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'Humiliated and Isolated,' Hastert Seeks Probation

Former speaker pleaded guilty in hush-money scheme that may be linked to sexual misconduct

Dennis Hastert faces sentencing in a hush-money scheme later this month.  (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorneys for Dennis Hastert asked a federal judge considering his sentence in a hush-money case with links to possible sexual misconduct to consider “the humiliation and isolation” the former House speaker and his family have experienced.  

Hastert's lawyers requested U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin impose probation, according to a sentencing memo filed with the court in Chicago on Wednesday.  

Prosecutors, who did not comment on the request from Hastert's lawyers, previously have asked for up to six months in prison, and will file their own sentencing memo on Friday.  

The former Illinois Republican lawmaker pleaded guilty in October to evading federal banking reporting requirements stemming from an indictment that alleged he paid $3.5 million in small increments to cover up past, undisclosed misconduct.  

It was revealed in court in March that Hastert had been accused of sexual misconduct from when he was a high school wrestling coach and teacher, years prior to holding elected office.  

His sentencing was pushed back at that time to April 27 to allow for possibly two witnesses to testify. It's not clear if they will appear.  

The memo requested the court consider “the entirety of Mr. Hastert’s life” when deciding his sentence.  

   

In the memo, Hastert’s attorneys outline an array of health problems, including his needing a caregiver 24 hours a day to meet his basic needs and that he needs ongoing follow-up care by an infectious disease specialist every 30 to 90 days for the next year.  

Hastert was “in a state of despair caused by extreme isolation” in the months between his indictment and his plea in October, according to the memo.  

“Hastert continues to be consumed by feelings of regret,” the memo read. “He is overwhelmed by the guilt he feels for his actions, for the harm he caused by his misconduct, and for disappointing those who have supported him for so long.”  

The attorneys also outline a tarnished personal and professional  reputation that included the removal of his name from public landmarks and the removal of his portrait from the Capitol.  

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or Android.