Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges involving hush money payments and lying to federal agents, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The Tribune wrote that Hastert looked “extremely uncomfortable.”
“As the judge left the bench and Hastert’s high-powered attorneys conferred with prosecutors, Hastert, once one of Illinois’ most prominent politicians, remained by himself near the lectern, his shoulders hunched, arms hanging limp at his sides. After a moment, he turned toward the gallery where dozens of reporters and spectators were filing out and pursed his lips.”
When the brief hearing was over, the 73-year-old Republican was silent as he passed throngs of reporters and flashing cameras.
Hastert is accused of paying $3.5 million to keep quiet wrongdoing during his days as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.
Hastert’s bank withdrawals caught the attention of authorities.