Sometimes I think almost everyone in Congress has something to hide. So much so that it’s like a prerequisite for the job.
CHICAGO — J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was charged on Thursday with lying to the F.B.I. and structuring cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting requirements.
Mr. Hastert, 73, a longtime Republican leader who served as speaker from 1999 until 2007 and now works as a lobbyist in Washington, was providing money to an unnamed person in order to “compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct” against that person, according to a federal indictment issued by the United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
The indictment says that Mr. Hastert, who was once a high school teacher and wrestling coach in a small Illinois town, paid $1.7 million to the person from 2010 to 2014.