Shortly after pleading guilty to illegally structuring bank withdrawals — allegedly for hush money meant to cover up a decades-old case of sexual abuse — former House Speaker Dennis Hastert had a stroke. He’s been hospitalized for the past six weeks, and needed treatment for sepsis, plus two back surgeries. Hastert, who retired in 2007, is scheduled for sentencing on February 29 — his lawyer released a statement saying that he should be released from the hospital early next year. After the plea agreement, prosecutors recommended that Hastert face up to six months in jail; a judge could sentence him to up to five years.
According to NBC News, one of Hastert’s friends wrote a letter to the judge arguing that “In light of his recent hospital stay, I would hope that probation in lieu of confinement would be considered in determining his sentence.”