One of Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE's first acts since being elected Speaker last week: removing the portrait of disgraced former Speaker Dennis Hastert that hung for years in the ornate hallway just off the House floor.
Last week, Hastert, an Illinois Republican, pleaded guilty to illegally structuring banking transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements. Law enforcement sources told multiple news outlets that the payments were part of $3.5 million in hush money Hastert was paying to a former student whom he allegedly sexually abused decades ago when he had been a high school wrestling coach.
Ryan's predecessor, Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE (R-Ohio), had chosen not to remove the portrait of his former House colleague after Hastert was indicted earlier this year. But Ryan (R-Wis.) decided to swap out the portrait, which hangs with paintings of other former Speakers in a hallway known as the "Speaker's Lobby."
"The Speaker believed it was appropriate to rotate in a different portrait," said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong.
Hastert's guilty plea came on Wednesday, the same day Ryan was nominated by his fellow House Republicans to be the next Speaker of the House. Ryan was formally elected the next day.
The Hastert portrait has been replaced by one of Frederick H. Gillett of Massachusetts, Speaker from 1919 to 1925.