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Dennis Hastert Indictment: Big Questions Still Unanswered as Court Date Looms

by Gabe Gutierrez /  / Updated 

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Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House, is due in court next week to answer charges in his hush-money indictment.

Federal law enforcement sources have told NBC News that Hastert was paying a man to keep him quiet about allegations of sexual misconduct while Hastert was a high school teacher and the man was a student.

Hastert is accused of structuring bank withdrawals to avoid detection, and of lying to the FBI about it.

Beyond that, though, little is publicly known about the case. Here are some of the biggest questions:

Where is he?

Hastert, who has a home in Plano, Illinois, has not appeared publicly since the indictment was handed down on Thursday.

The court appearance will be June 9 in Chicago. It was rescheduled from its original date of Thursday, but there was no immediate explanation.

How is he?

WBBM, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, has reported that Hastert has told friends, “I am a victim, too.” That account has not been confirmed by NBC News.

Hastert has not issued a statement or even confirmed who is representing him.

Who is Individual A?

Individual A is the person to whom Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to cover up “prior misconduct,” according to the indictment.

The federal sources said that Individual A is a man who was a student at the Illinois high school where Hastert taught and coached wrestling from 1965 to 1981. He has not been publicly identified.

How did Hastert get rich?

He was a small-town wrestling coach, then the longest-serving Republican House speaker, then a multimillionaire lobbyist.

The Chicago Tribune has reported that he and his wife, Jean, reported net worth between $2.1 million and $10.3 million in a financial disclosure statement at the end of 2007, much of it from income-generating farmland in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Hastert joined the Washington lobbying firm of Dickstein Shapiro in 2008. He started lobbying on behalf of clients the following year. He resigned from the firm last week after his indictment became public.

Hastert was listed as a lobbyist for companies ranging from shipping giant Maersk to Peabody Energy to the American College of Rheumatology. His disclosure reports date to 2009 and show that his clients paid Dickstein Shapiro more than $11 million.

His biggest client was Lorillard Tobacco, a Maryland cigarette company that paid Hastert and his colleagues $7.89 million.

Will the judge step aside?

The federal judge assigned to the criminal case against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert donated at least twice to his congressional campaigns, according to campaign finance records.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin gave $500 to the Hastert for Congress Committee in 2002 and $1,000 to the campaign in 2004, according to financial records.

At the time, Durkin was a partner at a law firm. He was appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama in 2012.

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