May 25, 2006

Hastert, DOJ Deny Investigation; ABC Stands Pat

(Washington, DC) ABC News appears to be sticking by its story that House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) is "in the mix" of politicians being investigated by the Justice Department in the bribery scandal related to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ron Bonjean, spokesman for Hastert, issued the following statement regarding the ABC Nightly News story that aired last night:

"The ABC News report is absolutely untrue. As confirmed by the Justice Department, 'Speaker Hastert is not under investigation by the Justice Department.' We are demanding a full retraction of the ABC News story. The Speaker’s earlier statement issued today to ABC News accurately reflects the facts regarding this matter."

ABC has now posted a link to a second DOJ statement by Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty:

"With regard to reports suggesting that the Speaker of the House is under investigation or 'in the mix,' as stated by ABC News, I reconfirm, as stated by the Department earlier this evening, that these reports are untrue."

As I see it, several possibilities exist:

1. ABC News flat out got the story wrong;
2. The Justice Department plans to investigate Hastert, but has not started yet;
3. The statement by ABC and the DOJ may contain some rhetorical spin that needs further dissection to get at the truth of the matter.

ABC’s sources said that the denial by the Justice Department was meant only to deny that Hastert was a formal "target" or "subject" of the investigation.

"Whether they like it or not, members of Congress, including Hastert, are under investigation," one federal official told ABC.



Anonymous said...


historymike said...

Ummm...WHO is guilty, anonymous?

Hastert, DOJ, or ABC News?

I think it is too early to tell on any of them, but especially Hastert.

-Sepp said...

It isn't the first time ABC ran some BS. Annnd, it isn't the first time some sorry-ass politician got caught with his hand in the jar.
IMO, it's been a great year for rooting corrupt scumbags out of office. Seems they all think they're above the law these days.

Hooda Thunkit said...


I think that waiting to see what really develops is probably the best approach at this time.

For now, the situation appears to be very "fluid..."

historymike said...

There is a lot of pressure to be first with a story, and yet it is the rush to be first that leads to the most mistakes.

However, I keep getting the feeling that there is a LOT bubbling just under the surface, and that many parties are negaged in a deadly game of mutually assured political destruction.

Brian said...

This might be the gift that Republicans have been waiting for. If the allegations are proven scurrilous, then the GOP base will be motivated.

CBS gave GWB a gift. Let's hope ABC does the same to congressional Republicans.

Lloyd said...

Does anyone think that this may explain why Hastert has been coming to the defense of the "privacy" of William Jefferson?