Update, 4:30 p.m.: NBC News reports via a federal law enforcement official that Hastert’s payments were made to a man with whom Hastert had “a sexual relationship” when the man attended the high school where Hastert taught from 1965 to 1981.
Original post, 2:56 p.m.: The million-dollar payment that led to former House speaker Dennis Hastert’s indictment was made to conceal sexual abuse Hastert allegedly committed during his time as a high school teacher and coach, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hastert was charged Thursday with breaking financial laws and lying to the FBI in the course of making payments to a person identified as “Individual A” in an indictment. The LAT, citing “two federal law enforcement officials,” says Individual A is an alleged abuse victim:
One of the officials, who would not speak publicly about the federal charges in Chicago, said “Individual A,” as the person is described in Thursday’s federal indictment, was a man and that the alleged misconduct was unrelated to Hastert’s tenure in Congress. The actions date to Hastert’s time as a Yorkville, Ill., high school wrestling coach and teacher, the official said … “It was sex,’’ the source said. The other official confirmed that the misconduct involved sexual abuse.
In a November 2014 C-SPAN clip widely circulated Friday, a caller identifying himself as “Bruce” asks Hastert in an uneven voice if Hastert remembers him “from Yorkville” before hanging up. The indictment against Hastert says he began paying Individual A in 2010.