Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) suffered a stroke last month and has been in the hospital since, his attorney said in a statement Thursday to the Associated Press.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) arrives at the federal courthouse in Chicago June 9 for his arraignment on federal charges that he broke federal banking laws and lied about the money when questioned by the FBI. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Hastert, 73, is awaiting sentencing in a hush-money case. He pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to a felony count of evading bank reporting laws in an effort to pay hush-money to conceal alleged misconduct.
"We are very hopeful that Mr. Hastert will be released from the hospital in the early part of the new year," Hastert’s attorney Tom Green said. "The family very much desires that during Mr. Hastert's continued hospitalization his privacy will be respected."
According to the AP, in addition to the stroke, Hastert “has been treated for sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of infection, and had two back surgeries while in the hospital.”
In Hastert’s written plea agreement, the former Illinois Republican lawmaker wrote that he agreed to pay someone $3.5 million to conceal his misconduct that took place before he was in office.
Anonymous sources told AP that Hastert “wanted to hide claims that he sexually molested someone decades earlier.”
According to the AP, Hastert’s sentencing date is Feb. 29 and prosecutors recommend that he serve “no more than six months in prison.”
Hastert was House speaker from 1999 to 2007.