On Friday, federal law enforcement officials said Hastert had paid $1.7 million over the last four years to conceal sexual abuse against a former male student he knew during his days as a teacher in Yorkville, Ill., where Hastert worked until 1981.
A top federal law enforcement official, who would not be identified speaking about the ongoing federal case, said investigators also spoke with a second man who raised similar allegations that corroborated what the former student said. The second person was not being paid by Hastert, the official said.
The disclosures followed Thursday’s federal indictment against Hastert on charges of lying to the FBI about the reasons for large cash withdrawals he is accused of making to buy the man’s silence.
“It goes back a long way, back to then,” a second official said. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.”
Thursday’s indictment described misconduct against a person identified only as “Individual A,” noting that Hastert had known the person “most of Individual A’s life.”
When asked about the nature of the alleged misconduct, the second official said, “It was sex.”
Hastert has not responded to requests for comment. A representative of the lobbying and law firm where he had worked, Dickstein Shapiro, declined to comment.
The indictment alleged Hastert had agreed to pay a total of $3.5 million to “compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct.”
He made several cash payments beginning in 2010, after being contacted by the individual, the indictment said.
Hastert allegedly began by withdrawing $50,000 at a time, but when the activity was questioned by banking officials, he reduced the withdrawals to under $10,000, the indictment said.
That caught the attention of financial regulators, who suspected Hastert was trying to evade federal reporting requirements.
Concerned that Hastert might be the victim of criminal extortion arising from his government work or involved in some illegal activity, FBI agents asked the former speaker about the withdrawals. Hastert told the agents that he distrusted banks and still had the cash in his possession, according to the indictment.