Speakers Come and Go

In an odd footnote to Republican Paul Ryan being approved as Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert pled guilty to evading federal banking laws. Hastert was the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House ever.

The guilty plea avoids subjecting Hastert to his day in court, where further details of his misconduct would have to come out. Hastert is guilty of structuring $ 1.7 million in cash withdrawals in order to avoid the notice of bank officials. The cash was apparently hush money used to pay off someone, to cover up sexual misconduct with a male student of of Hastert’s when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach. Hastert was not charged with any sex crimes because of the statute of limitations had run out.

Best of luck to Ryan, who said his nomination “begins a new day in the House of Representatives”.

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Political Irony