Records: Hastert judge gave money to ex-speaker’s campaign

CHICAGO — Federal records indicate the judge overseeing the hush-money case of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert donated $1,500 to the then-Illinois congressman’s re-election campaigns.

Federal Election Commission records show Thomas M. Durkin gave $500 to the “Hastert for Congress” campaign in 2002, and $1,000 in 2004.

Durkin was an attorney at the Mayer Brown law firm in Chicago at the time. President Barack Obama appointed him a federal judge in 2012.

Durkin’s office said Monday he couldn’t comment on whether he might recuse himself. Hastert, a Republican, is accused of skirting banking laws while withdrawing $952,000 that investigators allege he gave to someone accusing him of wrongdoing.

Judicial ethicist Bob Cummins says Durkin has a good reputation as a judge, and the modest contributions aren’t a clear case for recusal.