CHICAGO — Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has hired a top white-collar crime defense attorney to represent him against federal charges that he tried to hide hush money payments and lied about it to the FBI.
Hastert was paying money to a former male student to keep quiet about allegations that Hastert sexually abused him while he was a high-school teacher and the student was a minor, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Thomas Green, a Washington-based lawyer with Sidley Austin and veteran of high-profile government investigations, will represent Hastert in his first appearance in federal court in Chicago on Tuesday, a firm partner confirmed to CNN.
Green has represented clients tied to national scandals including Watergate, Iran-Contra and Whitewater.
Hastert has not made a public appearance or statement since he was indicted almost two weeks ago. Green did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Federal prosecutors allege in their indictment that Hastert agreed to pay an unnamed individual $3.5 million to “cover up past misconduct.”
He’s charged with trying to hide payments of cash and lying to the FBI about it.
Sources tell CNN Hasert was paying the money to hide allegations of sexual misconduct by a former male student. Hastert was a high-school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois between 1965 and 1981 before entering politics and eventually becoming the longest-serving Republican House speaker.