Chuck Todd: Dennis Hastert's Fall After Rise in Congress Was 'Shocking' | NBC Chicago
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Chuck Todd: Dennis Hastert's Fall After Rise in Congress Was 'Shocking'

On Wednesday morning, Hastert is expected to plead guilty to charges relating to his May indictment of violating bank reporting regulations and lying to the FBI

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    WATCH: NBC 5's Carol Marin and Chuck Todd of "Meet the Press" discuss Dennis Hastert's rise and fall ahead of the former Speaker of the House's guilty plea. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015)

    Ahead of former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's guilty plea, Chuck Todd, moderator of "Meet the Press," reflected on Hastert's rise in politics and called his fall "shocking." 

    On Wednesday morning, Hastert is expected to plead guilty to charges relating to his May indictment of violating bank reporting regulations and lying to the FBI.

    "He was the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House. That in itself was a legacy," Todd said in an interview from Washington with NBC 5's Carol Marin. "It was going to put him up there with people that get statues in Capitol Hill, they get office buildings named after them when they are the longest serving Speaker of the House for a given political party." 

    Hastert resigned from Congress in 2007. According to the federal indictment Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to cover up "past misconduct." 

    Following his indictment, leaks and published reports indicated the misconduct was sexual and involved a student at Yorkville High School where Hastert once taught.

    Asked if his indictment should be considered as an allegation of political corruption, Todd said yes.

    "Look, I think it's public corruption because in some form he was using his power and his ability to make money because of his days as a public official in order to deal with this," Todd said. "I think because of his standing, it is a form of public corruption."

    With recent convictions of two Illinois governors, a Congressman, a state lawmaker and a former alderman, Todd addressed whether the state has a distinction for ranking among the most, if not the most, corrupt.

    "You know it's sometimes a punch line, and I don't like having it as a punch line," Todd said. "I mean, I've got my mother's side of the family who all grew up in Illinois and so I hate saying it, but yes. It's not even close when you see the number of governors that have been hit, the shenanigans in Chicago, now former Speaker of the House. We now have another former member of Congress who is dealing with his own issues ... there's Illinois when it comes to public corruption and (then there's) everybody else."

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