51st Speaker of the United States
House of Representatives
January 6, 1999 – January 3, 2007
George W. Bush
|Preceded by||Newt Gingrich|
|Succeeded by||Nancy Pelosi|
|Republican Chief Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives|
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1999
|Preceded by||Robert Smith Walker|
|Succeeded by||Roy Blunt|
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 14th district
January 3, 1987 – November 26, 2007
|Preceded by||John E. Grotberg|
|Succeeded by||Bill Foster|
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 82nd district
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 39th district
John Dennis Hastert
January 2, 1942
Northern Illinois University
John Dennis "Denny" Hastert (; born January 2, 1942) is an American politician, lobbyist, member of the Republican Party and convicted criminal. Hastert was the 51st Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1999 to 2007. He represented Illinois's 14th congressional district for twenty years, 1987 to 2007. He is the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House in history.
Hastert grew up in rural Illinois, and graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in economics in 1964, obtaining an education degree from Northern Illinois University three years later. From 1965 to 1981, Hastert was a high school teacher and coach. He lost a 1980 bid for the Illinois House of Representatives, but tried again and won a seat in 1981. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1987, and reelected several times thereafter. Hastert rose through the Republican ranks in the House, becoming chief deputy whip and eventually Speaker in 1999.
As Speaker of the House, Hastert supported the 2006 election, Hastert chose not to seek the position of minority leader, resigned his House seat, and became a lobbyist at the firm of Dickstein Shapiro.
In May 2015, Hastert was indicted on federal charges of structuring bank withdrawals to evade bank reporting requirements and making false statements to federal investigators. Federal prosecutors said that the money was to compensate for and conceal deliberately unspecified misconduct by Hastert against an unnamed individual years earlier. In October 2015, Hastert entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors. Under the agreement, Hastert pleaded guilty to the "structuring" charge (a felony), and the making false statements charge was dropped.
In June 2015, public accusations — but not legal charges — emerged that Hastert had sexually abused three students (including the aforementioned unnamed individual) when he was a teacher more than three decades earlier. In 2006, Hastert denied one such accusation, though there was no press coverage at the time. The latter accusation was reiterated publicly in 2015 by the sister of the alleged victim (who died in 1995), while the other abuse accusations were leaked.
- Early life and education 1
- Teaching career 2
- Illinois House of Representatives 3
U.S. House of Representatives 4
- Committee assignments and House positions 4.1
Speaker of the House 5
- Election 5.1
- Tenure and controversies 5.2
- Departure from Congress 6
Post-congressional career 7
- Lobbyist and consultant 7.1
- Publicly funded post-speakership office 7.2
- Civil lawsuit against Hastert 7.3
- Other activities 7.4
Criminal prosecution 8
- Indictment 8.1
- Arraignment and pretrial proceedings 8.2
- Guilty plea 8.3
Allegations of sexual abuse 9
- Reactions 9.1
Electoral history 10
- U.S. House of Representatives: Illinois's 14th district 10.1
- Honors 11
- Family and personal life 12
- References 13
- Bibliography 14
- External links 15
Early life and education
Hastert was born on January 2, 1942, in Aurora, Illinois, the eldest of three sons of Naomi (née Nussle) and Jack Hastert. Hastert is of Luxembourgeois and Norwegian descent on his father's side, and of German descent on his mother's.
Hastert grew up in a rural Illinois farming community. His middle-class family owned a farm supply business and a family farm; Hastert bagged and hauled feed and performed farm chores. As a young man, Hastert also worked shifts in the family's Plainfield restaurant, The Clock Tower, where he was a fry cook. Hastert became a born-again Christian as a teenager, during his sophomore year of high school. Hastert attended Oswego High School, where he was a star wrestler and football player.
Hastert briefly attended North Central College, but later transferred to Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts college. Jim Parnalee, Hastert's roommate at North Central who transferred with him to Wheaton, was a Marine Corps Reserve member who in 1965 became the school's first student to be killed in Vietnam. Hastert continued to visit Parnalee's family each year in Michigan. Because of a wrestling injury, Hastert never served in the military. In 1964, Hastert graduated from Wheaton with a B.A. in economics. In 1967, he received his M.S. in philosophy of education from Northern Illinois University (NIU). In his first year of graduate school, Hastert spent three months in Japan as part of the People to People Student Ambassador Program. One of Hastert's fellow group members was Tony Podesta (then the president of the Young Democrats at University of Illinois at Chicago Circle).
Hastert was employed by Yorkville Community Unit School District #115 for sixteen years, from 1965 to 1981. Hastert began working there while still attending NIU. Throughout that time, Hastert worked as a teacher at Yorkville High School (teaching government, history, economics, and sociology), where he also served as a football and wrestling coach. Hastert led the school's wrestling team to the 1976 state title and was later named Illinois Coach of the Year.
Hastert was a Boy Scout volunteer with Explorer Post 540 of Yorkville for 17 years, during his time as a schoolteacher and coach. Hastert reportedly traveled with the Explorers on trips to the Grand Canyon, the Bahamas, Minnesota, and the Green River in Utah.
In 1973 Hastert married a fellow teacher at the high school, Jean, with whom he had two sons, Joshua and Ethan.
Illinois House of Representatives
Hastert considered applying to become an assistant principal at the school, but then decided to enter politics, although at the time "he knew nothing about politics." Hastert approached Phyllis Oldenburg, a Republican operative in Kendall County, seeking advice on running for a seat in the Illinois Legislature.
Hastert lost a 1980 Republican primary for the Illinois House of Representatives, but showed a talent for campaigning, and after the election, volunteered for an influential state senator, John E. Grotberg. In the summer of 1981, however, State Representative Al Schoeberiein had become terminally ill, and Republican party bosses selected Hastert as the successor over two major rivals, West Chicago lawyer Tom Johnson and Mayor Richard Verbic of Elgin. The first round of balloting resulted in a tie, but Hastert was chosen after Grotberg interceded on Hastert's behalf.
Hastert served three terms in the state House. He served on the Appropriations Committee. According to a 1999 Chicago Tribune profile, in the state House "Hastert quickly staked out a place on the far right of the political spectrum, once earning a place on the '
|United States House of Representatives|
John E. Grotberg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 14th congressional district
January 6, 1987 – November 26, 2007
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
|Party political offices|
Robert Smith Walker
Chief Deputy Republican Whip
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
Appearances on C-SPAN
- , August 15, 2004.Speaker: Lessons from 40 Years in Coaching and Politics interview with Hastert on Booknotes
- Official biography from Dickstein Shapiro (this profile was removed from the firm's website after Hastert resigned following the announcement of the indictment, but the Internet Archive preserved a copy of the profile as it appeared on March 25, 2015)
- NewsMeat list of contributors to Hastert's campaigns
- Hastert Exhibit from Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections; includes archival photo gallery
- Dennis Hastert, Speaker: Lessons from Forty Years in Coaching and Politics (Regnery: 2004).
- Katherine Skiba, Final tab on Hastert's post-Congress office: $1.9 million, Chicago Tribune (March 22, 2013).
- United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Federal Grand Jury Indictment (February 2014), Federal Grand Jury Indictment (PDF)
- Term, Michael (May 28, 2015). "Ex-US Speaker Hastert indicted on bank-related charges". Yahoo News. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
- "Ex-House Speaker Hastert charged with evading currency rules and lying to FBI".
- Jon Seidel, Lynn Sweet & Natasha Korecki, Feds charge former House Speaker Dennis Hastert paid hush money, tried to cover it up, Chicago Sun-Times (May 28, 2015).
- "Hastert charged with lying to FBI".
- Jason Meisner & Steve Schmadeke, Dennis Hastert pleads not guilty to lying to FBI about hush money, Chicago Tribune.
- Monica Davey, Dennis Hastert Pleads Not Guilty in Chicago Court, New York Times (June 9, 2015).
- Monica Davey & Mitch Smith, Dennis Hastert, Ex-Speaker of House, Pleads Guilty, New York Times (October 28, 2015).
- Christine Hauser, Woman Says Dennis Hastert Abused Her Brother in High School, New York Times (June 5, 2015).
- Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz & John Capell, Exclusive: Alleged Dennis Hastert Sex Abuse Victim Is Named By Family, ABC News, Good Morning America.
- Shear, Michael D.; Schmidt, Michael S. (29 May 2015). "Hastert Case Is Said to Be Linked to Decades-Old Sexual Abuse".
- Richard A. Serrano & Timothy M. Phelps, A second person accused Hastert of sexual abuse, official says, Los Angeles Times (May 29, 2015).
- Amy R. Connolly & Doug G. Ware, FBI says three possible sex assault victims in Hastert case, report says, UPI (June 5, 2015).
- Alexandra Jaffe, Sister names victim of alleged Dennis Hastert abuse, CNN (June 5, 2015): "ABC News said it didn't run with the reporting because it lacked corroborating evidence."
- Josh Gerstein, Hastert's Attorneys Complain About Sex-Related Leaks, Politico (June 18, 2015).
- Fast Facts: Dennis Hastert, CNN Library (last updated May 28, 2015).
- Lisa Smith, Hastert returns to his humble beginnings after historic career, Daily Herald (February 21, 2008).
- Hastert, pp. 13-14.
- Ceci Connolly & Juliet Eilperin, Hastert Steps Up to Leading Role, Washington Post (January 5, 1999).
- Ceci Connolly, Plain-Talking Hastert Poised to Be Speaker, Washington Post (December 21, 1998), Page A1.
- Bob Kemper, House Speaker Dennis Hastert Can Win Friends, But Can He Influence People?, Chicago Tribune (April 11, 1999).
- Official biography from Dickstein Shapiro (this profile was removed from the firm's website after Hastert resigned following the announcement of the indictment, but the Internet Archive preserved a copy of the profile as it appeared on March 25, 2015).
- Hastert, p. 214.
- Hastert, p. 214.
- Mike DeBonis, Paul Kane & Mark Berman, Former House speaker Dennis Hastert indicted over alleged secret payments, Washington Post (May 29, 2015).
- Carlos Lozada, What Dennis Hastert’s memoir reveals about his years as a high school teacher and coach, Washington Post (May 29, 2015).
- Angie Leventis Lourgos, Christy Gutowski & Steve Lord, Ex-Yorkville school chief recalls no misconduct complaints against Hastert, Chicago Tribune (May 29, 2015).
- U.S. Clears Rep. Hastert In House Banking Scandal, Chicago Tribune (September 15, 1992).
- Joe Picard, Hastert recalls his time in the backroom. The Hill (May 20, 2014).
- Jonathan Allen, Dennis Hastert has a history of keeping secrets (May 29, 2015).
- Mike Dorning & Michael Kilian, Hastert Sticks Gum Money Into The Budget's Fine Print, Chicago Tribune (October 14, 1998).
- How Congress Works, 5th ed. (Congressional Quarterly Press: 2013), p. 25 ("DeLay was often seen as the 'bad cop' to Hastert's "good cop").
- Susan Welch, John Gruhl, John Comer, & Susan Rigdon, Understanding American Government, Alternate Edition (12th ed. 2010), p. 281 ("Hastert became a much more forceful leader, playing velvet-covered mallet to DeLay's hammer in what some saw as a good cop-bad cop ploy.").
- Jennifer Loven, Hastert moderate-mannered but deeply conservative, Associated Press (December 23, 1998).
- Michael Arndt & Elaine S. Povich, Nafta Backers Closing In: For Lobbyists, Dash To Deadline, Chicago Tribune (November 17, 1993).
- Michael Kilian, Hastert Goes To Front Lines In Drug War, Chicago Tribune (April 28, 1996).
- House Committee Assignments, 100th Congress, CQ Almanac 1987.
- Dennis Hastert: Committees: 100th Congress (1987-1988), C-SPAN.
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 101st Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 102nd Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 103rd Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 104th Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 105th Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 106th Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 107th Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 108th Congress
- Official Alphabetical List of Members with Committee Assignments for the 109th Congress
- Katharine Q. Seelye, Impeachement: The Fallout: Livingston Urges Clinton to Follow Suit, New York Times (December 20, 1998).
- Eric Pianin, Livingston Quits as Speaker-Designate, Washington Post (December 20, 1998), Page A1.
- Michael Dorning, "Dennis Hastert: The Accidental Speaker" in Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Congress: Case Studies in Legislative Leadership, (Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress, 2014; eds. Maxmillian Angerholzer III, James Kitfield, Christopher P. Lu & Norman Ornstein), p. 65-68.
- Katherine Skiba, Hastert, the accidental House speaker, faces own scandal after noted career, Chicago Tribune (June 4, 2015).
- The 106th Congress: Remarks to Congress by Dennis Hastert in His First Day as Speaker of the House (January 7, 1999), transcribed by the Federal News Service and reprinted by the New York Times.
- Katharine Q. Seelye, Hastert Is Sworn In as 51st Speaker and Puts Forth a Conciliatory Tone, New York Times (January 7, 1999).
- Babington, Charles (November 27, 2004). "Hastert Launches a Partisan Policy". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Timothy Noah, The absurdity of the Hastert Rule, MSNBC (September 27, 2013).
- Alex Seitz-Wald, Dennis Hastert: 'There Is No Hastert Rule': The former House Speaker disowns his eponymous rule, National Journal (October 3, 2013).
- Molly Ball, Even the Aide Who Coined the Hastert Rule Says the Hastert Rule Isn't Working, Atlantic (July 21, 2013).
- House Votes Violating the "Hastert Rule", The New York Times.
- Norm Ornstein, This Isn't Dennis Hastert's First Scandal, The Atlantic (June 3, 2015).
- Grunwald, Michael; VandeHei, Jim (October 16, 2006). "Hastert's Team Mentality to Be Tested as Foley Scandal Unfolds". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- DeLay indicted, steps down as majority leader: House leader calls charges 'sham'; Blunt picked as replacement, CNN (September 29, 2005).
- Jonathan Weisman & Chris Cillizza, DeLay to Resign From Congress, Washington Post (April 4, 2006).
- Carl Hulse, Hastert to Tackle Economy in Stages, New York Times (January 26, 2003).
- Mark Silva & Rick Pearson, Bush backs Hastert: President 'proud' to stand with speaker during visit, Chicago Tribune (October 13, 2006).
- Ethan Wallison, Hastert and Bush: Respect Fuels Relationship, Roll Call (September 22, 2003).
- Brigitte Greenberg, Republicans 'bullied' by McCain, Hastert says: Speaker claims letters pitching finance bill were intimidating, Associated Press (July 1, 2001).
- Jill Lawrence, Former House Leaders Say the Current Group Has It Rough, National Journal (September 23, 2013).
- Senate to vote on McCain-Feingold measure Monday, CNN (March 29, 2001).
- Mark Strand, Discharging Their Duties, Congressional Institute (March 7, 2008).
- Dan Morgan, Hastert Directs Millions to Birthplace, Washington Post (May 29, 2005).
- Jonathan Weisman & Mike Allen, House Speaker Criticizes McCain: Budget Flap Leads Hastert to Question Senator's GOP Bona Fides, Washington Post (May 20, 2004).
- Tom Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Chronology and Reference Guide (ABC-CLIO, 2011).
- Thomas R. Mockaitis, The Iraq War: A Documentary and Reference Guide (Greenwood, 2012), p. 69.
- Mike Dorning & Jill Zuckman, Hastert blisters France on Iraq war resistance, Chicago Tribune (February 27, 2003).
- House Speaker Dennis Hastert visits Iraq, UPI (June 4, 2006).
- Daniel Marans, Patriot Act That Dennis Hastert Passed Led To His Indictment, Huffington Post (May 28, 2015).
- Carl Hulse, Fight to Pass Medicare Measure Raised House Speaker's Profile, The New York Times (December 6, 2003).
- Carl Hulse, Inquiry Sought in House Vote on Drug Plan for Medicare, The New York Times (February 2, 2004).
- William Neikirk, Panel chides DeLay over influence use; GOP still backs majority leader, Chicago Tribune (October 8, 2004).
- Speaker of the House at the Wayback Machine (archived February 20, 2006)
- Speaker of the House: Speaker's Journal: Welcome to My Blog at the Wayback Machine (archived February 16, 2006)
- Associated Press, Hastert is longest-serving GOP speaker (June 1, 2006).
- Editorial: Hastert and History, Chicago Tribune (June 1, 2006).
- Juliet Eilperin, Hastert Drawing Crowds of Lobbyists, Washington Post (March 10, 1999), A1.
- David Rose, An Inconvenient Patriot. Vanity Fair (September 2005).
- Did Speaker Hastert Accept Turkish Bribes to Deny Armenian Genocide and Approve Weapons Sales?. Democracy Now. August 10, 2005.
- Hastert Tries Damage Control After Remarks Hit a Nerve, Washington Post (September 3, 2005).
- 33:02 to 33:25. Kill the Messenger. SBS Australia, 2007. Documentary.
- Hastert contracted to lobby for Turkey
- Willfully ignorant", Chicago Tribune (December 12, 2006).
- Panel blasts Hastert in Foley scandal, USA Today (December 8, 2006).
- Matea Gold & Anu Narayanswamy, How Dennis Hastert made a fortune in land deals, Washington Post (May 29, 2015).
- Melissa McNamara, Speaker Hastert's Land Deal Questioned, CBS/Associated Press (June 22, 2006).
- Paul Merrion, Group claims Hastert benefited from highway bill, Crain's Chicago Business (June 14, 2006).
- James Kimberly & Andrew Zajac, From the archives: How Hastert benefited from real estate sale, Chicago Tribune (June 18, 2006).
- Norman Ornstein & Scott Lilly, Worse than FoleyGate, New Republic (October 13, 2006) (reprinted by the Center for American Progress).
- Hastert's Prairie Parkway suffers two likely fatal blows, Crain's Chicago Business (August 23, 2012).
- Bruce Alpert, Dennis Hastert, who faces federal indictment, criticized 2006 raid of William Jefferson's office, New Orleans Times-Picayune (July 14, 2015).
- Dan Eggen & Allan Lengel, Officials Defend Raid on Lawmaker's Office, Washington Post (May 24, 2006).
- Carl Hulse, On Wave of Voter Unrest, Democrats Take Control of House, New York Times (November 8, 2006).
- Hastert says he won't run for minority leader, NBC News (November 9, 2006).
- Andrew Taylor, GOP Chooses Boehner as Minority Leader, Associated Press (November 17, 2006).
- Lauren W. Whittington & Matthew Murray, Hastert Likely to Announce Resignation, Roll Call (October 17, 2007).
- Speaker Hastert Farewell: Outgoing House Speaker Dennis Hastert gave a farewell speech, followed by a speech praising his work by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, C-SPAN.
- Christi Parsons & Rick Pearson, Hastert farewell urges civility: Departing Illinois Republican laments 'bitterness' in capital, Chicago Tribune (November 16, 2007).
- Associated Press, Hastert Submits Official Resignation Letter (November 26, 2007).
- James Kimberly, Hastert backs Oberweis, Burns drops out, Chicago Tribune (December 14, 2007).
- Democrats Pick Up Hastert's Seat, CBS News/The Politico (March 8, 2008).
- Alexander Burns, Top 10 political upsets of 2008, Politico, December 29, 2008.
- Katherine Skiba, Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's private ventures, Chicago Tribune (February 17, 2010).
- Jonathan Weisman, After Speakership, Hastert Amassed His Millions Lobbying Former Colleagues, New York Times (May 30, 2015).
- Shane Goldmacher, Dennis Hastert Defends Turkey Trip as 'Exclusively Within the Rules', National Journal (January 16, 2015).
- Shane Goldmacher, How Lobbyists Still Fly Through Loopholes: Even after the Abramoff reforms, companies and countries looking to sway Congress find ways to ply lawmakers with fancy overseas trips, National Journal (January 10, 2013).
- Alan K. Ota, Hastert Delivers Personal Pitch for Ethanol, Roll Call (March 25, 2015).
- Tarini Parti & Anna Palmer, Dennis Hastert's lobbying firm reeling after indictment, Politico (June 4, 2015).
- Megan R. Wilson, Hastert resigns lobbying position after indictment, The Hill (May 28, 2015).
- Monica Daveymay, U.S. Accuses Ex-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Paying to Hide ‘Misconduct’, New York Times (May 28, 2015).
- Karey van Hall & Nirvi Shah, Even as feds closed in, Dennis Hastert took on new lobbying clients, Politico (May 28, 2015).
- Tarini, Parti. "How Dennis Hastert made his millions". Politico. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Andrew Grossman & Ben Kesling, Bail Set for Indicted Former House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert, Wall Street Journal (May 29, 2015).
- Christopher Flavelle, Perks for Former Speaker, Despite Lobbying Job, ProPublica (December 21, 2009).
- Jake Sherman & John Bresnahan, Former speaker gets pricey perks, Politico (December 21, 2009).
- Katherine Skiba & Todd Lighty, Hastert used government office for private business, Chicago Tribune (November 14, 2012).
- Josh Gerstein, Hastert faces double trouble as lawsuit proceeds, Politico (July 23, 2015).
- Josh Gerstein, Dennis Hastert charges cast light on 2013 lawsuit: Was this what tipped off the feds?, Politico (May 31, 2015).
- Jonathan Bilyk, Judge tosses lawsuit accusing former U.S. House Speaker of improperly using taxpayer-funded office, Cook County Record (September 25, 2014).
- Jason Meisner, Judge to review records in businessman's lawsuit against ex-Speaker Hastert, Chicago Tribune (October 22, 2015).
- Katelyn Polantz, Dennis Hastert's Son, a Lawyer, Replaced In Representing Father, National Law Journal (September 8, 2015).
- Kerry Lester, Why Hastert backs Romney over Gingrich, Daily Herald (February 13, 2012).
- Tom LoBianco, Former speaker indicted for cover up, CNN (May 28, 2015). Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- Julie Bosman, Dennis Hastert Reaches Plea Deal in Bank Withdrawals Case, New York Times (October 15, 2015).
- "Ex-Speaker Hastert charged with lying to FBI about hush money withdrawals". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "Latest on Dennis Hastert: He spent 16 years teaching". Associated Press. May 28, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
- John Stanton, Andrew Kaczynsk & Evan McMorris-Santoro, Sources: U.S. Attorney agreed to withhold details of Hastert's alleged "misconduct" in indictment, BuzzFeed News (May 28, 2015).
- Ben Kamisar, Hastert posts $4,500 bail, The Hill (May 29, 2015).
- Chris Cillizza, What we know (and what we don’t) about the Denny Hastert indictment, Washington Post (May 29, 2015).
- Lipton, Eric (June 6, 2015). "Dennis Hastert Rushed to Make Money as Payouts Grew". New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
- "Dennis Hastert's moneymaking efforts under scrutiny". Chicago Tribune. June 8, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
- Jason Meisner, Hastert to be arraigned Thursday in federal court in Chicago, Chicago Tribune (June 1, 2014).
- Jason Meisner, Arraignment of Dennis Hastert delayed until June 9, Chicago Tribune (June 2, 2015).
- Mike DeBonis, Sari Horwitz & Jerry Markon, Mystery surrounds Hastert case — including his whereabouts, Washington Post (June 1, 2015).
- Jake Sherman & John Bresnahan, Hastert lies low as allegations against him intensify, Politico (May 29, 2015).
- Jay Levine, Dennis Hastert To Friends: I Am A Victim, Too, CBS Chicago (May 29, 2015).
- Matthew Mosk, Veteran Washington DC Defense Attorney Stands In for Dennis Hastert, ABC News (June 3, 2015).
- Thomas C. Green, Senior Counsel, Sidley Austin LLP.
- "Who has Dennis Hastert hired to defend him?". CBS News. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- Josh Gerstein, Hastert gets 'Orange Is the New Black' prosecutor, Politico (August 21, 2015).
- Jason Meisner, Hastert hires Washington attorney as Chicago court braces for media crush, Chicago Tribune (June 8, 2015).
- Jason Meisner, Dennis Hastert out of hiding, arrives at court for arraignment, Chicago Tribune (June 9, 2015).
- Jason Meisner, 2 TV reporters cited for violating rules during Hastert's arraignment, Chicago Tribune (July 12, 2015).
- Mike DeBonis, Hastert pleads not guilty to 2 counts of fraud charges in hush-money scandal, Washington Post (June 9, 2015).
- Associated Press, The Latest on Hastert: Ex-Speaker Faces Federal Judge (June 9, 2015).
- Josh Gerstein, Hastert judge also donated to his campaigns, Politico (June 1, 2015).
- Justin Glawe, Dennis Hastert Starts His New Life of Shame, Daily Beast (July 9, 2015).
- Mike DeBonis, Judge who donated to Hastert campaigns will continue to hear hush-money case, Washington Post (June 11, 2015).
- Josh Gerstein, Denny Hastert judge will stay on case, Politico (June 11, 2015).
- Associated Press, 2 reporters cited for breaking rules at Hastert arraignment (June 12, 2015).
- Associated Press, Contempt Filings Dropped Against Reporters Covering Hastert, (July 30, 2015).
- Jason Meisner, Feds seek order to protect sensitive details in Dennis Hastert charges, Chicago Tribune (June 12, 2015).
- Robert Feder, Hastert cancels on Illinois broadcasters convention, RobertFeder.com (June 15, 2015).
- Illinois: Hastert Evidence is Shielded, New York Times (June 17, 2014).
- Jason Meisner, Judge approves protective order in Dennis Hastert criminal case, Chicago Tribune (June 17, 2014).
- Sara Burnett, Lawyer: Leaks in Hastert case 'unconscionable', Associated Press (June 18, 2015).
- Jon Seidel, Hastert attorneys shed light on strategy, gear up for trial (July 14, 2015).
- Steve Schmadeke, Hastert lawyer plans to seek to dismiss indictments, rails against "leaks from the government", Chicago Tribune (July 14, 2015).
- Josh Gerstein & Kenneth P. Vogel, New defense fund set up for Dennis Hastert, Politico (July 31, 2015).
- Brooks Hays, Dennis Hastert closes PAC, starts legal defense fund, UPI (August 1, 2015).
- Jason Meisner, Prosecutors, Hastert's lawyers ask for delay in filing pretrial motions, Chicago Tribune (September 11, 2015).
- Michael Tarm, Hastert Asks Court for Another Extension to File Motions, Associated Press (September 22, 2015).
- Mitch Smith, Court Hearing in Dennis Hastert Case Reveals Possible Plea Deal, New York Times (September 28, 2015).
- Jason Meisner & Jeff Coen, Dennis Hastert pleads guilty to felony charge, Chicago Tribune (October 28, 2015).
- Mary Wisniewski & Fiona Ortiz, Ex-U.S. House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in hush-money case, Reuters (October 28, 2015).
- Julie Bosman, The Case Against Dennis Hastert, New York Times (June 9, 2015).
- Erik Wemple, AP: Jolene Burdge in 2006 provided 'no information' useful for Hastert story, Washington Post (June 5, 2015).
- Nora Kelly, One Week After Dennis Hastert’s Indictment, an Alleged Victim’s Sister Has Come Forward, National Journal (June 5, 2015).
- Katherine Skiba, Dennis Hastert's indictment resurrects Foley scandal, Chicago Tribune (June 5, 2015).
- Josh Marshall, Hastert and the Foley Scandal, Talking Points Memo (May 29, 2015).
- Stefano Esposito & Becky Schlikerman, Yorkville community can't comprehend allegations against Hastert, Chicago Sun-Times (May 29, 2015).
- Mark Hensch, Vulnerable GOP senator donates Hastert cash to charity, The Hill (June 4, 2015).
- Lynn Sweet, Sen. Kirk sending $10,000 Hastert donation to Waukegan charity, Chicago Sun-Times (June 4, 2015).
- Durbin "Stunned" By Hastert Indictment, CBS St. Louis/KMOX (May 30, 2015).
- Press Briefing by the Press Secretary Josh Earnest, White House Office of the Press Secretary (May 29, 2015).
- Jordan Fabian, White House: Nobody here derives pleasure from Hastert indictment, The Hill (May 29, 2015).
- Boehner Statement on Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (press release) (May 29, 2015).
- Sam Stein, Fellow Congressman Was Told About Dennis Hastert Abuses, Huffington Post (June 2, 2015).
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1988
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004
- Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006
- Collections Search: John Dennis Hastert, United States House of Representatives History, Art & Archives.
- Honorary Degrees Recipients, Division of Academic Affairs, Northern Illinois University.
- Katherine Skiba, Amid allegations, some consider removing Dennis Hastert's presence, Chicago Tribune (June 12, 2015).
- Editorial: Erasing Denny Hastert, Chicago Tribune (June 1, 2015).
- Baltic Report: April 11, 2001, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- Associated Press, Timeline of the Career of Ex-US House Speaker Dennis Hastert, New York Times (May 28, 2015).
- Reuters, 'It was sex': Dennis Hastert paid man to hide past misconduct, LA Times reports (May 29, 2015).
- "Wheaton College takes 'Hastert' out of center's name in wake of charges".
- Tracy Connor, Dennis Hastert Case: Abuse Group Wants Congressional Portrait Removed, NBC News (June 4, 2015).
- President Uribe gives the San Carlos medal to former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Embassy of Colombia to the United States (May 27, 2009).
- Remarks by Ambassador Fujisaki at the Reception to Celebrate the Conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun, Embassy of Japan in the United States (June 30, 2010).
- Monique Garcia, Hastert statue shelved at Illinois Capitol, Chicago Tribune (May 28, 2015).
- Jordyn Phelps, Dennis Hastert Nixed Statue in His Honor, ABC News (May 29, 2015).
- Steve Lord, Denny Hastert Yorkville wrestling tournament may get new name, Aurora Beacon-News (June 2, 2015).
- Rudolph Bush, Hastert has minor surgery, Chicago Tribune (April 7, 2005).
- Webpage of PodestaMatton for Josh Hastert, accessed October 2, 2006 Archived September 7, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- Michael Kranish, Family ties spark concern in lobby debate; Watchdogs want Congress to act, Boston Globe (January 28, 2006).
- James Fuller, Hastert's son loses race to Hultgren, Daily Herald (February 2, 2010).
- Associated Press (2011-04-06). "Son of former U.S. House Speaker Hastert wins village board race".
- Al Lagattolla, Hastert leaving Elburn Village Board, Kane County Chronicle (October 21, 2014).
- Ethan A. Hastert Profile, Mayer Brown.
- Monica Daveyman, Yorkville, Where Hastert Taught, Is Shaken by Charges for 'Denny', New York Times (May 30, 2015).
- Robert Costa & Paul Kane, Hastert's post-Congress life one of political withdrawal and chasing cash, Washington Post (May 30, 2015).
- Jon Seidel, Volo Auto Museum plans to keep Hastert car on display at toll oasis, Chicago Sun-Times (June 8, 2015).
- Frank S. Abderholden, Auto museum to remove Dennis Hastert car from tollway display, Lake County News-Sun (June 10, 2015).
Though he was chauffeured when he became speaker, Hastert used to drive vehicles with "CONG14" and "USHR14" vanity plates (references to Illinois's 14th congressional district) and a "CDWHIP2" vanity plate (referring to his position as chief deputy whip).
A dark green 1942 Lincoln Zephyr from Hastert's personal collection (with "42 SPKR" Illinois license plates) is in the collection of the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois. The museum purchased the car in 2007. It has been on display at the Belvidere Oasis of the Illinois Tollway since May 2015. In June 2015, following the allegations against Hastert, the museum announced that the car would be removed from display.
Hastert's son Ethan ran in 2010 as a Republican for his father's old congressional seat (Illinois' 14th congressional district), but was defeated in the primary by Illinois State Senator Randy Hultgren. Hultgren received 55 percent of the vote, while Hastert received 45 percent. In 2011, Ethan won a seat on the village board of Elburn, Illinois. Ethan left the Elburn village board in 2014 because he and his family moved to nearby Campton Hills. Ethan is a partner at the Chicago office of the law firm Mayer Brown.
Hastert has been married to Jean Hastert (née Kahl) since 1973. They have two children, Ethan and Joshua. Hastert's older son, Joshua, was a lobbyist for the firm PodestaMattoon, representing clients ranging from Amgen, a biotech company, to Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor. This provoked criticism from Congress Watch: "There definitely should be restrictions [on family members registering as lobbyists] ... This is family members cashing in on connections ... [and it] is an ideal opportunity for special interest groups to exploit family relationships for personal gain." Joshua rejoined that he does not lobby House Republican leaders.
Family and personal life
On June 2, 2015, following the unsealing of the indictment against Hastert the previous month, the Denny Hastert Yorkville Invitational, "one of the most popular wrestling club tournaments in Illinois," would likely be renamed.
In early May 2015 (before the indictment was released), a proposal in the Illinois Legislature to spend $500,000 to commission and install a statue of Hastert in the Illinois State Capitol was withdrawn at Hastert's request. Hastert called the measure's sponsor (Michael Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives) and stated that "he appreciated the recognition and honor" but asked that it be deferred given the "fiscal condition" of the state.
In 2012, a plaque funded by private donors, "bearing Hastert's likeness and a list of his accomplishments," was placed in the historic Kendall County Courthouse in downtown Yorkville.
In 2009, Hastert's official portrait was unveiled and placed in the Speaker's Lobby adjacent to the House chamber, alongside portraits of other past House speakers. The 5' by 3½' portrait, executed by Capitol; there were no immediate plans to remove the painting. To date, no House speaker's portrait has been taken down from the Speaker's Lobby.
In 2007, the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government and Public Policy was founded at Wheaton College, the former Speaker's alma mater. Hastert resigned from the board of advisers of the center on May 29, 2015, after the indictment against him was released. On May 31, 2015, the college announced that it was removing the name from the center, renaming it the Wheaton College Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy.
In March 2001, President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania presented Hastert with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas. In 2004, Hastert was presented the Order of the Oak Crown, Grand Cross by the grand duke of Luxembourg.
The Three Fires Council of the Boy Scouts of America has honored Hastert with its distinguished service award.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame named Hastert to its "Hall of Outstanding Americans" in 2000.
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 117,870 votes (60%)
- Jonathan "John" Laesch (D), 79,274 votes (40%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 191,618 votes (69%)
- Ruben Zamora (D), 87,590 votes (31%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 135,198 votes (74%)
- Lawrence J. Quick (D), 47,165 votes (26%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 188,597 votes (74%)
- Vern Deljohnson (D), 66,309 votes (26%)
- Write-in, 3 votes (0%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 117,304 votes (70%)
- Robert A. Cozzi, Jr. (D), 50,844 votes (30%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 134,432 votes (64%)
- Doug Mains (D), 74,322 (36%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 110,204 votes (76%)
- Steve Denari (D), 33,891 votes (26%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 155,271 votes (67%)
- Jonathan Abram Reich (D), 75,294 votes (33%)
- Write-in, 59 votes (0%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 112,383 votes (67%)
- Donald Westphal (D), 55,592 votes (33%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R) (inc.), 161,146 votes (74%)
- Stephen Youhanaie (D), 57,482 votes (26%)
- J. Dennis Hastert (R), 77,288 votes (52%)
- Mary Lou Kearns (D), 70,293 votes (48%)
U.S. House of Representatives: Illinois's 14th district
On June 2, 2015, current Federal Housing Finance Agency director and former U.S. Representative Mel Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, released a statement saying: "Over 15 years ago I heard an unseemly rumor from someone who, contrary to what has been reported, was not an intermediary or advocate for the alleged victim's family. It would not be the first nor last time that I, as a Member of Congress, would hear rumors or innuendoes about colleagues. I had no direct knowledge of any abuse by former Speaker Hastert and, therefore, took no action."
On May 29, 2015, House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, issued a statement saying: "The Denny I served with worked hard on behalf of his constituents and the country. I'm shocked and saddened to learn of these reports."
On May 29, 2015, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated in response to a reporter's question that "there is nobody here" at the White House "who derives any pleasure from reading about the former Speaker's legal troubles at this point."
On May 30, 2015, Illinois's other senator, Dick Durbin, a Democrat, stated: "It seems so out of character for Denny. I just never could imagine that he'd be involved in anything like this ... We had our political differences, as you might expect, but I respected him as a colleague in the Illinois delegation and as Speaker."
On May 29, 2015, Senator Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, who served in the House throughout Hastert's tenure as speaker, released a statement reading: "Anyone who knows Denny is shocked and confused by the recent news. The former speaker should be afforded, like any other American, his day in court to address these very serious accusations. This is a very troubling development that we must learn more about, but I am thinking of his family during this difficult time." On June 4, 2015, Kirk announced that he would donate to charity a $10,000 contribution made to Kirk's 2010 Senate campaign by Hastert's Keep our Mission PAC. Kirk's announcement was made following the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)'s call upon the senator to "return or donate Denny Hastert's money immediately." The DSCC also called upon Republican Senators John Boozman of Arkansas and Roy Blunt of Missouri (who received $11,000 and $5,000, respectively, from Hastert's PAC in recent years) to return or donate the funds.
On May 29, 2015, Yorkville Community Unit School District #115 released a statement reading: "The District was first made aware of any concerns regarding Mr. Hastert when the federal indictment was released on May 28, 2015. Yorkville Community Unit School District #115 has no knowledge of Mr. Hastert's alleged misconduct, nor has any individual contacted the District to report any such misconduct. If requested to do so, the District plans to cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney's investigation into this matter." On the same day, James Harnett, who was superintendent of the school district for five of the years that Hastert taught there, told the Chicago Tribune that he was not aware of any complaints of misconduct brought against Hastert at the time.
Hastert resigned his lobbyist position at the law and lobbying firm Dickstein Shapiro the day the indictment was unsealed. His biography was quickly removed from the firm's website and the firm purged all mentions of him from its previously posted press releases. Hastert's resignation left the firm "reeling," according to a report in Politico. Following the Hastert indictment, Dickstein Shapiro's biggest domestic client, Fuels America, terminated its lobbying contract with the firm.
The emergence of the sexual abuse allegations against Hastert brought renewed attention to the 2006 Mark Foley scandal, and the criticism of Hastert that he failed to take appropriate action in that case.
ABC News reported that "for years, Jolene watched helplessly as Hastert basked in fame and power, seated to the left of the president for years in the early 2000s for the nationally-televised State of the Union address." Several days before the indictment was unsealed, Burdge was interviewed by FBI agents who asked her about her brother and informed her Hastert was about to be indicted on federal charges. Neither Reinboldt nor Burdge are "Individual A" named in the indictment, but Burdge believes that "Individual A" is familiar with what happened with her brother. The statements by Burdge "marked the first time that a person has been publicly identified as a possible victim of Mr. Hastert."
Following Reinboldt's death, around the time that the Mark Foley scandal broke in 2006, Burdge unsuccessfully attempted to bring the charges against Hastert to light; she contacted ABC News and the Associated Press on an off-the-record basis, and also contacted some advocacy groups. ABC News and the AP could not corroborate Jolene's allegation at the time, and did not publish the claim. Hastert denied the claim to ABC News at the time.
Hastert then got in his car and left. Burdge said Hastert's lack of a response ‘said everything.’"
I was just there just trying to bite my tongue thinking that blood was coming out because I was just ... So after he had gone through the line I followed him out into the parking lot of the funeral home. I said, 'I want to know why you did what you did to my brother.' And he just stood there and stared at me. He didn't say, 'What are you talking about?’ you know, [or], 'What? I don't know what you're talking about.’ He just stood there and stared at me. Then I just continued to say, 'I want you to know your secret didn't die in there with my brother. And I want you to remember that I’m out here and that I know.’ And again, he just stood there and he did not say a word.
Hastert also ran an Explorers group of which Steve Reinboldt was a member, and led the group on a diving trip to the Bahamas. In the interview, Burdge stated that in 1979 (eight years after Steve's high school graduation in 1971), her brother had told her that he had been sexually abused by Hastert throughout his four years of high school. Burdge said that she was "stunned" by this news and that her brother said that he had never told anyone before, because he did not think he would be believed. A message from Hastert appears in Steve's 1970 high school yearbook. In the interview, Burdge said that she believes the abuse stopped when her brother moved away after graduation. Jolene said that Hastert "damaged Steve I think more than any of us will ever know."
On June 5, 2015, ABC News' Good Morning America aired an interview with Jolene Reinboldt Burdge, the sister of Steve Reinboldt, who was the student equipment manager of the wrestling team at Yorkville High School when Hastert was the wrestling coach.
On May 29, 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that investigators had spoken with a second former student (not the person who was receiving payments from Hastert), who made similar allegations that corroborated what the first student said.
On May 29, 2015, two people briefed on the evidence from the case stated that "Individual A"—the man to whom Hastert was making payments—had been sexually abused by Hastert during Hastert's time as a teacher and coach at Yorkville High School, and that Hastert had paid $1.7 million out of the total $3.5 million in promised payment. The New York Times has reported that: "One of the central mysteries of the case against Mr. Hastert is the identity of the man who is described in the indictment as a victim of misconduct by Mr. Hastert. Prosecutors have not revealed his name or said whether they will eventually do so. Under some circumstances, Individual A might be subject to charges of extortion, but the person appears to be cooperating with prosecutors, and it is unclear whether there will be an accusation of criminal activity."
Allegations of sexual abuse
Judge Durkin set a sentencing hearing for February 29, 2016. Hastert remains free on bail pending sentencing.
Hastert said in court: "I didn't want them [bank officials] to know how I intended to spend the money. I withdrew the money in less than $10,000 increments." Prosecutors said that they believed that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines called for a sentence of up to six months in prison. However, the judge is not bound by prosecutors' interpretation of the guidelines. The plea agreement allows Hastert "to avoid a potentially long and embarrassing trial and to keep secret information that he has hidden for years, including the identity of the former student."
On October 15, 2015, it was announced at a court hearing that Hastert and federal prosecutors reached a plea agreement. On October 28, 2015, under the plea agreement, Hastert appeared in court (the only time Hastert appeared personally in court after the arraignment) and pleaded guilty to the felony "structuring" charge, and the charge of "making false statements" (lying to the FBI) was dismissed.
On September 11, 2015, Judge Durkin granted a joint motion by the government and by Hastert to extend the deadline for filing pretrial motions for two weeks, "giving the two sides more time for discussions they have been engaged in." On September 22, the parties filed another joint motion requesting another two-week extension (from September 28 to October 13); the motion said that the parties were discussing issues that Hastert "may raise in pretrial motions" but provided no details. At a hearing on September 28, Hastert's attorneys and the government confirmed that they were discussing a possible plea agreement. Judge Durkin said that if no plea agreement was reached, he wanted the case to go to trial in March or April 2016. Pretrial motions were due on October 13, but none were filed, indicating that Hastert and the government "were nearing a plea deal."
Hastert shut down his "Keep Our Mission" leadership PAC at the end of June 2015 and transferred $10,000 (the vast majority of the PAC's remaining funds) to a new legal defense fund, the J. Dennis Hastert Defense Trust. A Federal Elections Commission report lists the defense fund's address as a Sunapee, New Hampshire property owned by Republican donor and ex-Gerald Ford White House staffer James Rooney.
At a status hearing on July 14 (which Hastert again did not attend), the parties updated the court on preparations for trial. At the hearing, Green again condemned leaks, stating in court: "The indictment has effectively been amended by leaks from the government. It is now an 800-pound gorilla in this case. It has been injected in this case I think impermissibly. (The question is) whether I wrestle with that gorilla or I don't wrestle with that gorilla." Green also said that the defense would file a motion to dismiss the indictment, possibly under seal. Judge Durkin "cautioned that even if he allows part or all of the motion to be hidden from the public, his ruling would be public and likely would disclose sealed portions of the motion." At the same hearing, the prosecution said that they expected a trial to last about two weeks.
At a status hearing on June 18 (which Hastert did not attend), Hastert's attorney Green stated that "Something has to be done to stop these leaks. They're unconscionable, and they have to stop." Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block told Durkin that prosecutors were also troubled by the leaks and that the government is "doing everything we can" to stop them. At the same status conference, Durkin told the attorneys that he plans to modify the protective order to make it less restrictive. Rather than having all material that might be considered sensitive filed under seal, Durkin said that he might grant a motion directing lawyers to file a motion requesting that the material be filed under seal first. If Durkin granted such a motion, the attorneys would file both a complete copy under seal and a redacted copy that would be publicly available.
On June 16, Judge Durkin granted the motion for a protective order, but did not yet sign an order.
On June 15, Hastert canceled a scheduled appearance at an Illinois Broadcasters Association event.
On June 12, federal prosecutors, with the agreement of Hastert's attorneys, filed a motion for a protective order, seeking to bar the public disclosure of the identity of "Individual A" and other sensitive information. The motion states that "the discovery to be provided by the government in this case includes sensitive information, the unrestricted dissemination of which could adversely affect law enforcement interests and the privacy interests of third parties." The proposed order would direct the parties to filed under seal any such sensitive information.
In separate court filings on June 11, ABC News' chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross and NBC Nightly News reporter Gabe Gutierrez were cited for violating Dirksen U.S. Courthouse general orders during the arraignment for attempting to interview Hastert in an unauthorized area in the lobby. (Court rules allow interviews only in a roped-off "media bullpen" area). In court filings posted on June 30, Chief U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo dismissed the contempt filings after accepting apologies offered by their attorneys on their behalf.
Much of the arraignment was spent on Durkin's disclosure of his connections with Hastert. Durkin contributed $500 in 2002 and $1000 in 2004 to the Hastert for Congress campaign; the contributions were made while Durkin was a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown, before he was appointed to the federal bench in 2012, and Hastert's son Ethan is a partner at Mayer Brown. At the arraignment, Durkin stated he had never met Hastert and that "I have no doubt I can be impartial in this matter," but also said that "I am not naive enough to think that a reasonable person would not question my impartiality" and gave the parties time to decide whether to object and thus trigger the reassignment of the case to a different judge. On June 11, federal prosecutors and Hastert's lawyers filed notices waiving any objection to Durkin presiding over the case.
At the twenty-minute arraignment hearing at the Dirksen federal courthouse before Durkin, Hastert entered a plea of not guilty. Durkin set a $4,500 unsecured bond as well as various other conditions of pretrial release, and Hastert surrendered his passport.
On that day, before the hearing, prosecutors filed a bail report and supplementary document under seal. (Such reports are often filed under seal because they include financial information about a defendant and sometimes unreleased details relating to the investigation). Before the arraignment, Hastert arrived at The Loop offices of Sidley Austin, his attorney's law firm, and at the courthouse met with the pretrial services office.
 "Hastert's entrance and exit from the courthouse touched off a wild scene as federal Homeland Security agents escorted Hastert and his attorneys to and from a waiting vehicle amid a crush of television news crews and photographers." The arraignment was held on June 9, 2015. The arraignment generated a degree of media interest at the Illinois federal courthouse not seen since the proceedings against Illinois governors
The prosecutors assigned to the case were originally Assistant United States Attorneys Steven Block and Carrie Hamilton. Hamilton left the U.S. Attorney's Office in July 2015 after being appointed as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County; Diane MacArthur replaced Hamilton on the Hastert prosecution team.
The criminal defense attorney Barry William Levine, a partner at Hastert's former firm of Dickstein Shapiro, appeared as Hastert's lawyer on a notice of arraignment filed with the U.S. district court. However, Levine did not enter an appearance on Hastert's behalf. Hastert subsequently hired attorney Thomas C. Green to provide his legal defense. Green entered an appearance with the court on June 8, the day before the arraignment. Green is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer and senior counsel at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Sidley Austin. Green has represented clients in several national controversies, including several government officials in the Whitewater scandal, Richard V. Secord in the Iran-Contra scandal, and Robert Mardian in the Watergate scandal.
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin. Hastert was scheduled to be arraigned on June 4, 2015. The arraignment was then postponed to June 9. In between the unsealing of the indictment and the arraignment, Hastert made no public appearances and did not release any public statement. However, on May 29, 2015, CBS Chicago reported that Hastert had privately told close friends that "I am a victim, too" and that he was sorry they had to go through the ordeal.
Arraignment and pretrial proceedings
According to federal prosecutors, each of the two charges carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. On May 29, Hastert was released on his own recognizance on a preliminary bail of $4,500 set by a magistrate judge.
In June 2015, the New York Times reported that Hastert had approached a business associate, J. David John, in 2010, to look for a financial adviser to come up with an annuity plan that would "generate a substantial cash payout each year." This request was the same year that prosecutors say he agreed to start paying hush money to the person he allegedly committed misconduct against. John told the New York Times that "I did not think much about it at the time, but looking back at it, it does seem strange. He just said he needed to generate some cash."
The indictment charged Hastert with unlawfully structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over US$10,000 (Title 31, United States Code, Section 5324(a)(3)), and making false statements to the FBI about the purpose of his withdrawals (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2)). The indictment alleges that Hastert agreed to make payments of $3.5 million to an unnamed subject (identified in the indictment only as an "Individual A" from Yorkville, Illinois, who was known to Hastert for "most of Individual A's life"). The indictment states that the payments were to "compensate for and conceal [Hastert's] prior misconduct." Yorkville is the town where Hastert was a high school teacher for 16 years. Federal authorities began investigating his withdrawals in 2013. The indictment did not specify the exact nature of the "past misconduct" referred to. The U.S. Attorney's Office limited details in the indictment of Hastert, in part because of a request from Hastert's attorneys.
On May 28, 2015, a seven-page indictment of Hastert by a federal grand jury was unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.
After retiring from Congress, Hastert made occasional public appearances on political programs. He also made some endorsements of political candidates; in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, he endorsed Mitt Romney instead of his predecessor as Speaker, Newt Gingrich.
It is unclear whether this civil lawsuit drew the FBI's attention and led to the investigation of Hastert, which began in 2013 and culminated in the federal indictment in 2015.
Hastert was initially represented in the civil case by his son, attorney Ethan Hastert. In September 2015, Hastert's counsel changed, with Ethan being replaced by Christian Poland, a Bryan Cave partner in Chicago.
John claimed in court filings to have had at least three conversations with an FBI agent about Hastert's use of the post-speakership office. In September 2015, Hastert's attorneys issued subpoenas for records of conversations between John and FBI agents. John's attorneys moved to quash the subpoenas, arguing that they was overly broad and sought information "unrelated to the present case or Hastert." In October 2015, Judge Kocoras said that he would review the records in camera (privately) before deciding what information should be turned over, saying: "This case has more than its share of sensitivity and unusual aspects."
U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras twice dismissed the suit, but allowed Kocoras's attorneys to redraft the complaint. In July 2015, Kocoras reinstated the suit, finding that John's second amended complaint was sufficient to allow the suit to go forward and proceed to discovery.
In 2013, Hastert's former business partner J. David John filed a lawsuit in the  Hastert denies any wrongdoing.
Civil lawsuit against Hastert
The federally funded benefits were legally required to be completely separate from Hastert's simultaneous lobbying activities for Dickstein Shapiro. The arrangement was criticized as "really concerning" by Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, because the exact nature of the two roles was not transparent. A Hastert spokesman stated that the two offices were completely separate. In 2012, however, a Chicago Tribune investigation found that "a secretary in the ex-speaker's government office used email to coordinate some of his private business meetings and travel, and conducted research on one proposed venture" and that "a suburban Chicago businessman who was involved in the business ventures with Hastert said he met with Hastert at least three times in the government office to discuss the projects." Hastert denied that he had engaged in any improper conduct.
A controversy arose in 2009 regarding Hastert's receipt of federal funds while a lobbyist. Under a 1975 federal law, Hastert, as a former House Speaker, was entitled to a public allowance (about $40,000 a month) for a five-year period to allow him to maintain an office. Hastert accepted the funds, which went toward office space in far-west suburban Yorkville, Illinois; salaries for three staffers (secretary Lisa Post and administrative assistants Bryan Harbin and Tom Jarman, each paid an annual salary of more than $100,000 over 2½ years); lease payments on a 2008 GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle; a satellite TV subscription; office equipment; and legal fees. Jarman later left the office, and Harbin's salary was cut substantially. Hastert's government-funded office closed in late 2012, at the end of the maximum five years for which public funds were provided. The total amount of public funds spent on Hastert's post-speakership office was nearly $1.9 million (not including federal benefits such as health care to which the employees were entitled), of which the majority (about $1.45 million) went toward staff salaries.
Publicly funded post-speakership office
In addition to his lobbyist job, Hastert established his own consultancy, Hastert & Associates. In 2008, Hastert also joined the board of directors of Chicago-based futures exchange company CME Group Inc. (which had been formed from the merger of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade), where he earned more than US$205,000 in total compensation in 2014. On May 29, 2015, following his indictment, Hastert resigned from the board, effective immediately.
The day the 2015 indictment was unsealed, Hastert resigned his lobbyist position at Dickstein Shapiro, and his biography was removed from the firm's website.
In March 2015, Hastert along with his associate (accompanied by several lobbyist associates, including former Representative William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts) took advantage of his privilege as a former lawmaker to be present in the Senate Reception Room near the Senate chamber, "lingering" and "bantering with senators and other passersby" during a vote on whether to retain the fuel standard mandating the blending of ethanol and other alternative fuels with gasoline, as advocated by Hastert's client Fuels America (the ethanol industry trade group). Hastert and Delahunt were criticized by watchdog groups who "questioned whether Hastert was violating" these rules, but "allies of Hastert and Delahunt said they made a point of not lobbying lawmakers in the Senate Reception Room, but that they and members of their team used the lobby area as a temporary base, where they could greet lawmakers while they were holding meetings in private rooms."
In 2014, Hastert's firm Dickstein Shapiro and the lobbying firm of former House majority leader-turned lobbyist Dick Gephardt split a $1.4 million annual lobbying contract with the government of Turkey. In April 2013, Hastert and Gephardt traveled with eight members of Congress to Turkey, with all expenses paid by the Turkish government. While members of Congress are generally prohibited from corporate-funded travel abroad with lobbyists (a rule enacted after the Abramoff scandal), the law permits lobbyists to plan and attend trips overseas if paid for by foreign countries. Hastert defended the trip, saying that he had "meticulously" followed the rules and that the involvement of himself and Gephardt "allowed those members of Congress who were there to have a fuller experience." A National Journal investigation highlighted the trip as an example of loopholes creating a situation in which "lobbyists who can't legally buy a lawmaker a sandwich can still escort members on trips all around the world."
Hastert also lobbied on behalf of FirstLine Transportation Security, Inc. (which sought congressional review of Transportation Security Administration procurement); Naperville, Illinois-based lighting technology company PolyBrite International; the American College of Rheumatology (on annual labor and health spending bill); the San Diego, California-based for-profit education company Bridgepoint Education; REX American Resources Corp.; The ServiceMaster Co.; and the Secure ID Coalition.
According to Foreign Agents Registration Act filings, Hastert represented foreign governments, including the government of Luxembourg and government of Turkey. During parts of 2009, Hastert also lobbied on behalf of Oak Brook, Illinois-based real estate developer CenterPoint Properties, lobbying for the placement of a major Army Reserve transportation facility. Hastert also represented Lorillard Tobacco Co., which paid Dickstein Shapiro almost $8 million from 2011 to 2014 to lobby on behalf of candy-flavored tobacco and electronic cigarettes; Hastert "was the most prominent member of the lobbying team" on these efforts. In 2013 and 2014, Hastert lobbied on climate change issues on behalf of Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company; in 2015, Hastert "switched sides" and lobbied for Fuels America, the ethanol industry group. In the second half of 2011, Hastert monitored legislation on GPS on behalf of LightSquared, which paid Dickstein Shapiro $200,000 for lobbying services.
In May 2008, six months after resigning from Congress, the Washington, D.C.-based law firm and lobbying firm Dickstein Shapiro announced that Hastert was joining the firm as a senior adviser. Hastert waited until the legally required "cooling-off period" had passed in order to actually become a registered lobbyist. Over the next several years, Hastert earned millions of dollars lobbying his former congressional colleagues on a range of issues, mostly involving congressional appropriations.
Lobbyist and consultant
State Senator Chris Lauzen, Geneva mayor Kevin Burns, and dairy businessman Jim Oberweis all entered the campaign for the Republican nomination to succeed Hastert. In December 2007, Hastert endorsed Oberweis in the primary, and Burns withdrew from the race. In the February 2008 primary election, Oberweis was elected as the Republican nominee, and Fermilab scientist Bill Foster was elected as the Democratic nominee. In the special election in March 2008 to fill the rest of Hastert's unexpired term, Foster defeated Oberweis. In a rematch in the November 2008 elections for a full two-year term, Foster again defeated Oberweis.
Financial disclosure documents indicate that Hastert made a fortune from land deals during his time in Congress. Hastert entered Congress in 1987 with a net worth of no more than $270,000. At the time, his most valuable asset was an 104-acre farm in southern Illinois (which his wife had inherited), worth between $50,000 and $100,000. When Hastert left Congress twenty years later, he reported a significantly increased net worth, variously reported as between $4 million and $17 million and between $3.1 million and $11.3 million. Much of this increase in net worth was the result of various real-estate investments during Hastert's time in Congress (including the controversial land deal several miles from the proposed Prairie Parkway site). At the time Hastert left Congress, much of his net worth remained tied up in real-estate holdings.
On November 15, 2007, Hastert delivered a farewell speech on the House floor, emphasizing the need for civility in politics; Hastert's speech was followed by remarks from Pelosi praising Hastert's service. Finally, on November 26, 2007, Hastert submitted his resignation, effective at 10:59 p.m. Central Time that day, to Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois.
Before the 2006 election, Hastert expressed his intent to seek reelection as Speaker if the Republicans maintained control of the House. Hastert was reelected for an eleventh term to his seat in the House with nearly 60 percent of the vote, but that year the Republicans lost control of both the Senate and the House to the Democrats following a wave of voter discontent with the Iraq War and a series of scandals among congressional Republicans. The day after the November election, Hastert announced he would not seek to become minority leader when the 110th Congress convened in January 2007. Later that month, John Boehner of Ohio defeated Mike Pence of Indiana in a 168-27 vote of the House Republican Conference election to become minority leader for the 110th Congress. The House Democratic Caucus unanimously selected House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker (succeeding Hastert) for the 110th Congress. In October 2007, following months of rumors that Hastert would not serve out his term, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call announced that Hastert would resign from the House before the end of the year, triggering a special election.
Departure from Congress
 In 2006, Hastert (along with then-minority leader Nancy Pelosi) criticized a
In 2012, after Hastert had departed from Congress, the highway project was killed after federal regulators retracted the 2008 approval of an environmental impact statement for the project and agreed to an Illinois Department of Transportation request to redirect the funds for other projects. Environmentalists, who opposed the project, celebrated its cancellation.
In 2006, Hastert became embroiled in controversy over his championing of a $207-million federal earmark (inserted in the 2005 omnibus highway bill) for the Prairie Parkway, a proposed expressway running through his district. The Sunlight Foundation accused Hastert of failing to disclose that the construction of the highway would benefit a land investment that Hastert and his wife made in nearby land in 2004 and 2005. Hastert received five-eighths of the proceeds of the sale of the land, turning a $1.8 million profit in under two years. Hastert's ownership interest in the tract was not a public record because the land was held by a blind land trust, Little Rock Trust No. 225. There were three partners in the trust: Hastert, Thomas Klatt, and Dallas Ingemunson. However, public documents only named Ingemunson, who was the Kendall County Republican Party chairman and Hastert's personal attorney and longtime friend. Hastert denied any wrongdoing. In October 2006, Norman Ornstein and Scott Lilly wrote that the Prairie Parkway affair was "worse than FoleyGate" and called for Hastert's resignation.
In a December 2006, the House Ethics Committee determined that Hastert and other congressional leaders were "willfully ignorant" in responding to early warnings of the Mark Foley congressional page scandal, but did not violate any House rules. In a committee statement, Kirk Fordham, who was Foley's chief of staff until 2005, said that he had alerted Scott B. Palmer, Hastert's chief of staff, to Foley's inappropriate advances toward congressional pages in 2002 or 2003, asking congressional leadership to intervene. Then-House Majority Leader John Boehner and National Republican Congressional Committee chair Thomas M. Reynolds stated that they told Hastert about Foley's conduct in spring 2005. A Hastert spokesman stated that "what Kirk Fordham said did not happen." Hastert also stated that he could not recall conversations with Boehner and Reynolds, and that he did not learn of Foley's conduct until late September 2006, when the affair became public.
A September 2005 article in Vanity Fair revealed that during her work, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds had heard Turkish wiretap targets boast of covert relations with Hastert. The article states, "the targets reportedly discussed giving Hastert tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information." A spokesman for Hastert later denied the claims, relating them to the Jennifer Aniston-Brad Pitt breakup. Following his congressional career, Hastert received a $35,000 per month contract lobbying on behalf of Turkey.
In 2005, following the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Hastert told a Illinois newspaper that "It looks like a lot of that place [referring to New Orleans] could be bulldozed" and stated that spending billions of dollars to rebuild the devastated city "doesn't make sense to me." The remarks enraged Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, who stated that Hastert's comments were "absolutely unthinkable for a leader in his position" and demanded an immediate apology. Former President Bill Clinton, responding to the remarks, stated that had they been in the same place when the remarks were made, "I'm afraid I would have assaulted him." After the remarks caused a furor, Hastert issued a statement saying he was not "advocating that the city be abandoned or relocated" and later issued another statement saying that "Our prayers and sympathies continue to be with the victims of Hurricane Katrina." Hastert was also criticized for being absent from the Capitol during the approval of a $10.5 billion Katrina relief plan; Hastert was in Indiana attending a colleague's fundraiser and an antique car auction. Hastert later said that he donated the proceeds from one of the antique cars he sold at the auction to hurricane-relief efforts.
In 2000, Hastert announced he would support an Armenian Genocide resolution. Analysts noted that at the time there was a tight congressional race in California, in which the large Armenian community might be important in favor of the Republican incumbent. The resolution, vehemently opposed by Turkey, had passed the Human Rights Subcommittee of the House and the International Relations Committee but Hastert, although first supporting it, withdrew the resolution on the eve of the full House vote. He explained this by saying that he had received a letter from Bill Clinton asking him to withdraw it, because it would harm U.S. interests. Even though there is no evidence that a payment was made, an official at the Turkish Consulate is said to have claimed in one recording, that was translated by Sibel Edmonds, that the price for Hastert to withdraw the Armenian Genocide resolution would have been at least $500,000.
In March 1999, soon after Hastert's elevation to the speakership, the Washington Post, in a front-page story, reported that Hastert "has begun offering industry lobbyists the kind of deal they like: private audiences where, for a price, they can voice their views on what kind of agenda the 106th Congress should pursue." Hastert's style and extensive fundraising led Common Cause to critique the "pay-to-play system" in Congress.
On June 1, 2006, Hastert became the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House in history, surpassing the record previously held by fellow Illinoisan Joseph Gurney Cannon, who held the post from November 1903 to March 1911.
On October 27, 2005, Hastert became the first Speaker to author a blog. On "Speaker's Journal" on his official House website, Hastert wrote in his first post: "This is Denny Hastert and welcome to my blog. This is new to me. I can’t say I’m much of a techie. I guess you could say my office is teaching the old guy new tricks. But I'm excited. This is the future. And it is a new way for us to get our message out."
Hastert was key to the passage in November 2003 of key Medicare legislation which created Medicare Part D, a prescription-drug benefit. Hastert's push to pass the legislation—culminating in a three-hour House vote in which the Speaker, "an imposing former wrestling coach, was literally leaning on recalcitrant lawmakers to win their support"—raised the Speaker's profile and contributed to a shift of his image from amiable and low-key to more forceful. The extension of the vote for hours and the arm-twisting of members brought condemnation of Hastert from Democrats, with House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer saying: "They are corrupting the practices of the House." The bill passed on a narrow vote of 220 to 215. In 2004, Hoyer called upon Hastert to initiate a House Ethics Committee investigation into statements by Representative Nick Smith, a Republican of Michigan, who stated that groups and lawmakers had offered support for his son's campaign for Congress in exchange for Smith's support of the bill. In October 2004, the House Ethics Committee admonished DeLay for pressuring Smith on the Medicare prescription-drug bill, but stated that DeLay did not break the law or House ethics rules. Hastert issued a statement supporting DeLay, but the admonishment was viewed as harming DeLay's chances of succeeded Hastert as Speaker.
As speaker, Hastert also oversaw the passage of the Department of Homeland Security. Although Hastert was successful in implementing Bush policy priorities, during his tenure the House also "regularly passed conservative bills only to have them blocked in the more moderate Senate." One such bill was an energy bill by the Bush administration which would have authorized drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; this provision was killed in the Senate.
As Speaker, Hastert shepherded the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 to passage in the House on a 357-66 vote. In a 2011 interview, Hastert claimed credit for its passage over the misgivings of many members. Fourteen years later, federal prosecutors used the Patriot Act's expansion of currency transaction reporting requirements to indict Hastert on federal charges.
"Hastert and the senior Republican leadership in the House were able to maintain party discipline to a great degree," which allowed them to regularly enact legislation, despite a narrow majority (less than twelve seats) in the 106th and 107th Congresses. Hastert was a strong supporter of the Iraq War Resolution and the ensuing 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Iraq War. Hastert stated in the House in October 2002 that he believed there was "a direct connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda" and that the U.S. should "do all that we can to disarm Saddam Hussein's regime before they provide al-Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction." In a February 2003 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Hastert "launched into a lengthy and passionate denunciation" of France's resistance to the Iraq war and stated that he wanted to go "nose-to-nose" with the country. In 2006, Hastert visited Iraq at Bush's request and supported a supplemental Iraq War spending bill.
In 2004, Hastert again feuded with McCain amid conflict between the House and the Senate over the 2005 budget. After "McCain gave a speech excoriating both political parties for refusing to sacrifice their tax cutting and spending agendas in wartime," Hastert publicly questioned McCain's "credentials as a Republican and suggested that the decorated Vietnam War veteran did not understand the meaning of sacrifice."
Earmarks—line-item projects inserted into appropriations bills at the request of individual members, and often referred to as "pork-barrel" spending—"exploded under [Hastert's] leadership," growing from $12 billion to 1999 (at the beginning of Hastert's term) to an all-time high of $29 billion in 2006 (Hastert's last year as speaker). Hastert himself made earmarks a personal trademark; from 1999 to May 2005, Hastert obtained $24 million in federal earmarked grant funds to groups and institutions in Aurora, Illinois, Hastert's birthplace and his district's largest city.
Hastert opposed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold), the landmark campaign finance reform law. In 2001, during the debate on the bill, Hastert criticized Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, saying that McCain had "bullied" House Republicans by sending them letters in support of his campaign-finance reform proposals. Hastert called the legislation "the worst thing that ever happened to Congress" and expressed the view that there were "constitutional flaws" in the legislation. Supporters of campaign-finance reform circumvented Hastert by means of a discharge petition, a seldom-used procedural mechanism in which a measure may be brought to a floor vote (over the objections of the speaker) if an absolute majority of Representatives sign a petition in support of doing so. This remains the most recent successful use of the discharge petition.
 about twice a month to discuss congressional developments.White House In 2003, Hastert and Bush met privately at the , Republican of Florida.Mark Foley over Representative the controversy The two frequently praised each other, expressed mutual respect, and had a close working relationship, even during  Throughout his term, Hastert was a strong supporter of the
Although by tradition, Hastert was the leader of the House Republicans, he adopted a much lower profile in the media than conventional wisdom would suggest for a Speaker. This led to accusations that he was only a figurehead for DeLay. In 2005, DeLay was indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of campaign-finance violations. DeLay stepped down as majority leader and was replaced in that post by Roy Blunt; DeLay resigned from Congress the following year.
Hastert was known as a frequent critic of Bill Clinton, and immediately upon assuming the speakership, he "played a lead role" in the impeachment of the president. Nevertheless, Hastert and the Clinton administration did work together on several initiatives, including the New Markets Tax Credit program and Plan Colombia.
Congressional expert Norm Ornstein writes that Hastert "blew up" the House's "regular order," which is "a mix of rules and norms that allows debate, deliberation, and amendments in committees and on the House floor, that incorporates and does not shut out the minority (even if it still loses most of the time), that takes bills that pass both houses to a conference committee to reconcile differences, [and] that allows time for members and staff to read, digest, and analyze bills." Ornstein commented that "no speaker did more to relegate the regular order to the sidelines than Hastert. ... The House is a very partisan institution, with rules structured to give even tiny majorities enormous leverage. But Hastert took those realities to a new and more tribalized, partisan plane." Despite this shift, Hastert was widely seen as "affable" and low-key; he did not seek the limelight, "become a regular on Sunday talk shows or anything close to a household word or figure," or "openly exhibit the kind of snarling or mean partisan demeanor that made Tom DeLay such a mark of hatred for Democrats."
Nevertheless, in November 2004, Hastert instituted what became known as the Hastert Rule (or "majority of the majority" rule), which was an informal, self-imposed political practice of allowing the House to vote on only those bills that were supported by the majority of its Republican members. The practice received criticism as an unduly partisan measure both at the time it was adopted and in the subsequent years. In 2013, after leaving office, Hastert disowned the policy, saying that "there is no Hastert Rule" and that the "rule" was more of a principle that the majority party should follow its own policies. The same year, the Hastert aide who coined the phrase also stated that the stricture was not workable. In any case, a number of bills have since passed the House without the support of a majority of the majority party in the House, as shown by a list compiled by The New York Times.
In accepting the position, Hastert broke the tradition that the new speaker delivers his first address from the speaker's chair, instead delivering his seventeen-minute acceptance speech from the floor. Hastert adopted a conciliatory tone and pledged to work for bipartisanship, saying that: "Solutions to problems cannot be found in a pool of bitterness."
Tenure and controversies
Although he reportedly had no warning of Livingston's decision to step aside, Hastert "began lobbying on the House floor within moments" of Livingston's announcement, and by the afternoon of that had secured the public backing of the House Republican leadership, including Gingrich, DeLay (who was "viewed as too partisan to step into the role of Speaker") and Dick Armey (who was "viewed as too weak" and was damaged by party infighting). On that day, Hastert was endorsed by about a hundred Republican representatives, ranging from conservatives such as Steve Largent to moderates such as Mike Castle, for the speakership. Representative Christopher Cox of California, viewed as a potential rival, decided by evening not to challenge Hastert for the speakership. Hastert became known as "the Accidental Speaker."
In the aftermath of the Robert L. Livingston of Louisiana—the former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and the Speaker-designate—stated in a dramatic surprise announcement on the House floor that he would not become Speaker, following widely publicized revelations of his extramarital affairs.
Speaker of the House
- 100th Congress (1987–1989) - Government Operations; Public Works and Transportation
- 101st Congress (1989–1991) - Government Operations; Public Works and Transportation; Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families
- 102nd Congress (1991–1993) - Energy and Commerce; Government Operations; Hunger
- 103rd Congress (1993–1995) - Energy and Commerce; Government Operations
- 104th Congress (1995–1997) - Chief Deputy Majority Whip; Commerce; Government Reform and Oversight
- 105th Congress (1997–1999) - Chief Deputy Majority Whip; Commerce; Government Reform and Oversight
- 106th Congress (1999–2001) - The Speaker; Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
- 107th Congress (2001–2003) - The Speaker
- 108th Congress (2003–2005) - The Speaker; Intelligence (ex officio)
- 109th Congress (2005–2007) - The Speaker; Intelligence (ex officio)
Hastert served on the following House committees and in the following House positions. (This list does not include subcommittee assignments or positions within the Republican Conference).
Committee assignments and House positions
Hastert was the "House Republicans' leader on anti-narcotics efforts" and was a strong supporter of the War on Drugs. In this role, he led a "crusade against federal money for needle-exchange programs and criticized the Clinton administration for what he believed was insufficient funding for drug interdiction efforts.
Hastert criticized the Clinton administration's plans to conduct the 2000 Census using sampling techniques. Hastert was a supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and in 1993 voted to approve the trade pact. He was a gun rights supporter who voted against the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
On the eve of his elevation to Speaker, Hastert was described as "deeply conservative at heart" and a "hide-bound, rock-ribbed Illinois conservative" by the AFL-CIO and the Teamsters each gave Hastert zero points. The League of Conservation Voters rated him a 13."
Hastert developed a close relationship with Tom DeLay, the House majority whip, and was widely seen as DeLay's deputy. Hastert and DeLay first worked together in 1989, on Edward Madigan's unsuccessful race against Gingrich for minority whip. Hastert later managed DeLay's successful campaign to become whip. In September 1998, the two added an extra $250,000 to the Defense Department appropriations bill for "pharmacokinetics research" which paid for an Army experiment with nicotine chewing gum manufactured by the Amurol Confections Company in Yorkville, in Hastert's district. On the House floor, Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio criticized the insertion of the provision; Hastert defended it. Hastert played "good cop" to DeLay's "bad cop."
As a protégé of House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel, Hastert rose through the Republican ranks in the House, and in 1995 (after the Republicans gained control of the House and Newt Gingrich became Speaker), Hastert became chief deputy whip. Michel appointed Hastert to the Republicans' health care task force, where Hastert became a "prominent voice" in helping defeat the Clinton health care plan of 1993.
Following the House banking scandal, which broke in 1992, it was revealed that Hastert had bounced 44 checks during the period under investigation. A Justice Department special counsel said there was no reason to believe Hastert had committed any crime in overdrawing his accounts.
Meanwhile, Hastert's political mentor Grotberg had been elected to Congress as the representative from Illinois's 14th district, but fell ill with cancer in 1986, and was unable to run for a second term. Hastert was nominated to replace him; in the general election in November 1986, he defeated Democratic candidate Mary Lou Kearns, the Kane County coroner, in a relatively close race.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1986, at the urging of Governor James R. Thompson, Hastert developed a plan to deregulate Illinois utility companies. Under the plan developed by Hastert and Republican staffers, property and gross-receipts taxes that utilities paid would be eliminated and replaced with a "state service tax" that service-industry businesses (ranging from insurers to funeral homes) would pay. Critics of the plan said that it was too favorable to utility companies, and the proposal was not adopted.
 law, although he later voted to repeal it.mandatory seat belt to 18; and voted for a driving age; supported (unsuccessfully) proposals to raise the bills barring discrimination against gays In the state House, Hastert opposed