Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the Dennis Hastert case are asking the court to keep some evidence secret — apparently including the identity of the man who allegedly got hush money from the ex-House speaker to cover up sexual misconduct accusations.
A motion filed Friday in federal court asks for a protective order during the pre-trial discovery phase of the case, in which both sides exchange information about witnesses and evidence.
It does not specifically mention the person who was allegedly sexually abused when Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois in the 1960s and 1970s, but it refers to "sensitive information" and "privacy interests of third parties."
Hastert, who retired from Congress in 2007 and became a lobbyist, was indicted two weeks ago on charges he structured bank transactions to avoid triggering red flags and then lied about those cash withdrawals to the FBI.
Court papers say he agreed to pay Individual A $3.5 million in hush money to conceal "prior misconduct."
Federal sources have said "Individual A" was a student at Yorkville High and the misconduct was sexual in nature.
Hastert, 73, pleaded not guilty earlier this week but has not made a public statement about the accusations.