Let me be perfectly clear: I am no fan of Denny Hastert. He should suffer the consequences of his deplorable actions.
However, let me also be perfectly clear that I am equally horrified at the machinations of the justice system in this particular case. Unfortunately it is equally clear that those actions are now subject to prosecution even though the statute of limitations has long since passed for them.
As a result of his actions, someone he had issues with in the negotiated money with him. Hastert’s actions were only revealed when the government went about questioning how he handled large transactions of his own money. I have written numerous times about practice of structuring and the oftentimes suspicious and overreaching government search and seizures. Hastert was trying to hide what could be considered extortion money. His actual charges were related to his banking transactions, not for anything else, because the statute of limitations had run out.
However, you cannot in any way justify an 18 month jail sentence for money structuring. Everyone admitted that the reason he got such a lengthy penalty was because he couldn’t be charged in the other activities. But how is that justice? Is this what we’ve come to — that you can now actually penalize someone for something completely unrelated to the charge because of emotion or outdated law? That is not justice. That is a criminal system run amok.