Barry Pollack was quoted regarding accusations that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert violated federal laws against "structuring" or making purposefully low cash withdrawals to avoid federal banking regulations. Hastert, however, is not being prosecuted for alleged wrongful misconduct toward an unidentified individual. "In most cases, the government alleges that the reason the defendant engaged in structuring was to hide criminal conduct. What is extraordinary in this case is that the premise may be that what Speaker Hastert was trying to hide was that he was the victim of extortion," Pollack said.
Allegedly, details of Hastert's "prior misconduct" were withheld from the indictment at least in part at the request of Hastert's lawyers. Pollack said if that is true, one explanation might be that prosecutors are still hoping to reach a deal. "It looks like the government recognizes that the speaker was being extorted and must have accepted the argument that it would be inappropriate for the government to reveal the very fact that Individual A was threatening to disclose," he said. "If there is a public trial, that fact will likely come out. The government may feel that the speaker may be incentivized to enter a plea that does not disclose the prior misconduct."