Flashback to BRAD BLOG coverage of bribery, blackmail allegations by FBI translator/whistleblower Sibel Edmonds from years past...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2015, 11:04pm PT  

Oh, man...

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep an unidentified person silent about "prior misconduct" by the Illinois Republican who was once third in line to the U.S. presidency, according to a federal grand jury indictment handed down on Thursday in Chicago.

The indictment, which does not describe the misconduct Hastert was allegedly trying to conceal, charges the 73-year-old with one count of evading bank regulations as he withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at a time to make the payments. He is also charged with one count of lying to the FBI about the reason for the unusual bank withdrawals.

Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
...
Hastert withdrew a total of around $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts from 2010 to 2014, and then provided it to the person identified in the indictment only as Individual A. Hastert allegedly agreed to pay the person $3.5 million, but never apparently paid that full amount.

Specifically, the indictment reads, the payoffs were to cover up "past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier." That "years earlier" part could be important here. See AP's story for much more, including the 7-page indictment itself.

I'll be on the road for a few days as of Friday for some long-scheduled family obligations, so I won't be able to delve much into this for the moment. However, we covered a number of questions about Hastert and criminality in some detail here as far back as 2006. At the time, many seemed to think such questions were outlandish. Much of our coverage stemmed from allegations made about Hastert by former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She had charged, years ago, that Hastert was mixed up with shadowy Turkish interests and even suitcases full of cash, generally speaking. For example, from the 241-page transcript [PDF] her sworn video taped testimony during a 2009 case, Edmonds claimed Hastert was involved in...

The acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash ... to make it look legal for his campaigns, and also for his personal use, in order to do certain favors ... make certain things happen for foreign entities and foreign governments' interests, Turkish government's interest and Turkish business entities' interests ... other activities, too, including being blackmailed for various reasons. ... he used the townhouse that was not his residence for certain not very morally accepted activities. ... foreign entities knew about this, in fact, they sometimes participated in some of those not maybe morally well activities in that particular townhouse that was supposed to be an office, not a house, residence at certain hours, certain days, evenings of the week.

While Edmonds offered a number of claims that seemed "outlandish" (to some) at the time, the former House Speaker did, in fact, end up going to work as a lobbyist for Turkey shortly after leaving Congress. (As of this afternoon, the D.C.-based lobbying firm, Dickstein Shapiro has removed him from their website, according to Politico.) And now the former Republican U.S. House Speaker from Illinois has been indicted on charges related to huge payoffs to cover up "prior misconduct" of some sort.

As folks are poking around tonight trying to fill in unexplained details from the indictment, here are a few BRAD BLOG stories from years passed that may prove to be worth looking at again while I'm otherwise "gone" for a few days...

2/7/2006: EXCLUSIVE: Sibel Edmonds Rebukes Dennis Hastert Attorney's Rebuttal to Charges of Bribery - Calls on Hastert to 'Come Clean' on $500k in Un-Itemized Campaign Donations, Relationship With Turkish Interest Groups

6/2/2008: Sibel Edmonds Case: Dennis Hastert to Join Turkish Lobbying Firm - New Job Seen as Payoff for 'Services Rendered'...

9/2/2009: Sibel Edmonds' Deposition Disclosures: Congressional Bribery, Blackmail, and Espionage - Breaking down the formerly-gagged FBI whistleblower's sworn testimony...

I don't know how the stories linked above may or may not relate to Hastert's current predicament, but there may prove to be a few details from those allegations that are suddenly meaningful again. Edmonds has been proven to be right in the past on a number of other claims that seemed "outlandish" at the time...