J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was paying an individual to not speak publicly that Mr. Hastert had demonstrated prior misconduct, according to two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation into the payments.

Federal authorities would not identify when the alleged misconduct happened or the nature of it. But the New York Times, citing undisclosed sources, said that an individual told the F.B.I. that there was inappropriate touching by Mr. Hastert when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois.

A top official, who would not be identified, said investigators also spoke with a second person who raised similar allegations that strengthened what the student said.

The disclosures followed Thursday’s federal indictment against Hastert on suspicion of lying to the FBI about the why he made large cash withdrawals, which were allegedly used to buy the person’s cooperation.
Hastert was House speaker for eight years and has been working as a consultant and Washington lobbyist since stepping down from office in 2007.


From June 2010 to April 2012, Hastert made 15 withdrawals of $50,000 each from bank accounts he controlled and paid Individual A that cash about every six weeks, according to the charges. The FBI started investigating the cash withdrawals in 2013. According to the indictment, agents were interested in whether Hastert was using the cash “for a criminal purpose” but were also investigating the possibility that Hastert “was the victim of a criminal extortion related to, among other matters, his prior positions in government.”

Hastert was indicted Thursday for allegedly evading reporting requirements related to the withdrawals and lying to the FBI about the cash used to “compensate” the person, identified in court documents as “Individual A,” for the past conduct. According to documents, the second person was not being paid by Hastert.

Based on the documents, Hastert was trying to store cash because he didn’t feel safe with the banking system, according to the charges.”Yeah … I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing,” Hastert was quoted as saying to federal agents.