Settlement Reached in Dennis Hastert Hush Cash Lawsuit Days Earlier than Trial – NBC Chicago

In the civil suit against the disgraced former speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, an agreement was reached on Wednesday that provisionally put an end to the year-long hush-money case just a few days before the planned trial.

Judge Robert Pilmer, presiding judge for the 23rd Judicial District of Illinois, which includes Kendall County, where the lawsuit was filed, announced Wednesday afternoon that the parties had reached a preliminary settlement after attorneys on both sides showed more than an hour ago the scheduled date were held court proceedings.

“We have agreed in principle, the terms of the agreement are confidential,” said plaintiff’s attorney Kristi Browne after the settlement was announced, adding: “It just depends on us working out a written settlement agreement.”

“I can tell you that all claims between the parties are resolved subject to execution of the settlement agreement,” she said.

Hastert’s attorney, John Ellis, declined to comment.

“I would have loved to try this case, I think it was a good case,” said Browne. “I was very confident about our case from the start, but you know this is what we did and this is a solution my client is happy with.”

The settlement came less than a week after the judge ruled that the plaintiff, referred to only as James Doe in court records, would be identified in court for the first time after the trial began. The selection of the jury should begin on September 20th.

Haster, 79, approx. 85% served a 15-month prison sentence Delivered in 2016 after pleading guilty to a crime of financial crime known as structuring: disguising banking activities by withdrawing large amounts of cash in small denominations to circumvent federal reporting requirements.

Prosecutors said Hastert broke federal banking rules by covering up his $ 1.7 million withdrawals to pay hush money to a former student he made while teaching and wrestling in the 1970s. Sexually abused a coach at Yorkville High School prior to entering politics.

That person filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Hastert in 2016, demanding the unpaid balance of the total of $ 3.5 million in hush money, approximately $ 1.8 million.

Hastert was not charged in connection with the allegations of sexual abuse in part because of the Illinois statute of limitations – within three years of the incident or three years after a minor victim reached the age of 18 – had already expired.

When asked if the judge’s decision to appoint Doe had any impact on the settlement negotiations, Browne said she was unable to disclose communications with her client. But she later said that the deal came as “a bit” of a surprise to her.

“Anything can happen anytime, cases can be settled, but I would have said a few weeks ago that I was pretty sure this case was on trial,” she said.

“Let me say this: It is never over for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. It’s never over It affects her for the rest of her life, ”said Browne. “This solves this case. This solves my client’s claims against Mr. Hastert. It resolves Mr. Hastert’s counterclaim against my client and any litigation issues between them. “

Trump Group Costs: A Probe of Hush Cash Moved to Fringe Advantages

The indictment against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer arose out of an investigation into what appeared to be an unrelated matter: the now infamous $ 130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

The Manhattan Attorney’s investigation into a hush money payment to the alleged lover of former President Donald Trump has since turned into a comprehensive investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices, including whether it was involved in banking, insurance and tax fraud.

This week, an investigation that stalled several times over three years finally reached a courtroom indicting the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg on tax charges. The prosecutor, who works with the New York attorney general, accused the company and its CFO of running a 15-year tax avoidance program by offering Manhattan apartments, luxury cars, and private schooling as off-the-books compensation.

The Trump Organization and Mr. Weisselberg pleaded not guilty, and their lawyers said they would take action against the charges.

The charges go well beyond the investigation’s original focus – the handling of the payment to Ms. Daniels by the Trump Organization, which was supposed to silence her over her allegations of sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. Former prosecutors said Thursday’s charges could become a stepping stone to bringing broader charges against Mr Trump himself if Mr Weisselberg asked for leniency in return for testifying against his longtime boss.

Nationwide Enquirer writer to pay $187,500 advantageous for Trump hush cash fee

The editor of the National Enquirer has agreed: a $ 187,500 fine after the federal electoral commission found it “knowingly and willfully” violated campaign law by paying $ 150,000 to a model who said she had an affair with Donald Trump in order to remain silent during the 2016 presidential election to preserve, according to records released by a campaign finance monitoring group.

The FEC announced the penalty on Tuesday in correspondence with Common Cause, the Filed a complaint Against the Enquirer publisher AMI, Trump and the Trump campaign over the hush money payment to Karen McDougal after news of the supermarket newspaper’s unusual payment to silence a lewd story called “Catch and Kill” became public.

The complaint alleged that the payment was made “for the purpose of influencing the 2016 parliamentary elections”.

In one Letter to Common Cause Paul S. Ryan, vice president of Policy and Litigation, told the agency the board had “reason to believe” that AMI was violating campaign law, but “there were not enough votes to give reason to believe” that the remaining respondents “- the former president and the Trump election campaign -” are in violation of the Federal Campaign Act of 1971 “.

In one signed agreement With the FEC forwarded to Common Cause, an attorney for AMI’s successor A360 LLC agreed that the company would pay the fine and upheld “the Commission’s reasonable belief that these violations were knowledgeable and intentional,” but said that this is not the case to admit the knowing and deliberate aspect of these violations. “

The FEC is expected to publish its results within 30 days. The agency did not want to comment on the documents on Wednesday.

A360 and Trump officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Ryan hailed the fine on AMI as a “win for democracy” but said that “the FEC’s failure to hold former President Trump and his campaign accountable for this violation exposes the FEC’s dysfunction.”

“All other actors were held accountable, but still no responsibility for former President Trump,” said Ryan.

AMI had previously confirmed Pay McDougal, a Playboy model, under a non-prosecutor’s agreement with federal attorneys investigating former Trump attorney Michael Cohen for campaign violations.

Finally Cohen pleaded guilty to help orchestrate the payment to McDougal, as well as a payment to another woman, porn star Stormy Daniels, who said she slept with Trump on a federal criminal case that put him in jail.

Last month the FEC dropped an investigation into whether Trump should face sanctions for paying Daniels after two Republican commissioners voted against the procedure and a third withdrew. The Commissioners who voted against noted that the Commission was facing a significant backlog, arguing that the case was “limited risk” and “not the best use of the Agency’s resources”.

In a comment last month in the Washington Post, one of the Democratic commissioners, Ellen Weintraub, agreed that the agency had a lot of catching up to do, but asked, “Are we too busy to enforce the law against the former President of the United States for his brazen violation of campaign finance laws? on the eve of a presidential election? No.”

Trump has denied having relationships with the model and actress and defended the payments in a 2018 Interview with Fox News.

“They weren’t campaign funding,” he said. “They came from me,” added, “They did not come from the campaign.”

It is believed that the Manhattan Attorney’s Office made payments as part of their Investigation of the finances from Trump’s company Trump Organization.

The six-member FEC board of directors consists of three Republicans, two Democrats, and one Independent. Four commissioners have to agree for a case to go ahead.

Ryan said he was stunned by how the commission could vote for a fine against the Enquirer rather than Trump.

“It is a good use of funds to hold a tabloid to account, but not a former president. That is an amazing and absurd result,” he said.

Ben Kamisar contributed to this.