Disgraced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is fighting back against an admitted sexual abuse victim's efforts to discover the names of anyone who has ever accused Hastert of having sex with them when he was an adult and they were minors.
The request came from James Doe, the now-grown man who says the former Speaker molested him when he was 14 and Hastert was the wrestling coach at Yorkville High School. Doe has filed a civil lawsuit against Hastert demanding payment of the balance of a hush-money arrangement between the two.
In addition to fighting the discovery questions, Hastert's attorney John Ellis asked Judge Robert Pilmer to enter an order limiting statements made outside of court. Specifically, Ellis cited a number of statements made by Doe's attorney Kristi Browne, citing among other things, two NBC5 stories where Browne commented on the likelihood of the case being brought to settlement and Hastert's ability to pay.
"The court has the inherent authority and obligation to maintain decorum," Ellis wrote, declaring that lawyers should not make statements which they know would pose a "serious and imminent threat to the fairness" of the case.
In addition to the names of sexual contacts, Doe's attorney is seeking copies of all communications between Hastert and her client, any communications the former speaker had with anyone else about her client, and details of any relationships Hastert had with any members of Doe's family, down to siblings, aunts and uncles, and first cousins.
She also seeks information on any gifts or other transactions between Hastert and the above individuals.
Hastert's attorney Ellis declared in his motion that many of Doe's requests were "overbroad and irrelevant," noting they covered a 52 year period, "regarding subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with this case."
In an email written July 25th, Browne replied that her questions were "very routine requests that you should go ahead and answer."
The matter is set for a hearing October 19th.