The work with Saudis and other overseas interests discussed in the story raise many concerns, but there was one aspect of the story that really caught my eye. J. David John is a former business associate who has tried unsuccessfully to bring whistle blower claims against Hastert, whom he claims misused government funds provided for his office as an ex-Speaker for personal business matters. According to John, Hastert had inquired about obtaining information from a financial adviser on annuity plans with large annual payouts shortly after he agreed to make $3.5 million in pay-offs to an alleged sexual abuse victim in exchange for his silence.
After a relatively slow start to his career as a consultant and lobbyist, J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, became very busy in 2010. He was traveling to spots including Singapore and Montreal, meeting with clients about ventures as varied as futures trading and Formula One racing.
He also made an unusual request to one of his business associates: to find a financial adviser who could come up with a plan for an annuity that would generate a substantial cash payout each year. According to the associate, J. David John, the former speaker also asked that the adviser not be told of Mr. Hastert’s involvement.
The request came just a few weeks before Mr. Hastert, according to charges in a federal indictment, made his first payment to a man known as “Individual A” in what was to be a total of $3.5 million. The money, two people briefed on an F.B.I. investigation of Mr. Hastert said, was paid to prevent the man from publicly saying Mr. Hastert sexually abused him decades ago, when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Ill.
“I did not think much about it at the time, but looking back at it, it does seem strange,” Mr. John said. “He just said he needed to generate some cash.” . . .The potential use of an annuity to make the hush payments is of particular interest to me since that is the method former Democratic mayoral candidate Larry Vaughn claimed a government whistle blower told him was being utilized to offer bribes to ten members of the Indianapolis City-County Council in exchange for their support of Mayor Greg Ballard's proposed criminal justice center project. Vaughn claims an FBI agent reached out to him for more information on the allegation after he made the bombshell claim at a meeting of the full council earlier this year.