WASHINGTON – Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has hired a top white-collar crime defense attorney to defend him against federal charges that he tried to hide hush money payments and lied to the FBI about it.
Thomas Green, a Washington-based lawyer with Sidley Austin, is representing Hastert, a firm partner confirmed to CNN.
Green has represented clients tied to huge national scandals including Watergate, Iran-Contra, Whitewater and the Keating Five.
On Tuesday afternoon, Hastert pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to the FBI about illegal bank withdrawals.
As part of his bond conditions, Hastert had to turn over his passport and remove any firearms from his property.
Hastert is accused of structuring bank transactions to avoid triggering red flags. Court papers say he agreed to pay a person $3.5 million in hush money to conceal “prior misconduct.”
Federal sources have said that the person was a student at Yorkville High School, where Hastert was a teacher and coach. They say the misconduct was sexual in nature.