Embattled former Home Speaker Dennis Hastert has hired veteran Washington white collar criminal defense lawyer Thomas C. Green to head his legal team, ABC News has confirmed.
Green told ABC News he will head up Hastert’s defense on the bank fraud charges that had been laid out in a federal indictment issued two weeks ago. The government has alleged Hastert was paying an individual to conceal “prior misconduct.” Sources knowledgeable of the case told ABC News Hastert was paying a man hundreds of thousands of dollars to hide that Hastert had allegedly sexually abused the person while serving as his teacher and wrestling coach decades ago.
In the weeks top to Tuesday’s scheduled arraignment, Hastert has remained cloistered. No 1 had stepped forward to say they would be representing him or to speak publicly in his defense. Yet another veteran D.C. lawyer, Barry Wm. Levine, appeared on the notice of arraignment filed with the U.S. District Court as Hastert’s lawyer, but he has repeatedly declined to answer any inquiries from reporters.
Green similarly said nothing about his defense plans for Hastert. Nor did he respond to allegations from the sister of a former student of Hastert, who told ABC News in an exclusive interview last week that her late brother had been sexually abused by the one particular-time House Speaker. The lady, Jolene Burdge, stated her brother, Steve Reinboldt, was not the person referenced in the federal indictment against Hastert.
Green’s role in the case was very first reported by The National Law Journal. His firm, Sidley Austin, has deep political ties in Chicago, where the Hastert case was brought. President Obama was a summer season associate at the firm.
Green’s resume reads like a chronology of Washington crisis management. According to the law firm’s web page, Green represented Retired Main General Richard V. Secord during the Iran-Contra investigation. He helped a sitting U.S. senator navigate the Senate Ethics Committee’s inquiry into the banker Charles Keating. And he was involved defending Minnesota Sen. David Durenburger, a Republican, who was censured by the U.S. Senate in 1990 for unethical conduct involving his evasion of limits on speaking fees.