Judge delays Hastert’s arraignment in hush-money case

FILE - In this March 1, 2006 file photo, Vice President Dick Cheney, left, talks with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., right, as they wait for the arrival of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who will addresses Members of the 109th Joint Session of Congress of the United States on Capitol Hill in Washington. A newly unveiled indictment against Hastert released Thursday, May 28, 2015, accuses the Republican of agreeing to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a person from the town where he was a longtime schoolteacher silent about "prior misconduct." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday delayed former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s first court appearance until next week following his indictment in Chicago in a hush-money case.

The Illinois Republican was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, but the hearing has now been pushed back to June 9. The change was made without explanation in a one-sentence court filing by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin’s clerk.

The 73-year-old former congressman was charged last week in an indictment that alleges he agreed to pay $3.5 million to ensure someone from the town where he taught and coached high school wrestling stayed quiet about his “prior misconduct.”

Hastert hasn’t spoken or appeared in public since his indictment. No attorney has spoken on his behalf and no lawyer is named on his court docket.

The indictment charges Hastert with evading bank regulations and lying to the FBI. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on each count.

Questions were raised Monday about whether Durkin, the judge assigned to the case, might consider recusing himself because he donated $1,500 to Hastert’s re-election campaign more than a decade ago. Durkin was an attorney at the Mayer Brown law firm in Chicago at the time.

Durkin’s judicial office has declined comment.

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