Ryan pulls Hastert portrait from Speaker's Lobby

Ryan pulls Hastert portrait from Speaker's Lobby
© Getty Images

One of Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay House Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea 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 BoehnerFormer Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock From learning on his feet to policy director 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The Hastert portrait has been replaced by one of Frederick H. Gillett of Massachusetts, Speaker from 1919 to 1925.