"I can't sentence you for being a child molester"--judge to Hastert
April 27, 2016 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert admitted to sexually abusing boys on his wrestling team. He was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for structuring bank withdrawals, after a hearing in which "Individual D" took the stand, identifying himself as 53 year old Scott Cross (brother of a former GOP political ally of Hastert), and described Hastert's abuse. These are the Chicago Tribune's live tweets from the sentencing hearing. [Trigger Warning]
posted by OmieWise (116 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just a reminder that Dennis Hastert as Speaker of the House in 2003 said that we need "to put repeat child molesters into jail for the rest of their lives." In 2016, Repeat Child Molester Hastert said he shouldn't serve any jail time because just getting caught has been embarrassing enough to serve as punishment.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:57 AM on April 27, 2016 [302 favorites]


May I humbly suggest the GOP quit passing bigoted laws aimed at giving people a false sense of protection against fake bogeymen and devote those resources to, you know, ensuring their leadership isn't going around raping children. Just a thought.
posted by sallybrown at 10:01 AM on April 27, 2016 [65 favorites]


FWIW he isn't serving a single moment for molesting children, his only crime is avoiding federal reporting requirements for cash withdrawals.

Years of monstrous sexual abuse of minors: whatevs
Breaking Monopoly rules: mildly bad I guess
posted by beerperson at 10:02 AM on April 27, 2016 [33 favorites]


And, as has been going around Twitter for a while, this man was two deaths away from being president for 8 years. jfc
posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:04 AM on April 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


A perfect example of sanctioned insanity.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:05 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


The hubris here is staggering — Hastert got the FBI involved because he said “Individual A” was threatening to extort him over an allegation of sexual abuse that Hastert says never happened. But the feds found Individual A more plausible and turned their investigation onto Hastert himself.

It's disheartening how many serial sexual predators are only exposed far after the fact through single events like this, as though it's the default for them to get away with it unless random happenstance intervenes. The reasons for this are obvious but that doesn't make it any easier to stomach.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Jesus Christ people do more time for minor drug offenses, people have done more time WAITING TO BE CHARGED WITH A CRIME
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2016 [94 favorites]


Well, they eventually got Al Capone for tax evasion. Better than nothing, I guess.
posted by indubitable at 10:07 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I mean, who does this:
...Hastert approached Tom Cross for a letter of support at sentencing even though Cross’ brother was one of the alleged sex abuse victims.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:07 AM on April 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


I mean, who does this:
...Hastert approached Tom Cross for a letter of support at sentencing even though Cross’ brother was one of the alleged sex abuse victims.

Someone who's molested enough kids that they forgot the names.
posted by dismas at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2016 [101 favorites]


Just a reminder that 60 leading republicans wrote letters of support for this serial pedophile and they fought tooth and nail so that the letters wouldn't be released. Eventually, 19 were withdrawn rather than going public in supporting said serial pedophile.
posted by Talez at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2016 [52 favorites]


Jason Meisner: More than 40 letters in support of Hastert made public before sentencing
Hastert's supporters included a handful of former national and state politicians as well as local leaders, board members, police officers and others from his home base in rural Kendall County.

Also writing were several members of Illinois' wrestling community, including Leo Kocher, the head wrestling coach at the University of Chicago, and David Kapple, who wrestled on a state championship team Hastert coached in the early 1970s at Yorkville High School — where federal prosecutors alleged Hastert sexually abused at least five students.

Kapple described Hastert as a tireless and inspirational leader who "drove dozens of young men and sponsors thousands of miles every summer" to wrestling events throughout the country, all so they could "experience the opportunities of our lifetimes."

Tyrone Fahner, a former Illinois attorney general, said he knew Hastert to be "a kind, strong, principled, and unselfish man."

"I urge 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," Fahner wrote in a letter dated March 8.

Among other notable politicians to write in support of Hastert were former U.S. Rep. Porter Goss, also a former CIA director, who spoke of Hastert's reputation in Congress as "Mr. Main Street, America."

At least two of the former lawmakers who submitted letters have had legal troubles of their own. DeLay was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison on money laundering and conspiracy charges stemming from the scandal involving super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, but the case was later overturned. John Doolittle, a former California representative who was also implicated in the Abramoff scandal but was never charged, wrote that the down-to-earth Hastert was known among colleagues on Capitol Hill simply as "Coach."
posted by zombieflanders at 10:10 AM on April 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Let's also remember that Hastert seemed to have been covering for another sexual predator, Mark Foley, while he was Speaker. That whole incident now looks so much more awful than we could even have imagined.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:10 AM on April 27, 2016 [23 favorites]


Let's also remember that Hastert seemed to have been covering for another sexual predator, Mark Foley, while he was Speaker. That whole incident now looks so much more awful than we could even have imagined.

I'm starting to think that republicans fear gay pedophile predators because so many of their colleagues are that.
posted by Talez at 10:12 AM on April 27, 2016 [47 favorites]



FWIW he isn't serving a single moment for molesting children, his only crime is avoiding federal reporting requirements for cash withdrawals.

Years of monstrous sexual abuse of minors: whatevs
Breaking Monopoly rules: mildly bad I guess


I'm totally, totally in favor of statues of limitations in most cases, but I think we need to take a really serious look at them in the context of crimes involving minors. It's clear that, for a variety of reasons, victims who are children at the time of any sort of abuse don't come forward quickly and this means that a legal concept designed to protect people from stuff like government harassment years after the fact (I think, not a legal scholar, whatever) instead serves as cover for people who have harmed children and prevents the kids from seeing any sort of consequence for their abusers.

I hate that we have these crazy sex offender registries that are basically a life sentence but if you can intimidate and shame the children you are hurting into not telling anyone for long enough there's nothing we can do. I'd really like the statue of limitations in these cases revisited so people aren't rewarded for scarring children SO BADLY that they don't want to tell anyone and the victims see that SOMETHING is being done to protect them, even years later.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2016 [70 favorites]


Actually the staggering hubris is that he helped pass the damn law about structuring bank withdrawals that he deliberately violated. (The FBI actually began investigating the withdrawals independently, possibly after being tipped off by one of the victim's family members, says the scuttlebutt in Illinois; Hastert lied to them repeatedly to try to keep them from finding out about the molestation. Hastert did not want the FBI involved because he knew he was in big trouble.)

The other thing that's boggling my mind a bit is that one of the victims, who was probably technically blackmailing Hastert, is now suing to get the remainder of the hush money paid. I ... both applaud this and didn't know you could do that?

(For non-Americans reading, the reason he can't be tried for the molestation charges is that the statute of limitations in Illinois, prior to 2014, was fairly short and has long since lapsed. It is much longer, and I think in some cases indefinite, for sexual crimes against children committed after 2014.)

"I'm starting to think that republicans fear gay pedophile predators because so many of their colleagues are that."

I have reached the point where I just assume any nationally-prominent Republican politician concerned about legislating other people's sexual immorality is busily engaging in that specific form of sexual immorality. Always on about the sanctity of marriage? Probably an adulterer. Hate the gays? Probably on the down low. Campaigning against abortion? Probably paid for at least two for former mistresses.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:21 AM on April 27, 2016 [101 favorites]


This seems about right.
posted by slogger at 10:23 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm starting to think that republicans fear gay pedophile predators because so many of their colleagues are that.

Exactly this. Why do these people think that guys are going to start cross-dressing in order to assault women in public restrooms or that some slavering pedophile will snatch up any child allowed to walk home from school or whatever? Because that's what they would do given the chance, and they have no sense of a world outside of their own experience, therefore their own evil must reflect the world.
posted by cmoj at 10:24 AM on April 27, 2016 [36 favorites]


> Someone who's molested enough kids that they forgot the names.

It's quite possible that Hastert's ability for denial was so great that he managed to convince himself that he didn't actually do the things he did. Like, he had psychologically dissociated from the events. I don't remember that happening, therefore this person must be trying to extort me.

This was actually mentioned by Hastert's defense attorney, though I don't know why; it's not a mitigating factor at all. On the contrary — someone with such profound psychological damage would strike me as a poor candidate for rehabilitation.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:25 AM on April 27, 2016


I'm totally, totally in favor of statues of limitations in most cases, but I think we need to take a really serious look at them in the context of crimes involving minors. It's clear that, for a variety of reasons, victims who are children at the time of any sort of abuse don't come forward quickly and this means that a legal concept designed to protect people from stuff like government harassment years after the fact (I think, not a legal scholar, whatever) instead serves as cover for people who have harmed children and prevents the kids from seeing any sort of consequence for their abusers.

The counterargument, and unfortunately it's a pretty strong one, is that if you drag things out too long you get stuff like the Satanic ritual abuse panic. Really we just need to do a better job of listening to kids and investigating these cases early and thoroughly, before the trails go cold. (Not that I would be remotely opposed to bending statutes of limitations on a newly-discovered/newly-available evidence basis in cases like this.)
posted by fifthrider at 10:28 AM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


who was probably technically blackmailing Hastert, is now suing to get the remainder of the hush money paid. I ... both applaud this and didn't know you could do that?

from what I understand, the victim confronted Hastert and he then entered into an oral contract to pay the money. He's being sued for breach of contract.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:29 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Anyone have any theories why the prosecution was asking for the maximum sentence under the guidelines (6 months) instead of the maximum penalty allowed by law (five years)?

I'm glad the judge gave more than the prosecutor asked for, although wish he would have given the max sentence (oh, he's very ill? guess he'll die in jail then).
posted by el io at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Republican Hypocrites Who Led the Impeachment of Bill Clinton: "Things have come full circle now, with all the key Republican players in the Clinton impeachment hearings proven now to be hypocrites and liars."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2016 [45 favorites]


May I humbly suggest the GOP quit passing bigoted laws aimed at giving people a false sense of protection against fake bogeymen and devote those resources to, you know, ensuring their leadership isn't going around raping children. Just a thought.

The Minnesota Republican Party tried to bring up an anti-transgender bathroom bill. Kinda ironic considering US Senator Larry Craig, a republican, plead guilty to trying to hookup with someone in an MSP bathroom.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


For non-Americans reading

The concept of a statute of limitations isn't unique to America. Other common law jurisdictions have it, as do civil law jurisdictions where they're known as "periods of prescription". I think most MeFites live in countries with some type of these laws.

a legal concept designed to protect people from stuff like government harassment years after the fact

That's one reason for them. Another that applies here is to protect the rights of the accused, because for crimes that happened long enough ago witnesses may be impossible to find or dead, physical evidence may have long been lost, damaged, or destroyed, etc., all of which hinder the ability of the accused to defend themselves against state claims. It's hard enough for people to prove where they were and what they were doing a few months ago, let alone 40 years ago.

It's a very difficult area because you have to balance the rights of the accused against getting justice for victims.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:33 AM on April 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


> The concept of a statute of limitations isn't unique to America.

The quirk that statutes of limitations are usually set by states and not the federal government, though not unique to America, would not exactly be obvious to all outside observers.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:34 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Can we call him Dennis "Short Eyes" Hastert from now on?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:35 AM on April 27, 2016


Really we just need to do a better job of listening to kids and investigating these cases early and thoroughly, before the trails go cold.

Honestly, the man had a recliner-type chair situated in the locker room where he could sit and watch the boys shower. This isn't just about listening to kids, it's about all the other adults who saw this setup (certainly janitors but probably a lot of other adults) and who never said a thing.

This also gets into class issues ("The Help should never speak poorly of The Masters"), but I mean, like really? Sitting a comfy chair where you can watch boys shower is a pretty big warning sign. I would have thought that was weird if I encountered it even at the age of the boys.
posted by hippybear at 10:35 AM on April 27, 2016 [36 favorites]


On the not bright but slightly less grim side, he's almost certainly going to be in segregated custody for his incarceration. Even among criminals there's a pecking order, and being known to have preyed on kids makes you a target.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:39 AM on April 27, 2016


I really don't understand how this isn't the only story on the national news for weeks at a time. The Jerry Sandusky thing took over all media for a month or more in 2011, and he was just an old football coach nobody really cared about. This is the former Speaker of the goddamn House. This is kind of a big deal, one of the most noteworthy stories I can remember in my lifetime. If John Grisham wrote a book with this plot, it would be dismissed as outlandish, and yet it really happened. Where is the media?
posted by kevinbelt at 10:40 AM on April 27, 2016 [58 favorites]


I'm just amazed that this has been such a non-issue in the election. It's been in the news but hasn't come up at all really in any campaign, and you'd think the former Republican Speaker of the House being a child molester would be a huge deal.

On preview: jinx, kevinbelt.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:43 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is kind of a big deal, one of the most noteworthy stories I can remember in my lifetime... Where is the media?

Jerry Sandusky was a football coach, a pillar of the community. It was completely unexpected he would be so evil. That's what made it such a story.

Hastert was a Republican Speaker of the House.
posted by explosion at 10:43 AM on April 27, 2016 [90 favorites]


On the not bright but slightly less grim side, he's almost certainly going to be in segregated custody for his incarceration. Even among criminals there's a pecking order, and being known to have preyed on kids makes you a target.

Unlikely. He'll be in a medical center with a SOMP. They put all the child sex predators together so they don't have to worry too much about them killing each other.
posted by Talez at 10:43 AM on April 27, 2016


I'm just amazed that this has been such a non-issue in the election. It's been in the news but hasn't come up at all really in any campaign, and you'd think the former Republican Speaker of the House being a child molester would be a huge deal.

The republicans are not exactly running on their house record.
posted by srboisvert at 10:44 AM on April 27, 2016


Anyone have any theories why the prosecution was asking for the maximum sentence under the guidelines (6 months) instead of the maximum penalty allowed by law (five years)?

Getting an upwards departure from the guidelines is challenging and increases the odds of a successful appeal. (If not specifically provided against in the plea agreement, you can appeal a sentence even if you plead guilty.)
posted by praemunire at 10:45 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's been in the news but hasn't come up at all really in any campaign, and you'd think the former Republican Speaker of the House being a child molester would be a huge deal.

I imagine it will be in the General, every single time Republicans try to go after Clinton based on events from the Hastert era.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:45 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Unlikely. He'll be in a medical center with a SOMP.

Probably the medical center at Butner.
posted by praemunire at 10:47 AM on April 27, 2016


oh, he's very ill? guess he'll die in jail then

Gosh, that would just be terrible, wouldn't it?
posted by tobascodagama at 10:48 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to think that republicans fear gay pedophile predators because so many of their colleagues are that.

As a gay man I am bothered by this. Hastert is human trash. He is a pedophile. Can we not qualify that with gay as if that somehow makes it worse?

Or pretend that Republicans actually care one whit about protecting children when they really have been calling queer and trans people sexual predators for decades because they actually just hate queer and trans people.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:49 AM on April 27, 2016 [96 favorites]


I really don't understand how this isn't the only story on the national news for weeks at a time.

Around the time no one went to jail for the horrible, criminal mismanagement of Hurricane Katerina I figured we went into a post-scandal political scene., futher proof appeared when no one who crashed the economy into a lamppost paid so much as a fine, nonstop mass shootings, police brazenly getting away with murder on camera , just confirms the old metafilter joke "Surely this!"

Nope, no is going to jail, nothing is going to be so bad reform happens, and it's just going to get worse.
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 AM on April 27, 2016 [17 favorites]


> Years of monstrous sexual abuse of minors: whatevs
Breaking Monopoly rules: mildly bad I guess


He's being punished for not being able to competently handle his hush-money situations like a true member of the ruling class.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:50 AM on April 27, 2016 [19 favorites]


What a travesty of justice!

What can we do to ensure that Hastert pays more dearly than a 6-month slap on the wrist for these multiple rapes of children?

An online petition? Crowdfund a TV spot? Make his name synonymous with child molestation, a la Santorum?

(I am hearing it reported on NPR with the quote from the judge saying he was a "serial child molester". Which is, at least, not nothing.)
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 10:51 AM on April 27, 2016


I would have thought that was weird if I encountered it even at the age of the boys.

Andy Richter went to that same high school when Hastert was coaching there, and he remembers that chair. He writes that he hasn't thought of it in 30 years.

My first couple years of high school, I remember there was a gym teacher who would occasionally come into the locker room "to make sure the kids were actually showering." I haven't thought of that in years and years. At the time, I remember resenting the fact that we weren't trusted to just shower and leave. But god it seems creepy in retrospect.
posted by compartment at 10:54 AM on April 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


What a travesty of justice!

What can we do to ensure that Hastert pays more dearly than a 6-month slap on the wrist for these multiple rapes of children?


This confuses me. Hastert couldn't be tried for his molestation because the statute of limitations had lapsed. This wasn't some failure of will or a desire to go easy on poor Denny. I haven't seen anything to suggest that there was a cover-up of the abuse at an earlier time (I mean, by someone other than Hastert).
posted by OmieWise at 10:55 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


"I'm starting to think that republicans fear gay pedophile predators because so many of their colleagues are that."

"Or pretend that Republicans actually care one whit about protecting children when they really have been calling queer and trans people sexual predators for decades because they actually just hate queer and trans people."
This, I think, is a dead serious phenomenon that has impacted acceptance of homosexuality for centuries and continues to quietly be one of the primary obstacles to gay acceptance in a lot of communities, but one that no one has much incentive to talk about. For example, the Catholic church to this day equates homosexuality with pedophilia on an institutional level but when you look at the Catholic churches experience with sex in the priesthood, particularly with their poor models for understanding sexuality, it does make a certain kind of sense that they'd confuse the two. Similarly, the anti-gay laws in Uganda pushed by international Evangelicals, as well as the rhetoric they used to push them, make more sense when you notice just how pervasive, unhindered, and institutionalized active pedophiles are in the international Evangelical community - their undiscussed problems with pedophiles moving from mission to mission continue to dwarf anything found in the Catholic church. Just like the Southern Baptists, whose unaddressed problems with pedophiles today pretty much mirror where the Catholic church was in the early 90s, now form one of the remaining power blocks opposing gay rights.

Of course many republicans fear gay pedophile predators, because for many their only experience with same-sex sex is unspoken and with pedophile predators who are largely indifferent to the sex of their targets. If in fact 4% of Catholic priests were pedophiles in the 90s and these other communities have problems that appear to be at least as bad, with similar poor models for understanding sexuality, its no wonder they're so opposed to gay rights in their inexcusable confusion.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:56 AM on April 27, 2016 [24 favorites]


What can we do to ensure that Hastert pays more dearly than a 6-month slap on the wrist for these multiple rapes of children?

Is there any way to make this a RICO case or an "ongoing criminal enterprise" or whatever the heck Jack McCoy usually comes up with at the end of Law & Order to make us not sad about life? Like each payment for silence is actually a continuation of the original crime such that the SoL hasn't actually run yet?
posted by melissasaurus at 11:07 AM on April 27, 2016


Well, now I at least feel justified in my decade-long campaign to convince everyone to pronounce his last name without the final T. Maybe we can just refer to him as The King In Yellow from here on.
posted by Mayor West at 11:14 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I feel like the grammatical construct of the phrase "the only moral abortion is my abortion" can be reworked to explain almost anything republicans do. "The only moral bribe is my bribe." "The only moral child abuse is my child abuse." It's like they're trying to build a structure of ethics around the concept of "do as I say not as I do. "
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:15 AM on April 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hypocrites.
posted by domo at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2016


"from what I understand, the victim confronted Hastert and he then entered into an oral contract to pay the money. He's being sued for breach of contract."

Yes. I'm just not sure that form of oral contract isn't blackmail, since it was at best an extra-legal "settlement" predicated on the victim keeping quiet. I applaud the lawsuit I'm just ... simultaneously bemused, I guess is the best way to put it. It's a pretty bold move. I'm curious to see what the court thinks.

"The concept of a statute of limitations isn't unique to America."

Indeed; however, I assume you're less likely to be familiar with Illinois's specific failures. If I thought you didn't know what an SoL was, I would have explained what an SoL was, rather than giving specifics about Illinois's statutory history.

"What can we do to ensure that Hastert pays more dearly than a 6-month slap on the wrist for these multiple rapes of children?"

Not much. Although BIG UPs to the FBI for their yeoman's work in making sure the sexual misconduct got uncovered when at first all they were allowed to talk about was the withdrawals. They managed to drop enough hints, without breaking the law, to put the press on the trail. If Hastert's lawyers had their way, all we'd know is he engaged in financial shenanigans. When the first details were breaking we were all like, "Sigh, financial shenanigans from an Illinois politician? QUELLE SURPRISE. But ... wait, this press conference is making it sound really unsavory. They didn't actually SAY anything, did they? No, but somehow that sounded VERY unsavory, and they never said what the withdrawals were for ... I wonder what's being covered up? It must be super-bad ..."

"Like each payment for silence is actually a continuation of the original crime such that the SoL hasn't actually run yet?"

The statute of limitations in Illinois for child sexual crimes was SO short and SO limited when he was committing his crimes that no, probably not. It was extended to a more normal length after the Catholic Church scandals, but that was after Hastert went to DC. (Now, as noted, it's quite long.)

I understand the reasons for having a statute of limitations even on very heinous crimes, but after working with schools for five years and seeing several statutory rape situations involving teachers, I'm maybe 80% convinced that there should be no statute of limitations for school employees for sexual crimes against students. They're in special positions of trust and respect and authority w/r/t children, they are well aware of the law, their crimes can go on undetected for years and years, and they're typically serial abusers. That kind of law would ensure the next Hastert could be prosecuted fully for his crimes even on his deathbed.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:22 AM on April 27, 2016 [29 favorites]


As a former longtime resident of DeKalb, IL, I'd like to apologize for this horrific ratbastard ever being inflicted on the nation as a whole. We knew he was a(n increasingly) huge fucking jerk since the 1980s, but this . . . this? Jesus wept.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2016


Maybe we can just refer to him as The King In Yellow from here on

Having just finished season 1 of True Detective, I approve of this statement.
posted by JohnFromGR at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes. I'm just not sure that form of oral contract isn't blackmail, since it was at best an extra-legal "settlement" predicated on the victim keeping quiet. I applaud the lawsuit I'm just ... simultaneously bemused, I guess is the best way to put it. It's a pretty bold move. I'm curious to see what the court thinks.

This is actually a simpler question than it looks like. Prevailing doctrine is that it's not blackmail if you're demanding something you're otherwise entitled to in exchange for your silence. See United States v. Jackson 180 F.3d 55 (2d Cir. 1999). In that case, defendants appealed from a conviction for "threatening to injure another person's reputation with the intent to extort money" under 18 U.S.C. §875(d) — Ms. Jackson had attempted to get Bill Cosby to pay her $40M to support an illegitimate child of his. (Incidentally, as my criminal law professor dryly noted, Bill Cosby managed to get the FBI to come out to his house on a weekend when he got the demand letter. That's influence.)

Ultimately the Court remanded for a new trial, rejecting a prosecution argument that §875(d) is satisfied without independent wrongfulness because any threat to somebody's reputation is inherently wrongful, finding instead that only threats to reputation that have "no nexus to a claim of right" are inherently wrongful.
posted by fifthrider at 11:31 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


One especially horrible part is how many of the letters of support cite his COACHING as a reason for him to be excused. Um, no, coaching was not a part of his selfless public service, you deluded rape culture captives! IT IS WHAT HE DID TO GAIN ACCESS TO VICTIMS.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:33 AM on April 27, 2016 [65 favorites]


I wasn't suggesting there was a cover up and it's pretty clear that he got as strong of a sentence as was possible under the circumstances. It just seems like there should be more to this than just doing a short amount of time for financial malfeasance. I said it's a travesty of justice, not of the law.

I share in the outrage that's being expressed and I understand that this is probably as good as it's going to get. I just wish we could, collectively, do something more.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 11:34 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's like they're trying to build a structure of ethics around the concept of "do as I say not as I do. "

Newt Gingrich stated that this was the case.
When someone tells you who they are, believe them.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:36 AM on April 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


When I read about Hastert having a La-Z-Boy recliner in the boys' locker room (!) with a view of the showers (!!), I wondered why the hell that didn't ping observers' sketch-o-meter. That didn't strike anyone as weird? Then I remembered that in the 70s, awareness of sexual abuse was in its infancy stage. Authority figures and celebrities were able to get away with a lot more sketchy, creepy stuff then. (Rock stars and underage fans, etc.) I hope that more people are on the lookout for warning signs now. If I had a kid in high school and he came home and said, "Mom, the wrestling coach has a La-Z-Boy set up in the boys' locker room!" I'd be talking to parents and principals ASAP. Seriously, WTF!

And what is it with Republican famblee-values types and sexual deviance anyway? Wasn't it Mike Huckabee who said something to the effect of how he'd have loved to dress up as a woman and go perving in the ladies' washroom? Of course, it's not them, it's the ebil trans people who don't just want to go to the bathroom to pee. Authoritarianism and nonconsensual sexuality, especially men abusing women and children, seem to go hand in hand.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:39 AM on April 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


The blackmail situation had the obvious problem that it let the abuser stay out of jail and continue to abuse others. It should not be legal to enter into a contract like that.
posted by w0mbat at 11:40 AM on April 27, 2016


From the DPRK twitter feed linked to earlier:

Let each worker grasp his axe and cut a mighty supply of firewood before the tree weevils hatch!

This has to be some kind of metaphor for all this.
posted by jabo at 11:43 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


How does the Republican Party still exist?

I am going to go listen to more Prince (healthy, consensual sexuality between adults).
posted by latkes at 11:46 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


(i mean you know that 'DPRK' Twitter feed is fake, right?)
posted by qcubed at 11:47 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have reached the point where I just assume any nationally-prominent Republican politician concerned about legislating other people's sexual immorality is busily engaging in that specific form of sexual immorality.

I wonder how many dildoes Ted Cruz owns.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:48 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ted Cruz. (NSFW)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:51 AM on April 27, 2016


On statute of limitations in child sexual abuse, there's a growing movement to get them removed. In Oklahoma it was led by a women in her 40s who couldn't ever move on her father because he was a well-known local lawyer.

I get the worries about witch hunts, but there are certain felonies that we should not just let go of. There's no statute of limitations on murder (except in crazy circumstances in Florida), for example.
posted by dw at 11:54 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can we call him Dennis "Short Eyes" Hastert from now on?

When I was in prison (New York, early '90s) the meaning of this slang term had changed, and it just signified pornography. I was familiar with the term from the Miguel Pinero play, where it referenced an adult who had sex with a minor. It took me a while to figure out why guys kept asking each other, 'Yo, let me borrow your short eyes.'
posted by layceepee at 12:22 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, now I at least feel justified in my decade-long campaign to convince everyone to pronounce his last name without the final T. Maybe we can just refer to him as The King In Yellow from here on.

Insult to unspeakable eldritch abominations, etc., etc.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:22 PM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I wonder how many dildoes Ted Cruz owns.

i encourage you to tweet this query to his former college roommate
posted by poffin boffin at 12:23 PM on April 27, 2016 [17 favorites]


When I read about Hastert having a La-Z-Boy recliner in the boys' locker room (!) with a view of the showers (!!), I wondered why the hell that didn't ping observers' sketch-o-meter.

During the brief span of time between when I hear someone supporting the NC bathroom law, and the time when I viciously purge that person from my life, I like to remind them that there have been more Republican Congressmen convicted of sexual malfeasance in bathrooms than there have been trans people.
posted by Mayor West at 12:31 PM on April 27, 2016 [49 favorites]


As a former longtime resident of DeKalb, IL, I'd like to apologize for this horrific ratbastard ever being inflicted on the nation as a whole. We knew he was a(n increasingly) huge fucking jerk since the 1980s, but this . . . this?

If you (not you personally, but your fellow voters) knew he was a huge jerk since the 1980's, why did you re-elect him into the 90s?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2016


The shower-watching chair is the jaw-dropping part of the story for me. (In my mind it's a Barcolounger, not a La-Z-Boy.) Even in the 70s anyone paying attention would realize there's something weird about that. I think they just didn't give a shit.

For every serial child rapist out there, there's other people who had some idea something wrong was happening and did nothing.
posted by Nelson at 1:07 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Even in the 70s anyone paying attention would realize there's something weird about that. I think they just didn't give a shit.

From the Andy Richter link in thread, it seems like the reason given for having the chair there was "to keep boys from fighting", which auto-magically justifies the chair's existence if you're not paying close enough attention:

"Wait, why is that chair right in front of the boy's showers?"
"Well, to keep boys from fighting."
"Huh, we don't really have a problem with boys fighting in the shower, do we?"
"And we can thank the chair for that."
posted by 23skidoo at 1:19 PM on April 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


I have reached the point where I just assume any nationally-prominent Republican politician concerned about legislating other people's sexual immorality is busily engaging in that specific form of sexual immorality. Always on about the sanctity of marriage? Probably an adulterer. Hate the gays? Probably on the down low. Campaigning against abortion? Probably paid for at least two for former mistresses.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:21 PM on April 27 [41 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


SO MUCH THIS!
posted by Fizz at 1:20 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I just want to chime in and say we're being pretty unfair to the King in Yellow here. He merely wants to turn people into zombie-like slaves.

So I think he's more of a run of the mill non-abusive Republican.
posted by Caduceus at 1:29 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


If you (not you personally, but your fellow voters) knew he was a huge jerk since the 1980's, why did you re-elect him into the 90s?

I didn't live there after '91, but I'd guess people voted for him for the same reasons that the Bushes and Trumps of the world or people like them get elected or nominated for things. I can't really control the fact that things that make me puke are appealing to other voters or that terrible people often have huge powerbases.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:29 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, I guess this means that no congressmember is going to appeal to the grand tradition of the Hastert Rule anymore.
posted by klangklangston at 1:30 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure they will. They'll just call it something else.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:37 PM on April 27, 2016


Also, one of the letters is from Jeff Probst, but not this Jeff Probst.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:43 PM on April 27, 2016


Is this the same guy who lectured John McCain on the importance of sacrifice? Fucking unbelievable.
posted by jonmc at 2:16 PM on April 27, 2016


We should view pedosadism as expressions of power, social hierarchy, etc. At face value, that sounds uncontroversial, but these guys might really be "demonstrating" power to one another, not just over their victims.

At least that's my take away from stuff like Hastert covering for Foley or the myriad of stories that OpDeathEaters has helped see daylight.

It's plausible these guys use their pedosadism to build trust too, which seems related. In that vein, there is a case that Margret Thatcher knowingly appointed pedophiles so that she could easily destroy them politically if they betrayed her, certainly she covered for them.

In other words, pedosadism is largely a problem caused by power, so as usual the powerful attempt to blame someone else. As Blasdelb mentioned, they traditionally they blame, but sometimes foreigners or minorities. It's yet another case of class struggle basically, except this particular abuse can also manifest writ small as well.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:59 PM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]




From the Andy Richter link in thread, it seems like the reason given for having the chair there was "to keep boys from fighting", which auto-magically justifies the chair's existence if you're not paying close enough attention

I wouldn't be surprised if part of the justification (either to others or to himself) was to keep the boys from any sexually deviant behavior themselves. Which goes right back to suspecting the people making a fuss about patrolling others' sexuality. (He who smelt it?)
posted by threeturtles at 4:34 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


All those people who wrote support letters for Hastert --- let's test their sincerity: insist that those supporters agree to send Hastert out on a camping trip with their kids and/or grandkids.

Oh, you say you won't leave your own kids in Hastert's care for a week? Guess you don't really trust him to be such a great guy after all. Support letter denied!
posted by easily confused at 4:50 PM on April 27, 2016


I had a teacher who used to "monitor" the boys showers because of alleged "horse play". We thought it was weird, and he was sort of creepy but also married with kids at the school, so we wrote it off. I remember telling the story about our weird teacher to a friend in College who immediately said, oh he was probably a pedophile. The idea just hadn't occurred to me, just as I'm sure it didn't occur to many of the boys who showered in front of Hastert.
posted by cell divide at 4:54 PM on April 27, 2016


For what it's worth, Maryland has no statute of limitations for any felony without descending into groundless accusation free-for-all.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:36 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


What Penguin said bears repeating. A serial child molester was third in line to the Presidency for 8 years. And I had thought that subplot in Mother of Storms was farfetched...
posted by Justinian at 5:37 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Several years from now this will be held as one of the main forgotten events of the American Collapse.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 6:21 PM on April 27, 2016


This is life. People are essentially worthless, and we're ruled by greasy, pedophilic morons who are more interested in getting their rocks off than anything else in the world (or pedosadists, I like that neologism). Those who love people and life are marginalized at best, crushed and destroyed at worst, for the benefit of these slimy, hyper-selfish jackwads. It has been, and will always be.

There's a reason Jesus Christ became a thing a few thousand years ago, but guess what, the greasy, pedosadist, slimy creeps took that over, too. The cycle goes on. I mean, we could genetically cull those people out of the human race, say, select against that sort-of behavior over time, but that ain't gonna happen. Absent that, I don't see how this will ever change.

If things don't seem like this to you, maybe you were born with a nice, local life like a loving family. Outside of that the world has the bone-chill of death, no matter where you go. Human life is essentially worthless, even in America, and I doubt that's ever going to change.
posted by gehenna_lion at 7:23 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


events of the American Collapse

I suspect this will be the key piece that eventually fails in our current system.

“How did you go bankrupt?"
Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:27 PM on April 27, 2016


I had forgotten that Hastert became Speaker after Newt Gingrich stepped down (following the 1988 midterm elections where the GOP lost support), but that Hastert was a late substitution. Bob Livingston from Louisiana had been chosen Speaker-elect, but this was in the midst of the ongoing attempts to impeach President Clinton, and Livingston was worried that his own past extramarital affairs would derail efforts toward impeachment. Clearly Hastert felt no such qualms, or at least decided serial child molestation would not technically make him a hypocrite in the impeachment process.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:32 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Speaking of blackmail, I was pondering: 'man, there sure is a weirdly high correlation between scumbags in places of power and dirty inhumane secrets'.

It would be easy enough to picture the self-selecting personality type that would propel that kind of person, both to do unspeakable things and be so egocentric to crave power.

BUT, what about how valuable it is to have someone completely beholden to that secret in a place of power? Could it also be that the real people pulling the strings find guys like Hastert and propel them into places where they have high leverage and will do whatever the puppeteer says to hold their shameful past? That seems plausible and lucrative too.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 7:37 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's something beautiful in the manner of his downfall. Not just that he couldn't have been convicted for the substantive acts, but that he ran afoul of his own legislation when attempting to secure silence through bribery. He could have owned his crime; he could have apologised to his victims; he could have done absolutely nothing and he would have been home free. As it is, though, he's now a felon and his past acts are public record.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:56 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's something beautiful in the manner of his downfall. Not just that he couldn't have been convicted for the substantive acts, but that he ran afoul of his own legislation when attempting to secure silence through bribery. He could have owned his crime; he could have apologised to his victims; he could have done absolutely nothing and he would have been home free. As it is, though, he's now a felon and his past acts are public record.

It'd be nice if this meant something, but it doesn't. If you've got enough power or sway, you can be a felon and still do damn well in this world. The stigma of crime and abuse is only for minorities and the lower classes. Bryan Singer can hold underage sex parties that are documented way beyond anything people could dig up on Bill Cosby, yet he's still being given the reigns of blockbuster franchises.

Someone should come up with a formula that measures power, money, and influence with how many kids you can fuck, or how many women you can rape.
posted by gehenna_lion at 8:01 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I had a teacher who used to "monitor" the boys showers because of alleged "horse play"."

In general students are far more likely to be assaulted (sexually or otherwise) by other students in the lockerroom or bathroom, so there's a real tension between having an adult supervising so those things don't happen, and providing a vector for abusive adults. A lot of schools try to provide auditory monitoring for those spaces (somewhere a teacher can stand and HEAR (and smell) everything but not SEE anything, which is why "maze" entrances to high school bathrooms are so popular), and definitely lockerrooms should have at least two adults present, neither of whose job depends on the other's good opinion, in a "who's watching the watcher" sort of situation. It's a tricky problem because we're so aware now of the ways teachers can abuse their authority and access to students, but the fact is that students are much, much more likely to be victimized by other students and you can't really not have bathrooms.

Anyway if you had one adult monitoring your gym lockerroom prior to about 2000 is was PROBABLY no big deal and the adult was actually there to make sure students didn't try to attack or bully each other while unsupervised and potentially vulnerable. After about 2000 there should definitely be a two-adult situation, though, as everybody's "adults alone with children" policies should have been updated by then.

But you see the problem. "Responsible adult keeping kids from fights and bullying" --> "pedophile creep with an easy chair to watch the showers." So you bring in a second adult, but you don't want a situation where it's an assistant coach whose job depends on the primary coach's goodwill, so you're having to pay a random teacher to hang around for wrestling meets ... anyway, not an easy problem.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:08 PM on April 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


but the fact is that students are much, much more likely to be victimized by other students and you can't really not have bathrooms.

How hard is it to have locked shower stalls? Take all your stuff in with you. Go in with gym clothes, come out in street clothes. Nobody gets near you in between those states.
posted by Talez at 8:14 PM on April 27, 2016


Also in my experience (and probably there are actual statistics on this), you have about 1 teacher in every 2500 who's arrested for some form of sexual misconduct against students each year (ranging from trying to take upskirt photos in the girls' bathroom to this kind of horrifying Hastert thing), which works out to 1 every 10,000 or 15,000 students. Which is a major suburban or small urban district. If your kid goes to a high school of 5,000, probably twice in their high school career a teacher will get fired and arrested for something like this. Which is sort-of comforting in that those are big numbers, but it's also shocking to realize that it's a frequent enough occurrence that we can make those kinds of population guesstimates.

"How hard is it to have locked shower stalls? Take all your stuff in with you. Go in with gym clothes, come out in street clothes. Nobody gets near you in between those states."

Some schools do have this, and I could go into the relatively horrifying ways in which this is ALSO an imperfect solution, but this gist is that anything that students can get into and lock behind them is something students can drag other students into against their will, and lock behind them. (I have read literally thousands of school discipline reports, there is not much I haven't seen in its fail state.) There are a lot of ways to make schools safer, but there is no way to make them perfectly safe against either adult predators who have not yet been detected, OR against other students, who, with their developing prefrontal cortices, can make very bad decisions on the spur of the moment even if they're not bad kids. (And you also have the "bad kids.") Anyone who says they can make your child perfectly safe at school is lying and pandering to you. You use best practices, you use good building design, you use good curriculum to teach kids about safety, but in the end you are mitigating risk, not eliminating it.

(If it had come up in one of our lockerroom redesigns, I would probably have voted for separate curtained shower stalls but not separate locked shower stalls, since the fail state of a curtained shower stall is some poor naked kid having the curtain pulled aside while they're naked, which is hella traumatic, but the fail state of the locked stall is rape.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:29 PM on April 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


"Nope, no is going to jail, nothing is going to be so bad reform happens, and it's just going to get worse."

Someone ripped me a new hole today for being too cynical. I felt bad about this for several hours, and now I'm thinking, "hell, I'm not cynical enough." Which is probably saying something, but.... we are in some dark times and they only do seem to get darker and it's so hard for me to be Positive! and Optimistic! when I'm watching corruption win again and again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:37 PM on April 27, 2016




It's been mentioned a couple times that he was a victim of his own legislation. I can't figure out which law it is, does anyone know?
posted by edeezy at 12:01 AM on April 28, 2016


Oh, well hey, he apologized.
posted by echocollate at 6:28 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Some schools do have this, and I could go into the relatively horrifying ways in which this is ALSO an imperfect solution, but this gist is that anything that students can get into and lock behind them is something students can drag other students into against their will, and lock behind them.

The teacher can stand in the row of stalls or have a chair if they want. Now that the kids aren't visibly naked who cares who stands there. Master key for emergencies. These are all easily solveable problems. So long as the teacher knows one person is in there and the kids can do what they want without being perved on it's a solution, right?
posted by Talez at 6:36 AM on April 28, 2016


Did Foreign Governments Blackmail Denny Hastert?

No.
posted by JohnFromGR at 7:13 AM on April 28, 2016


It's been mentioned a couple times that he was a victim of his own legislation. I can't figure out which law it is, does anyone know?

I think that he helped write the financial structuring laws that he ran afoul of, which is why the FBI came calling, and when he lied about it, well, here we are.
posted by dismas at 7:18 AM on April 28, 2016


Oh hey, just saw this post. I have nothing huge to add, other than fuck this guy and the shit he pulled and if there is a hell, nothing would please me greater than knowing he's going there for all eternity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:21 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Looking at Newseum this morning, I am kinda amazed how many U.S. newspapers have no mention of this on their front pages today.
posted by Gaz Errant at 8:42 AM on April 28, 2016


#OpDeathEaters
posted by jeffburdges at 9:46 AM on April 28, 2016


I just saw this on Twitter:
“By the mid-2000s, Hastert and two partners had amassed 138 acres of farmland outside Plano, Ill., several miles from the proposed site of the Prairie Parkway, a highway connector that would have cut through the northern Illinois countryside.

‘The then-House speaker’s ownership of the property was not a public record, as it was held under a blind land trust called the Little Rock Trust No. 225 … At the time, Hastert was championing the highway, which opponents said would tear up the farming region and hasten its suburbanization.

“Hastert eventually earmarked $207 million for the $1 billion parkway project in a federal transportation bill, which then-President George W. Bush signed during a trip to Hastert’s district in August 2005.

“Four months after the bill was signed, Hastert’s trust sold the land to a real estate developer who planned to build 1,700 homes on the parcel. Hastert’s share of the proceeds was worth more than $3 million…”

Get it? Hastert becomes the single most powerful member of the House. He uses that power to earmark money for a project that vastly increases the value of land he secretly owns. This gives him the millions he will need to buy silence from some he sexually abused as a youth, thus enabling him to stay in power for years.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


IOKIYAR
posted by tobascodagama at 10:12 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand that opdeatheaters thing. Can someone expand on it more? It seems like it turns around a conspiracy theory that pedophiles are coordinated and politically in control, but maybe I'm reading it wrong.
posted by OmieWise at 10:13 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Former Lawmakers Stand By Defense Of Dennis Hastert’s Character. Republicans Thomas Ewing and John Doolittle double down.
posted by Nelson at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, that article shows those guys as just horrible people. If you can't figure out the difference between, say, hanging someone and refusing to insist that they are a nice person after they've admitted to serial sexual abuse, you're moral compass is really fucked.
posted by OmieWise at 12:01 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


In his lengthy remarks, the judge ripped Hastert's attempts to blame Individual A as "unconscionable." His lies led the FBI to open an extortion investigation against Individual A, including pulling his bank records, tapping his phone and conducting surveillance on his activities.

You know, you'd think a little shame might come into play at some point here. Like, you might take a step back at some point and think "Hm, maybe raping this guy as a middle-schooler was enough harm for me to do him in one lifetime." Apparently not.
posted by ostro at 1:20 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


This gives him the millions he will need to buy silence from some he sexually abused as a youth, thus enabling him to stay in power for years.

He didn't start paying the victim until he'd been out of Congress for a few years. I doubt it ever entered his mind as something he'd one day need to worry about, until it started happening.
posted by Etrigan at 1:27 PM on April 28, 2016


"How was Hastert able to keep his secret for so long? Even today, those closest to him on the Hill and in Yorkville, Ill. — both small, insular communities — insist they never had any reason to doubt his reputation as a family man and congenial, if somewhat boring, party stalwart. [...]

"Burdge said the Foley scandal convinced her that she had to come forward. She wrote letters to an advocacy group for victims of priest sex abuse, a prominent defense attorney who had tried several sex abuse cases, ABC News and Oprah Winfrey’s media company. She told all of them that she knew why Hastert hadn’t delved more deeply into complaints about Foley. Only, Burdge was afraid to allow the news organizations to use her name, and she did not want to take on someone of Hastert’s caliber without support. “I didn’t know what could happen to me,” she said. “I didn’t know if I had any rights.” Unable to quote her by name, the news organizations balked. "
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:06 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think it's largely about helping accusations against powerful people build up the steam to overcome the medias' extreme reluctance to publish them, OmieWise, but I do not follow it closely, so maybe they do more.

Anything connected with Anonymous gets flooded with conspiracy theories, so obviously one must ignore anything that sounds too crazy pants, but..

We normally view a conspiracy as an agreement with the connotation that said agreement is clear to the conspirators, that they share goals, etc. Why? People construct implicit agreements all the time. And fight incessantly about breaches of explicit or implicit agreements.

Julian Assange argues in Conspiracy as Governance that conspiracies should be viewed far more widely. No clandestine meetings. Just people with power forming implicit agreements that benefit themselves and harm everyone else. In fact, our legal system's definition of conspiracy lies well in between Assange position and our naive "secret handshakes" picture.

There is a common thread amongst the people I've known well who believed in conspiracy theories I considered silly : They recognized the breadth of what Assange considers conspiracies, but they were not able to turn off those naive ideas, maybe they wanted the bad guys to look like bad guys.

Those original 60 Republicans did not just back Hastert independently. Is it possible Hastert's people lobbied them directly? Yes sure, but I think they influenced one another too. It'd be interesting to know that dynamic.

It'd be especially interesting to know if any of the 20 who retracted their support to avoid their names being made public had original worked to build that support. Is that a conspiracy theory? Yes, but a potentially useful one.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:11 PM on April 28, 2016




Pedophiles employed by NSA have an "unbelievable" amount of child porn on their work PCs

You'd think, they would know if anyone would. And how hard is it to scan work computers for MP4s or whatever?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:22 PM on May 4, 2016


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