Ex-Speaker Hastert recovering from stroke
© Getty Images

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) suffered a stroke in November and has been recuperating in a hospital, according to reports.

Hastert's health has deteriorated as the 73-year-old awaits sentencing after pleading guilty earlier this year in a federal hush-money case.

ADVERTISEMENT
“I am confirming that during the first week of November our client Dennis Hastert was admitted to the hospital,” attorney Tom Green said in a statement, according to Politico.

“Mr. Hastert has suffered a stroke and has been treated for sepsis. While in the hospital, two back surgeries were performed. We are very hopeful that Mr. Hastert will be released from the hospital in the early part of the new year.”

Hastert pleaded guilty in late October to dodging bank reporting requirements in connection with a $3.5 million hush money scheme.

He pleaded guilty to one count of “structuring,” or withdrawing money out of banks in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid federal reporting regulations.

Hastert entered his plea in federal court in Chicago and is expecting his sentence on Feb. 29. Hastert’s health concerns could delay sentencing until his recovery, according to Politico.

District Court Judge Thomas Durkin said he could face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Federal prosecutors have recommended up to six months in prison.

The former Speaker allegedly agreed to pay a person — identified only as “individual A” — to hide “prior misconduct” during his tenure as a high school football coach in Illinois.

Hastert taught and coached from 1965 to 1985. Federal officials said he engaged in sexual misconduct with someone he knew at that time.

The-ex lawmaker said he paid the unknown party $1.7 million over several decades so that further details would remain hidden. Hastert also avoided one charge of lying to the FBI about his payoff scheme as part of the plea deal.

He served in House leadership for over a decade, including seven years as Speaker, from 1999 to 2007.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) removed Hastert’s portrait from the halls of Congress as one of his first acts in that post early last month.