Hastert Judge Enters Blanket Protective Order on Evidence

     CHICAGO (CN) – A sweeping protective order shields the criminal evidence against former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, a federal judge ruled.
     The 73-year-old Republican is charged with structuring $952,000 in cash withdrawals to evade currency-transaction reports, and lying to the FBI about it. The withdrawals were allegedly used to pay hush money to an unnamed individual that Hastert allegedly touched inappropriately while serving as a high school wrestling coach.
     U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin provided the mostly boilerplate order today. It covers “all materials provided by the U.S. government in preparation for or connection with any stage of the proceedings.”
     The order continues: “Defendant and defendant’s counsel shall not disclose the materials to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense,” as well as witnesses and other court-authorized persons.
     The order also requires the government to flag any materials containing “sensitive information,” which may refer to the sexual misconduct allegations.

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