Dennis Hastert

Attorney Seeks Delay in Hastert Trial

NBC 5 has learned that the former House Speaker is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed illness at a DeKalb County nursing home

An attorney for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is seeking a delay in his client’s November trial, citing an “issue” with Hastert’s availability.

In Kendall County court Tuesday, attorney John Ellis told Judge Robert Pilmer that he would file a motion seeking a delay in the trial, and that he would appear again in court on Monday to discuss the motion.

“An issue, relating to the defendant’s ability for the Nov. 18 trial has arisen,” Ellis said. “I will be filing a motion to continue the trial date.”

Ellis declined to answer questions about why his client is seeking a delay in the trial, but NBC 5 has confirmed that the 77-year-old Hastert is undergoing rehab for an undisclosed illness at a DeKalb County nursing facility.

Kristi Browne, the attorney for Hastert's accuser, said she doesn't expect a huge delay in the case. 

"It's just going to depend on the judge's calendar, the lawyers' calendars, and the witnesses calendars," she said. 

Testimony was set to begin Nov. 18 in the case of a man suing Hastert for the balance of $3.5 million he says the former speaker promised him to guarantee his silence over sexual abuse allegations. That man, a former member of Hastert’s Yorkville High School wrestling team, says the former House speaker paid him $1.7 million before payments were discovered by federal investigators.

The man is now seeking $1.8 million he says he is still owed under the unwritten agreement.

Settlement negotiations have been ongoing in the case, but efforts have repeatedly fallen short as both sides try to avoid having the trial go forward. 

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