Attorneys Want to Keep Some Hastert Evidence Secret

Federal prosecutors said Friday they want to keep some evidence in the case against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert secret, even after the proceedings have ended.

Prosecutors filed a motion asking U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin to bar Hastert's lawyers from disclosing any discovery the U.S. Attorney's Office provides them to anyone not involved in the case.

They also want Durkin to order that after the case is concluded all materials must be destroyed, returned to the government or retained by defense attorneys and kept confidential.

The former Speaker of the House is charged with evading bank laws and lying to the FBI. NBC Chicago’s Mary Ann Ahern reports.

"The discovery to be provided by the government in this case includes sensitive information, the unrestricted dissemination of which could adversely affect law enforcement interests and the privacy interests of third parties," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block wrote in the motion.

Block says in the filing that Hastert's lawyers do not oppose the request.

Former House Speaker pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges. NBC Chicago’s Christian Farr reports.

Hastert is accused of agreeing to pay $3.5 million to someone described in an indictment as "Individual A" to keep past misconduct secret. The 73-year-old former teacher and coach pleaded not guilty to charges of violating banking laws and lying to the FBI.

An NBC News source said the payments were intended to conceal claims of sexual misconduct from decades ago. 

Durkin scheduled a hearing for Thursday morning. Hastert, who is free on a $4,500 unsecured bond, is not required to attend.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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