SNAP Calls for Removal of Hastert's Congressional Portrait | NBC Chicago
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SNAP Calls for Removal of Hastert's Congressional Portrait

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert faces allegations he paid someone from his past hush money for "prior misconduct"

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    The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said it wasn't rushing to judge the former speaker and said the portrait could be returned to the walls of Congress if the former House Speaker is exonerated on charges of evading bank rules and lying to the FBI. (Published Thursday, June 4, 2015)

    A group for survivors of sexual abuse on Thursday called for Congress to remove a portrait of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who faces allegations he paid someone from his past hush money for "prior misconduct."

    The indictment didn't specify the alleged misconduct or identify "Individual A," but a federal law enforcement source last week told NBC News the misconduct involved an alleged sexual relationship between Hastert and a former male student at the school.

    The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said it wasn't rushing to judge the former speaker and said the portrait could be returned to the walls of Congress if Hastert is exonerated.

    "But history, psychology and common sense — plus the actions of the FBI, a U.S. prosecutor and Hastert himself — all strongly suggest that he exploited his power over a youngster to sexually gratify himself," SNAP's statement said. "He does not deserve a place of honor in our nation's Capital, even a symbolic one."

    Hastert, 77, has been silent on the allegations against him. He has, however, resigned from the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying and law firm and from the board of Wheaton College's public policy and government center that until the weekend carried his name.

    Current House Speaker John Boehner said there were no immediate plans to remove Hastert's congressional portrait.

    "I think it's important for us to have the facts before we make decisions," he said, adding that he was "shocked and dismayed" by the allegations.


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