Hastert Judge Gave Money to Ex-Speaker's Campaign, Records Show | NBC Chicago
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Hastert Judge Gave Money to Ex-Speaker's Campaign, Records Show

Thomas Durkin's office said Monday he couldn't comment on whether he might recuse himself

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    The judge overseeing the hush-money case of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert donated $1,500 to the then-Illinois congressman's re-election campaigns, federal records indicate.

    Federal Election Commission records show Thomas M. Durkin gave $500 to the "Hastert for Congress'' campaign in 2002, and $1,000 in 2004.

    Durkin was an attorney at the Mayer Brown law firm in Chicago at the time. President Barack Obama appointed him a federal judge in 2012.

    Durkin's office said Monday he couldn't comment on whether he might recuse himself.

    Hastert, a Republican, is accused of skirting banking laws while withdrawing $952,000 that investigators allege he gave to someone accusing him of wrongdoing. The indictment did not identify the recipient of the money or clarify the wrongdoing, but an NBC News source said the funds were handed over to conceal a sexual relationship Hastert had with a man while the man was a student at Yorkville High School, where Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach.

    Judicial ethicist Bob Cummins said Durkin has a good reputation as a judge, and the modest contributions aren't a clear case for recusal.


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