Former U.S. House speaker pleads “not guilty” to federal charges

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has pleaded not guilty to charges in a federal hush-money case.
    
During Hastert’s first court appearance since he was indicted last month, defense attorney Thomas C. Green entered the pleas on Hastert’s behalf. He also waived the reading of the indictment.
The May 28 indictment says he agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep someone, referred to only as “Individual A,” from revealing a secret about past misconduct.
    
U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin says he must cooperate in collection of DNA if authorized by court and advise officials before changing his name or phone number. Hastert’s attorney says the former House speaker has already surrendered his passport.
    
Prosecutors haven’t said if they will ask Durkin to recuse himself after Federal Election Commission records showed he donated $500 to the “Hastert for Congress” campaign in 2002 and $1,000 in 2004. Durkin was an attorney at a Chicago law firm at the time of the contributions.