James Doe still wants his money.
Responding to a court filing from disgraced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, the man known as James Doe who is one of Hastert’s acknowledged victims, declared in a new court document of his own that it was not his fault that a hush-money deal fell apart when Hastert’s bank withdrawals drew the attention of the FBI.
“Hastert did not deny the abuse,” the man’s attorney, Kristi Browne wrote in the motion, filed earlier this week in Kendall County Court. “Hastert admitted his wrongdoing and agreed to compensate Plaintiff.”
The former Speaker and his now adult abuse victim had entered into a pact where Hastert was to pay the man $3.5 million dollars. But the payments stopped after $1.7 million, when banking officials became alarmed at the frequency of the former Speaker’s withdrawals. Hastert pled guilty to a crime known as “structuring”, making withdrawals of less than $10,000 to avoid being detected by federal regulators.
“Plaintiff requested that Hastert consult an attorney, to ensure their agreement could be legally executed, but Hastert declined, promising to pay every last dollar of their agreed monetary settlement,” the attorney wrote. “The banking issue was brought to Hastert’s attention, but to preclude further scrutiny, Hastert chose to make more overt violations of the banking laws he was warned about.”
In a motion seeking dismissal of the case, Hastert’s lawyer has argued that the man has no further claim, because the time limit for bringing such an action had already expired, and that it would be “bad public policy” to allow the case to go forward. But Doe, known previously in Hastert’s criminal case as “Individual A”, rejected that argument, at one point comparing the case to a parent who must make good on paternity to an illegitimate child.
“Hastert has an ongoing moral obligation to any child victim for any harm his conduct caused,” the motion states. “Was the confidentiality provision of the parties’ agreement worth $3.5 million? Hastert certainly thought so.”
The parties return to court again October 13. Hastert is serving a 15 month sentence at a Federal prison in Rochester, Minnesota.