SICK: Republicans Write Letters Supporting Child Molester

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who molested children, received some support from his fellow Republicans as they submitted letters asking for leniency for Hastert after a recent conviction.

Dennis Hastert’s legal team filed dozens of letters in federal court in Chicago on Friday from individuals expressing support for the former House speaker in preparation for his sentencing on Wednesday.

Rep. Tom DeLay, the former House majority whip who helped position Hastert for his role as speaker, wrote that he is a man of “strong faith” and “great integrity.”

Hastert pleaded guilty of setting up payments of at least $900,000 in order to silence a high school student he sexually abused while he worked as a wrestling coach in suburban Illinois. Two more students also allege that Hastert abused them, and the sister of a deceased student says Hastert abused her sibling as well.

Hastert, a conservative Republican, served as Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007. During that time he was part of the movement to impeach President Bill Clinton over an extramarital affair. Hastert had already committed his offenses by then.

Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was often the true muscle at Hastert’s side during his time as second in line to the presidency, was not the only Republican who submitted letters asking for leniency for Hastert, due to his age and health problems.

In addition to DeLay and members of Hastert’s family, Hastert’s former GOP colleagues Reps. Thomas Ewing, David Dreier, Porter Goss and John Doolittle also submitted letters of support. The letters were initially submitted under seal, but Durkin said they had to be filed publicly in order to be considered at Hastert’s sentencing.

In 2015, former Hastert student Steve Reinboldt’s sister Jolene gave an interview to ABC News. She told them that her brother confessed to her that his first sexual experience was with Dennis Hastert, and that he never told anyone because he was afraid nobody would believe him. Her brother told her that Hastert abused him for all four years of high school because he served as equipment manager for the wrestling team and had easy access to him.

During his time as Speaker of the House, Hastert reportedly worked with other Republicans to cover-up allegations that Rep. Mark Foley had engaged in inappropriate relationships with young Congressional pages.

Featured image via Wikimedia