Leading Republicans send letters in support of Dennis Hastert, pedophile

Former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been convicted of paying hush money to cover up his raping of children and is about to be sentenced, and his political friends have closed ranks around him.

Tom DeLay sent a letter to the sentencing court stating that "We all have our flaws, but Dennis Hastert has very few...He doesn't deserve what he is going through."

This was one of 60 letters in all -- some from leading Republican figures -- that Hastert's defense tried, but failed, to keep out of the public record.

Some of those who defended Hastert's fundamental goodness, despite his prolific sexual assaults on children:

* Tyrone Fahner, a former Illinois attorney general, called Hastert "a kind, strong, principled, and unselfish man," and asked the court "to permit him to live the rest of his life in freedom with his family and friends, and all those who love and admire him."

Hastert's plea deal has him facing a maximum sentence of six months in prison on the financial crimes charge.

Hastert, 74, faces probation to up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday, although his plea agreement with prosecutors calls for a sentence of no more than six months behind bars. He pleaded guilty in October to one count of illegally structuring bank withdrawals to avoid reporting requirements, admitting in a plea agreement that he'd paid $1.7 million in cash to a person identified only as Individual A to cover up unspecified misconduct from decades earlier.

In a bombshell sentencing memorandum filed earlier this month, prosecutors alleged Hastert had sexually abused at least four wrestlers as well as a former team equipment manager when he was coach at Yorkville. The abuse allegedly occurred in hotel rooms during team trips and in almost-empty locker rooms, often after Hastert coaxed the teens into a compromising position by offering to massage them, prosecutors said.

More than 40 letters in support of Hastert made public before sentencing [Jason Meisner/Chicago Tribune]

Notable Replies

  1. So Dennis Hastert can do sick shit like that and get character references and endorsements by top Republicans, but a transgender person can't even get permission to use the bathroom they'll be most comfortable using without being accused by Republicans of being inclined to do what Hastert actually did.

    The cognitive dissonance is strong with the GOP.

  2. Fef says:

    "He's a man of good Christian character, and you can take it from me, Tom DeLay..."

  3. Remembering Reagan

    And now, Remembering Hastert.

  4. When I was fresh out of high school, I used to work as a filing clerk at the Supreme Court of NSW. The job was to deliver the court files to the judges for whatever cases they were hearing that day.

    It was a braindead monkey job; once you'd been at it for a while, you could easily get your week's work done in two or three days. But if you were seen overtly hanging around doing nothing you'd get in trouble, so I used to kill time in the basement reading old court transcripts.

    Court cases usually don't go in a simple linear fashion from trial to judgement. Instead, a judge will hear a bunch of cases, think about them for a while, then have a "judgement day" when they hand down their decisions on all of their pending cases.

    I remember reading a pair of judgements, handed down by the same judge on the same day. The first was for a bloke who'd been convicted of a string of sex offences against 7-12 year old girls.

    The judgement went on at great length about how the offender was a respected figure in the community, a successful stockbroker who spent his spare time volunteering at the local childcare centre. The judge argued that the damage to his reputation was almost sufficient punishment in itself. In the end, he sentenced him to 6 months minimum, 18 months maximum, with 4 months already served on remand.

    The other case that he dealt with was a guy convicted of importing hashish. He got 22 years.

    Same judge, same day. TANJ.

  5. Chelsea Manning got 35 years for making the government look bad and revealing that US soldiers committed murderous war crimes. Those people who actually committed the war crimes got nothing, except possibly commendations for service.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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