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Ex-House Speaker Hastert agrees to plead guilty in hush money case

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WASHINGTON — Attorneys for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert told U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin Thursday they have reached a plea agreement on the charges that he lied to federal investigators about plans to pay someone he had wronged $3.5 million in hush money.

Hastert is scheduled to enter his plea at an October 28 hearing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern Illinois. Only then will the details of the plea agreement be revealed, even though prosecutors submitted a draft of the agreement to the judge sometime before Monday.

Hastert was not in the courtroom for Thursday morning’s hearing.

The Chicago Tribune and other news outlets reported the agreement prior to the U.S. Attorney Office’s announcement.

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.

The indictment details payments and a payment plan to an unidentified “Individual A,” by Hastert. But that person has never been officially identified.

Hastert initially pleaded not guilty to all charges that he lied about the hush money plan. But the plea deal would forgo a possibly damaging and drawn-out public trial.