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Ex-House Speaker Hastert Requests Sentencing Delay, Citing Illness

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert says he is too sick to be sentenced next month in his hush-money case.

In court papers filed Friday, Hastert's lawyers ask for an indefinite delay of the sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 29, and they say prosecutors have no objections.

The disgraced politician spent two months in the hospital being treated for a spinal infection, sepsis and a stroke and is using a walker and a leg brace to get around, the lawyers said. He will likely need up to 12 weeks of physical therapy.

Image: Dennis Hastert
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse on June 9, 2015, in Chicago for his arraignment on federal charges that he broke federal banking laws and lied about the money when questioned by the FBI. Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Because of his illness, he has not been able to prepare for sentencing, the lawyers said.

In October, Hastert admitted making illegal bank withdrawals for payoffs, which sources say were used to quash allegations of sexual misconduct with a student when Hastert was a high-school teacher and coach decades ago.

Prosecutors are recommending up to six months behind bars, but the judge could impose a stiffer sentence.

A hearing on Hastert's request will be held next week in federal court in Chicago.