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Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert indicted for lying to the feds about cash withdrawals

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Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted on Thursday on federal charges including making false statements to the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said.

The Illinois Republican, who left office in 2007, was charged with structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000, and lying to the FBI about his withdrawals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

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Each count of the two-count indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hastert, 73, was not immediately available for comment.

According to the indictment, the misconduct involved payments to an unnamed individual who had been a Yorkville, Illinois, resident and had known Hastert for most of the person’s life.

Around 2010, Hastert met with the person several times and discussed past misconduct by Hastert. Eventually, Hastert agreed to pay the person $3.5 million in compensation and to conceal unspecified misconduct, the indictment said.

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Shortly afterward, Hastert began making cash payments to the unnamed person, according to the indictment.

Hastert served as a Republican congressman from suburban Chicago for more than 20 years before resigning from the House in November 2007, having lost the speaker’s job when Democrats gained control of the House in the 2006 elections.

Hastert joined the Washington law firm Dickstein Shapiro in 2008 as a senior adviser. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange said on Thursday that Hastert resigned from its board.

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(Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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South Carolina woman who told cops they can’t arrest a ‘white, clean girl’ pleaded guilty to DUI: report

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Last year, 34-year-old Lauren Cutshaw of South Carolina was arrested in Bluffton after running a four-way stop sign at 60 miles an hour. Her blood alcohol level was registered at 0.18 — more than double the legal limit — and she admitted to being high and had marijuana paraphernalia in her car.

According to police reports at the time, Cutshaw offered an unusual defense of her behavior to the arresting officer: she shouldn't go to jail because she's a "thoroughbred ... white, clean girl" who was a cheerleader and sorority sister who graduated with "perfect grades" from a "high accredited university."

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Trump’s old business patterns are now spreading across the federal government: report

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The Trump, Inc. podcast by ProPublica and WNYC is back. And we’ll be bringing you new episodes every two weeks.

When we started all the way back in early 2018, we laid out how we’d be digging into the mysteries around President Donald Trump’s business. After all, by keeping ownership of that business, Trump has had dueling interests: the country and his pocketbook.

We’ve done dozens of episodes over the past 18 months, detailing how predatory lenders are paying the president, how Trump has profited from his own inauguration and how Trump’s friends have sought to use their accessin pursuit of profit.

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Republicans are getting nervous about Trump’s chances in Wisconsin: ‘There’s no way he’s gaining supporters’

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President Donald Trump's election chances, once again, will likely hinge on Wisconsin's suburbs -- but he can't expect a "free ride."

Hillary Clinton infamously lost the crucial state after failing to campaign there in the waning days before the 2016 election, but some GOP voters there are souring on the president, reported Politico.

“For the president to win Wisconsin again, he’s not going to have the free ride he had last time,” said Brandon Scholz, former executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party. "He’s not going to have Hillary Clinton sitting on her hands “He’s going to have a completely engaged opposition party on the ground.”

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