CHICAGO (CBS) — Attorneys for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert have told a federal judge he intends to plead guilty in a case alleging he agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to cover up misconduct from before his time in politics.
There has been talk of a possible plea deal for weeks, and on Thursday, defense attorneys and prosecutors informed U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin that Hastert has worked out a written plea agreement, which will be submitted to the judge on Monday.READ MORE: Frontier Airlines To Expand Service To Midway International Airport In April
Durkin granted a request from Hastert’s attorneys to schedule an Oct. 28 change of plea hearing. Hastert himself was not in court for the brief hearing.
Prosecutors acknowledged the plea deal could fall through, but they expect Hastert to plead guilty.
Terms of the plea deal, including which count or counts Hastert would plead guilty to, and any possible sentence recommendations, have yet to be made public.
One former prosecutor said Hastert likely will get some prison time. Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor who now heads the Chicago security firm Kroll, said in a case where money structuring is involved, there is usually a 5-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
“I’d be surprised if – given the allegations – if the prosecutors would agree to a period of probation; not just who he was, that’s irrelevant, but the fact is he structured these transactions over 100 times,” he said.READ MORE: Cook County Opening 3 Mass Vaccination Sites This Week