Back in the day, 2003, when moral superiority was important, and assuming his paying his victims off had worked for him, Dennis Hastert, still high after going after Bill Clinton for having consentual sex with another adult declared,
“It is important to have a national notification system to help safely recover children kidnapped by child predators, but it is equally important to stop those predators before they strike, to put repeat child molesters into jail for the rest of their lives and to help law enforcement with the tools they need to get the job done.”
But when his activities were uncovered, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert begged for leniency for covering up decades of sexual abuse.
Instead of life, Hastert got 15 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release and sex offender treatment.
Oh, but he wasn’t told to stay out of public restrooms. He can still use those.
This sentence, I mean slap n the wrist, resulted from Hastert’s pleading guilty to withdrawing large amounts of money in small amounts to avoid detection and then using the cash to pay off one of his victims.
In a real ballsy move, Hastert had asked his former political protege, Tom Cross, to write a letter of support in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence.
This act was beyond despicable because Tom Cross is the brother of Scott Cross, one of Hastert’s victims.
Instead, sticking by his brother he stated,
“We are very proud of Scott for having the courage to relive this very painful part of his life in order to ensure that justice is done today. We hope his testimony will provide courage and strength to other victims of other cases of abuse to speak out and advocate for themselves.”
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert a serial sex abuser, someone who Hastert believes, or claimed to believe, should be put away for life.
But Hastert had his defenders.
The religious crowd.
“I have observed him in many different and difficult situations. He has never disappointed me in any way. He is a man of strong faith that guides him. He is a man of great integrity. He loves and respects his fellow man. I have never witnessed a time when he was unkind to anyone. He is always giving to others and helping anyone including me so many times.
So I know his heart and have seen it up close and personal. We all have our flaws, but Dennis Hastert has very few. He is a good man that loves the lord. He gets his integrity and values from Him. He doesn’t deserve what he is going through. I ask that you consider the man that is before you and give him leniency where you can,”
wrote Tom DeLay.
Representative Thomas Ewing, a former colleague wrote,
“Denny Hastert and I were as close as brothers, sharing our goals, ambitions, and our family life, both the ups and the downs. I know him as a man of faith, integrity and honesty. He was an extremely hard worker, always willing to extend a helping hand to others.
With his achievements during his record-setting years as Speaker, he ranked with the greatest of our former Speakers, bar none.”
He loves Jesus, so let’s just turn our backs.
He got support from over 40 Republicans and his wife who, while pleading for mercy, seems to forget that the victims’ lives were not easy, and that they suffered.
Notice how callous his wife comes across.
“If one of his students or wrestlers ever needed anything of him, he would be there for them, and he was never happier than when he could watch someone he helped succeed. Now, with his failing health, I worry about how much time we will ever get together … This has taken a terrible toll on our family.”
Because no toll was taken on the victims or their families.
Dave Hastert, his brother wrote,
“He’s looked down upon by the county and a lot of people, who came to him in the past for help (and not for what he being charged with), now no one wants anything to do with him. Depression, that’s going to set in sooner or later … If it were me, I’d be wheeling that [wheel] chair to the highway and waiting for a semi.”
Because the victims were never depressed
David Dreier, another former colleague wrote,
“I write to tell you that Dennis Hastert is one of the most dedicated and hard working public servants I’ve known. More than a decade ago we established the House Democracy Partnership which has worked to strengthen legislative bodies in new and reemerging democracies across the globe. It’s an important part of his long list of accomplishments. Colombia was one of our partner countries. His efforts to transform that country are widely recognized.”
The other writers asked the court to remember his years of dedicated service in politics, and reminded the court that Hastert is in poor health.
They include former California Representatives John T. Doolittle , Thomas Ewing, and Porter Goss, who also once headed the CIA along with former Illinois Attorney General Ty Fahner, former Illinois state Representative Doris Karpiel, retired Kendall County Sheriff Richard Randall, and, for some reason, Leo Kocher, a wrestling coach at the University of Chicago.
When the letters were submitted to the court, the writers thought they would remain sealed. But when the judge ruled they had to be made public, 19 writers withdrew theirs.
Apparently, although they defend and support Hastert, they don’t want people to know who they are.
They are that committed to what they believe.
The judge dismissed concerns that the public’s knowing about Hastert’s conduct would be rough on him.
“If there’s a public shaming of the defendant because of the conduct he’s engaged in, so be it”, said judge Durkin as he handed down his sentence.