Dennis Hastert Pleads Guilty, Acknowledges Hush-Money Scheme

Chicago (AP) — Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty Wednesday to evading banking laws in a hush-money scheme, averting a potentially lurid trial that could have dredged up sexual allegations by agreeing to a deal with prosecutors that recommended he serve no more than six months in prison. In the written agreement, the Illinois Republican directly acknowledged for the first time that he sought to pay someone $3.5 million to hide misconduct by Hastert against that person dating back several decades, to around the time the longtime GOP leader was a high school wrestling coach. Before accepting the plea, the 73-year-old was warned by the judge that he could go beyond the recommendation and give Hastert up to five years behind bars when he is sentenced in February.