Former US House Speaker Freed

Dennis Hastert released from federal prison in Minnesota

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been released from a Minnesota federal prison and transferred to a Chicago re-entry facility, after serving most of a 15-month sentence in a hush money case. It was Hastert's attempts to secretly pay off one of his alleged victims that tripped a wire with the feds, who began investigating him after the once-powerful pol began making large bank withdrawals.

Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison in April 2016 in a banking violations case that revealed accusations he had sexually abused teenagers while coaching wrestling at a suburban Chicago high school.

Hastert did not face sex-related charges because prosecutors said the statute of limitations had long expired.

His official release date was August 16, but prison records reportedly show he's under supervision as part of the re-entry program.

The feds hit Hastert in May 2015 with a blockbuster indictment that accused him of illegally structuring bank withdrawals and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

What began as a look into questionable financial transactions eventually lead investigators to unearth a sexual abuse cover-up by former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

His inmate number with the Bureau of Prisons is 47991-424.

"They got him on what they could", he said.

Hastert's attorneys declined comment Tuesday. The Tribune honored his wishes until he appeared at the sentencing hearing and confronted his former coach while delivering an emotional statement.

At the time, Hastert said he was "deeply ashamed" and said, "I know why I am here".

Cross, a former wrestler, testified that he was abused when he was in the school locker room.

The withdrawals Hastert made while paying Individual A prompted questions from bank officials, but Hastert lied and claimed he was using the money to buy stocks and antique cars. He has since sued Hastert in a Kendall County breach-of-contract lawsuit seeking the remaining $1.8 million - plus accrued interest - he argues Hastert owes him.

Hastert is the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history.


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