The news stopped the Washington political class cold:
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in history, was indicted late Thursday by the Justice Department, accused of lying to the FBI about a series of bank withdrawals he made just below the $10,000 federal threshold to avoid bank reporting requirements.
The payments made to someone identified in the indictment as “Individual A” go back several years.
“It’s stunning, and I don’t have any good information,” said John Feehery, Hastert’s former spokesman. Calls to Hastert’s former colleagues and political allies produced similar responses, shock at the charge that the former speaker had agreed to provide, according to the indictment, “$3.5 million in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A.”