Federal prosecutors want former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Il) to serve prison time to resolve a criminal indictment charging he violated federal banking law when he withdrew about $900,000 to pay to an unnamed associate as part of an effort to cover up past misconduct, Politico reports. Defense attorneys and prosecutors are negotiating a plea deal that they will take to U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin. The deal would likely call for Hastert to spend more than a year behind bars. A hearing on the case is set for today in Chicago. Hastert, who has been in seclusion since pleading not guilty to the charges, is not expected to appear.
Hastert, who retired from the House in 2007, was indicted in May on charges of structuring bank withdrawals to avoid federal requirements and lying to the FBI about what he did with the money. The indictment said that from 2012 to 2014, he withdrew $952,000 in increments of less than $10,000 after a bank official warned him that larger amounts would be reported to federal authorities. The federal charges said the money was part of $1.7 million he paid and a total of $3.5 million he promised to pay to compensate for “past misconduct” against a longtime acquaintance.