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We had to know this was coming. Because indicted former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is not merely accused of illegally withdrawing $1.7 million in hush money cash, and lying to the FBI about it, all to keep secret his "prior misconduct" of sexually abusing a former student known only as Individual A. But Hastert is also a family values conservative Republican. Thus, it's time to queue up the conservative sympathy machine for the other victim in this story, and we're not talking about potential Individuals B through Z. (According to a report by BuzzFeed, investigators spoke with "a second alleged Hastert victim," but chose not to include that victim in the indictment.)


No, we're talking about poor, defenseless Speaker Hastert. Here's a sickening series of tweets from Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera, who is OUTRAGED! that the feds don't even seem to care about how Hastert has been harmed by the guy he might have molested way back when:

If the allegations against Hastert are true, then yeah, we can understand why he lied to the FBI -- claiming he was withdrawing all that cash because he didn't trust the banking system instead of saying, "Actually, I'm being blackmailed by a former student I molested, please save me from this evil extortion." But it's still hard to work up the tears for "victimized" Hastert in this case because, you know, CHILD MOLESTER. If the allegations are true.

And according to news station CBS 2 in Chicago, Hastert may be abandoning his story of withdrawing cash to stuff in his mattress to defend himself to his friends:

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, Hastert was neither been seen or heard from publicly on Friday, but he has told close friends that he was sorry people had to go though this ordeal.

“I am a victim, too,” Hastert told them.

Maybe Hastert means he's a victim of an unfair FBI investigation into his cash withdrawals and then attempts to hide his cash withdrawals with a scheme called "structuring," which is illegal. Or maybe he means he is a victim of blackmail and extortion by Individual A, and while it's a real damn shame a former student was Hastert's victim way back when, that's ancient history, and now Hastert is the victim for being forced to pay all that money just to hide his sick and disgusting secret of MOLESTING A CHILD. Allegedly. Poor, poor Hastert.

Now other Fox News dingbats are getting in on the narrative that Hastert is a victim, if the story of him being blackmailed by his own victim is true. During a panel discussion on "Fox News Sunday," columnist George Will claimed that the really interesting element of this story is definitely not the DENNIS HASTERT MAY HAVE BEEN A CHILD MOLESTER part:

What’s of interest here is not the behavior long ago that made him subject to blackmail, but the behavior more recently that made him wealthy enough to worth blackmailing. That is he was a high school wrestling coach, and teacher, and then a member of Congress, neither of which are highly remunerative jobs. And he became very wealthy.

Leave it to the Very Serious George Will to dismiss "the behavior" of child molestation to make his oh-so-Willian observations about how Hastert got super rich as a lobbyist after he left Congress, and how lobbyists basically run the government, and the real point of the Hastert scandal is that it gives us "an unfortunate glimpse of how hard government is." This also gives us an unfortunate glimpse of what a bow-tied dickbag George Will is, but then, we already knew that.

Fox's Brit Hume also thinks the real issue here is not what Hastert allegedly did but why the government is going after him, with "a law that was designed to capture racketeering, drug money and so forth," and not going after Hastert's victimizer, Individual A:

There's, evidently, a blackmailer, extortionist. No indication yet, and all indications seem to be no charges will be brought against the person who was blackmailing the former speaker.

So, what we have here is some money transfers, which are supposed to be the crime, but it's -- it's the use of the law in the most unusual way. You have to ask this question, were they investigating the crime? Were they investigating the former speaker?

We are pretty sure the government was investigating the former speaker because, according to the indictment, Hastert was withdrawing $50,000 in cash at a time, his banks reported it to the feds as they are obligated to do, and then told him they had to report any withdrawals over $10,000. So Hastert tried to outsmart the feds by withdrawing less money at a time, which is illegal, and then lied about it to the feds, and now he’s been indicted for breaking the law. Seems pretty straightforward, actually.

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Ah, but Hastert isn't some sleazy free-lovin' liberal adulterer who banged some prostitutes or sent some dick pics or got a blowjob from an intern. We don't have all the facts yet, which is very important when the accused criminal is a Republican. So let's all slow down and take a deep breath before we rush to judgment and condemn Dennis Hastert for maybe being a child molester, and instead think about why the federal government isn't doing more to protect The Real Victim, Dennis Hastert, from the evil blackmailer he may have molested. Isn't that what really matters here?

[Fox News / CBS 2]

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