Hastert suffered stroke in November, lawyer says

Story highlights

  • Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert suffered a stroke and has been hospitalized since early November
  • Hastert agreed in October to plead guilty to hiding money transactions from federal investigators

Washington (CNN)Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert suffered a stroke and has been hospitalized since early November, shortly after he pleaded guilty in a federal hush-money case, his lawyer said Thursday.

"During the first week of November, our client, Dennis Hastert, was admitted to the hospital," Tom Green, Hastert's lawyer, said in a statement. "Mr. Hastert has suffered a stroke and has been treated for sepsis. While in the hospital, two surgeries on his back were performed. We are hopeful that Mr. Hastert will be released from the hospital in the early part of the new year. The family very much desires that during Mr. Hastert's continued hospitalization his privacy will be respected."
Hastert agreed in October to plead guilty to hiding money transactions from federal investigators, averting a public trial. Federal prosecutors alleged that he had structured payments to avoid federal reporting requirements as part of an agreement to pay $3.5 million in hush money to someone he had "wronged" in the past.
    Prosecutors never detailed what the alleged "wrong" Hastert was paying to cover up. But two sources with knowledge of the federal investigation told CNN in June that Hastert was paying a former student to stay quiet about allegations of sexual abuse from when he was a wrestling coach and teacher in Yorkville, Illinois.
    Hastert's sentencing hearing has been scheduled for February 29.