Dennis Hastert

Hastert Hires Lawyer From Chicago Firm Sidley Austin to Represent Him

Hastert was indicted May 28 for making withdrawals from his bank accounts to allegedly cover up a sexual relationship he had with a high school student

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has hired a lawyer from the Chicago-based firm Sidley Austin to represent him ahead of his arraignment on federal charges Tuesday.  

Thomas Green, a white-collar defense lawyer at Sidley Austin, will serve as Hastert's lawyer, Carter Phillips, a partner at the firm's Washington, D.C., office, confirmed Monday. 

Green, who is also based in the law firm's D.C., office, has represented several high-profile members of Congress and other public officials, including clients involved in Iran-Contra, Watergate and the Clinton pardon scandal. He also previously managed the firm's white collar defense practice group and has been widely recognized as a top white collar defense lawyer. 

Hastert was indicted on May 28 for making regular withdrawals from his bank accounts below a limit that would require reporting and then lying to federal officials when asked about those withdrawals. 

A federal law enforcement officials told NBC News that Hastert withdrew the money to cover up a sexual relationship he had with a man who was a student at Yorkville High School in Illinois at the time. Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at the high school from 1965 to 1981. 

The Department of Justice and IRS allege Hastert, 73, withdrew $1.7 million from various banks between 2010 to 2014 and provided the funds to an unnamed person "to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct." He is accused of promising a total of $3.5 million to that person.  

Hastert left Congress in 2008 and then worked as a lobbyist at Dickstein Shapiro. After news broke of his indictment, he resigned from his lobbying position, according to a spokesperson from the firm. 

If convicted of the charges against him, Hastert faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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