On May 28, 2015 former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives, Denny Hastert (R-IL) was indicted by a federal grand jury in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, resulting from an investigation that began in 2013. This is yet another tragedy in the long line of tragedies for America’s contemporary political figures. Government corruption and miscreant behavior among politicians is seemingly endless.


Before discussing what really happened to Denny Hastert and why it’s important to Americans, some background information is in order:


Hastert arose from virtual obscurity as a high school history/economics teacher and wrestling coach in rural Yorkville, IL. He first attained national visibility upon entering the political scene in the early 1980’s during the first term of the “Reagan Revolution”. After a couple of unsuccessful congressional bids, he was finally elected to the U. S. House in 1987. He represented the 14th Congressional District of Illinois and served until his resignation 2007. During his twenty year tenure in the House, Hastert quickly ascended through the Republican ranks becoming Chief Deputy Whip and eventually Speaker of the House in 1999. Denny Hastert remains the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in U. S. history.


Hastert was chosen as Speaker mostly because of his “go along, to get along” non-confrontational style. This was something establishment Republicans longed for after former Speaker Newt Gingrich crapped all over his colleagues during the 1998 mid-term election. Gingrich’s bulldog approach coupled with relentless promotion of the Monica Lewinsky scandal during his reelection campaign alienated many voters who still liked Bill Clinton despite his extramarital affairs. Although Newt was reelected and the Republicans remained in control of the House, the party as a whole did poorly and he was under enormous pressure to resign. Subsequently, Hastert became the new Speaker and reigned for eight years.


Like President George W. Bush, Hastert was a “compassionate conservative” and was noted for his unwavering support of Bush administration policies. A proponent of big government, Hastert facilitated the passage of “Medicare Part D” and “No Child Left Behind”. Post 9/11, he helped Bush’s neocon regime create our present day “Police & Surveillance State”. Hastert was instrumental at passing the Orwellian legislation needed to form the Department of Homeland Insecurity (costing about $700 billion since its inception to date) and implement the unconstitutional Patriot Act. Further, he was a huge cheerleader for U. S. military adventurism that got us into Vietnam like “no-win” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Denny Hastert is also noted as having a plethora of connections with lobbyists in the military-industrial-security complex as well as being accused of some “shady” real estate deals in Illinois. In fact, his “wheeler-dealer” networking continues to this day; not as a U. S. representative but as a lobbyist. That’s just the nature of the “revolving door” policy in Washington. Truth be told, the system is “rigged” and Hastert is simply a creature of the system.


So what really happened to Denny Hastert? He was liked by peers of both parties and his meteoric rise in politics was evidence of this. His crony colleagues in Congress were “shocked” at the allegations against him. Or are they? How and why could a nice guy like “Denny” get in so much trouble with the Feds?


Not for the charge of sexual abuse. Despite the sensational “buzz” created by the prestitute media regarding Hastert’s alleged acts of homosexuality and pedophilia while he was a teacher, no charges were brought against him. And as bad as sexual abuse is, it is embedded in the Washington culture. Just follow Bill Clinton’s antics. Or former Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and the underage male prostitution ring he ran out of his house. And don’t forget the infamous “Franklin Child Prostitution Ring” ; a massive GOP cover-up that transpired from 1988 to 1991. This debauchery has been going on forever. Moreover, Hastert wasn’t indicted on a charge of illegally paying someone money either.


So if Denny Hastert wasn’t indicted for sexual abuse or illegally giving money to another party, then what was the recent indictment all about? In essence, the Hastert indictment is twofold:


First, he was indicted for withdrawing “his money” from a bank the “wrong way”. Specifically, this is referred to as “structuring” where repeated withdrawal amounts of less than $10,000 are “intentionally” made to avoid government reporting by the bank. The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 requires that all banks generate “cash transaction reports”, where any cash withdrawal of $10,000 or more must be reported to the government. At the outset, mandatory reporting of “large” cash transactions was intended to help authorities detect organized crime activity and tax evaders. However, since 1970, politicians set further restrictions on how cash may be moved around. In 1986, Congress banned “structuring” and started requiring banks to report even smaller but “potentially suspicious” transactions in 1992. The 2001 Patriot Act added even more stringent reporting requirements. Ironically, Hastert was charged with illegally “structuring” the withdrawal of $952,000 in significantly smaller recurring amounts to avoid detection.


Second, Hastert was indicted for making false statements to the FBI concerning what he did with his own money. Federal authorities claim he was paying “hush money” to an unnamed person from Yorkville, IL for a wrongdoing that transpired decades ago, agreeing to make payments to the amount of $3.5 million dollars. The Feds further claim the payments were to “compensate for and conceal Hastert’s prior misconduct”. Circumstances indicate one of Hastert’s former students was involved. Each of the foregoing charges carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine according to federal prosecutors.


The REAL STORY is contained in the Hastert indictment, particularly the first part regarding STRUCTURING. Although it’s not illegal to repeatedly withdraw small amounts of cash from your bank account, doing so may trigger a visit from the Feds. The government says this is not a problem so long as your “intention” is not to evade the $10,000 detection threshold. Really? Although the “burden of proof” falls on the government, try proving your “intention” in a court of law especially if there is an overzealous federal prosecutor. According to a recent NY Times article, attorney Peter Djinis, who was Executive Assistant Director for Regulatory Policy at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the arm of the Treasury Department that enforces these rules said: “Prosecutions for structuring without any charge of an underlying offense with the money are not unusual. In many cases, the most attractive route to take when you can’t prove the underlying crime is to go with the activity that’s in front of you.” It should be obvious the EASY prosecutorial approach ASSUMES the existence of an underlying crime whenever “structured” cash withdrawals are involved. Thus, a person who engages in “structuring” because of a simple aversion to “being monitored” despite having no intention to use the money for an illegal purpose, is committing a crime in the “all seeing government eye”.


If the Feds are hell bent to continue their intrusive monitoring system, as a partial remedy they should at least increase the paltry bank reporting threshold of $10,000 initially set in 1970 to a much higher level commensurate with the devaluation of the dollar. Keep in mind that $10,000 in 1970 is only worth about $1,600 today. Elevating this threshold would clearly provide authorities more “quality time” to catch real criminals instead of harassing everyday American citizens who are not doing anything illegal in the first place.


No, the REAL STORY is not about Denny Hastert’s alleged sexual trysts with underage male students or the possibility that he was paying “hush money” to someone because he was blackmailed due to his licentious behavior. The REAL STORY is about the MASSIVE GOVERNMENT OVERREACH used to indict him and how the financial transactions of ALL American citizens are monitored. It’s also about our RIGHT TO PRIVACY and what we do with OUR money. This is just another area of government intrusion that needs to be rolled back.


On May 28, 2015 former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives, Denny Hastert (R-IL) was indicted by a federal grand jury in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, resulting from an investigation that began in 2013. This is yet another tragedy in the long line of tragedies for America’s contemporary political figures. Government corruption and miscreant behavior among politicians is seemingly endless.

Before discussing what really happened to Denny Hastert and why it’s important to Americans, some background information is in order:

Hastert arose from virtual obscurity as a high school history/economics teacher and wrestling coach in rural Yorkville, IL. He first attained national visibility upon entering the political scene in the early 1980’s during the first term of the “Reagan Revolution”. After a couple of unsuccessful congressional bids, he was finally elected to the U. S. House in 1987. He represented the 14th Congressional District of Illinois and served until his resignation 2007. During his twenty year tenure in the House, Hastert quickly ascended through the Republican ranks becoming Chief Deputy Whip and eventually Speaker of the House in 1999. Denny Hastert remains the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in U. S. history.

Hastert was chosen as Speaker mostly because of his “go along, to get along” non-confrontational style. This was something establishment Republicans longed for after former Speaker Newt Gingrich crapped all over his colleagues during the 1998 mid-term election. Gingrich’s bulldog approach coupled with relentless promotion of the Monica Lewinsky scandal during his reelection campaign alienated many voters who still liked Bill Clinton despite his extramarital affairs. Although Newt was reelected and the Republicans remained in control of the House, the party as a whole did poorly and he was under enormous pressure to resign. Subsequently, Hastert became the new Speaker and reigned for eight years.

Like President George W. Bush, Hastert was a “compassionate conservative” and was noted for his unwavering support of Bush administration policies. A proponent of big government, Hastert facilitated the passage of “Medicare Part D” and “No Child Left Behind”. Post 9/11, he helped Bush’s neocon regime create our present day “Police & Surveillance State”. Hastert was instrumental at passing the Orwellian legislation needed to form the Department of Homeland Insecurity (costing about $700 billion since its inception to date) and implement the unconstitutional Patriot Act. Further, he was a huge cheerleader for U. S. military adventurism that got us into Vietnam like “no-win” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Denny Hastert is also noted as having a plethora of connections with lobbyists in the military-industrial-security complex as well as being accused of some “shady” real estate deals in Illinois. In fact, his “wheeler-dealer” networking continues to this day; not as a U. S. representative but as a lobbyist. That’s just the nature of the “revolving door” policy in Washington. Truth be told, the system is “rigged” and Hastert is simply a creature of the system.

So what really happened to Denny Hastert? He was liked by peers of both parties and his meteoric rise in politics was evidence of this. His crony colleagues in Congress were “shocked” at the allegations against him. Or are they? How and why could a nice guy like “Denny” get in so much trouble with the Feds?

Not for the charge of sexual abuse. Despite the sensational “buzz” created by the prestitute media regarding Hastert’s alleged acts of homosexuality and pedophilia while he was a teacher, no charges were brought against him. And as bad as sexual abuse is, it is embedded in the Washington culture. Just follow Bill Clinton’s antics. Or former Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and the underage male prostitution ring he ran out of his house. And don’t forget the infamous “Franklin Child Prostitution Ring” ; a massive GOP cover-up that transpired from 1988 to 1991. This debauchery has been going on forever. Moreover, Hastert wasn’t indicted on a charge of illegally paying someone money either.

So if Denny Hastert wasn’t indicted for sexual abuse or illegally giving money to another party, then what was the recent indictment all about? In essence, the Hastert indictment is twofold:

First, he was indicted for withdrawing “his money” from a bank the “wrong way”. Specifically, this is referred to as “structuring” where repeated withdrawal amounts of less than $10,000 are “intentionally” made to avoid government reporting by the bank. The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 requires that all banks generate “cash transaction reports”, where any cash withdrawal of $10,000 or more must be reported to the government. At the outset, mandatory reporting of “large” cash transactions was intended to help authorities detect organized crime activity and tax evaders. However, since 1970, politicians set further restrictions on how cash may be moved around. In 1986, Congress banned “structuring” and started requiring banks to report even smaller but “potentially suspicious” transactions in 1992. The 2001 Patriot Act added even more stringent reporting requirements. Ironically, Hastert was charged with illegally “structuring” the withdrawal of $952,000 in significantly smaller recurring amounts to avoid detection.

Second, Hastert was indicted for making false statements to the FBI concerning what he did with his own money. Federal authorities claim he was paying “hush money” to an unnamed person from Yorkville, IL for a wrongdoing that transpired decades ago, agreeing to make payments to the amount of $3.5 million dollars. The Feds further claim the payments were to “compensate for and conceal Hastert’s prior misconduct”. Circumstances indicate one of Hastert’s former students was involved. Each of the foregoing charges carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine according to federal prosecutors.

The REAL STORY is contained in the Hastert indictment, particularly the first part regarding STRUCTURING. Although it’s not illegal to repeatedly withdraw small amounts of cash from your bank account, doing so may trigger a visit from the Feds. The government says this is not a problem so long as your “intention” is not to evade the $10,000 detection threshold. Really? Although the “burden of proof” falls on the government, try proving your “intention” in a court of law especially if there is an overzealous federal prosecutor. According to a recent NY Times article, attorney Peter Djinis, who was Executive Assistant Director for Regulatory Policy at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the arm of the Treasury Department that enforces these rules said: “Prosecutions for structuring without any charge of an underlying offense with the money are not unusual. In many cases, the most attractive route to take when you can’t prove the underlying crime is to go with the activity that’s in front of you.” It should be obvious the EASY prosecutorial approach ASSUMES the existence of an underlying crime whenever “structured” cash withdrawals are involved. Thus, a person who engages in “structuring” because of a simple aversion to “being monitored” despite having no intention to use the money for an illegal purpose, is committing a crime in the “all seeing government eye”.

If the Feds are hell bent to continue their intrusive monitoring system, as a partial remedy they should at least increase the paltry bank reporting threshold of $10,000 initially set in 1970 to a much higher level commensurate with the devaluation of the dollar. Keep in mind that $10,000 in 1970 is only worth about $1,600 today. Elevating this threshold would clearly provide authorities more “quality time” to catch real criminals instead of harassing everyday American citizens who are not doing anything illegal in the first place.

No, the REAL STORY is not about Denny Hastert’s alleged sexual trysts with underage male students or the possibility that he was paying “hush money” to someone because he was blackmailed due to his licentious behavior. The REAL STORY is about the MASSIVE GOVERNMENT OVERREACH used to indict him and how the financial transactions of ALL American citizens are monitored. It’s also about our RIGHT TO PRIVACY and what we do with OUR money. This is just another area of government intrusion that needs to be rolled back.