment.

The former U.S. House Speaker must stand in line and go through metal detectors. He'll also have to brush by a media crowd to get to the elevators.

The 14th floor courtroom will likely be packed, so the courthouse clerk plans to pipe audio into an overflow room.

Hastert faces charges that he broke banking laws and lied to FBI investigators.

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8:25 a.m. CDT

Dennis Hastert will follow a path that's been well-trodden by other Illinois politicians when he walks through the revolving door of Chicago's federal courthouse.

The former U.S. House speaker-turned Washington lobbyist is scheduled be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in the same building where former Illinois governors, congressmen and Chicago aldermen have been tried.

Among the most recent was former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat. Before Blagojevich was former Illinois Gov. George Ryan — a Republican like Hastert. Both men were eventually convicted and imprisoned on corruption charges.

An indictment alleges that Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep past misconduct secret. He faces charges that he broke banking laws and lied to FBI investigators about the money.

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1 a.m. CDT

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is set to appear in court for the first time since an indictment handed down nearly two weeks ago alleged that he agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep past misconduct secret.

The 76-year-old Illinois Republican will enter a plea to charges that he broke banking laws and lied to FBI investigators about the money. The arraignment is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday in federal court in Chicago.

The indictment doesn't say what Hastert was trying to keep secret.

But a person familiar with the allegations told The Associated Press the payments were intended to conceal claims Hastert sexually molested someone decades ago. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.