Officials: Hastert "In the Mix" of Congressional Bribery Investigation

(Gold9472: Does everybody remember September 2005's Vanity Fair article about Sibel Edmonds? In it, they alleged that Dennis Hastert, the Speaker Of The House, was taking bribes from the American Turkish Council. They said they were "giving Hastert tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."

Not long after that article was released, the "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government" filed a complaint "urging federal election officials to investigate whether House Speaker Dennis Hastert's campaign fund illegally accepted contributions from foreigners."

Amy Goodman also interviewed Sibel after the Vanity Fair article, and discussed the allegations towards Dennis Hastert.

This is BIG news. A woman who was fired from her job, gagged more than anyone in American history, and has said, "once this issue [9/11] gets to be...investigated, you will be seeing certain [American] people that we know from this country standing trial; and they will be prosecuted criminally", may just have been given a HUGE dose of credibility.)

May 24, 2006 6:24 PM

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is seeking to determine his role in an ongoing public corruption probe into members of Congress, ABC News has learned from high level government sources.

Federal officials say the information implicating Hastert was developed from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.

Part of the investigation involves a letter Hastert wrote three years ago, urging the Secretary of the Interior to block a casino on an Indian reservation that would have competed with other tribes.

The other tribes were represented by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff who reportedly has provided details of his dealings with Hastert as part of his plea agreement with the government.

The letter was written shortly after a fund-raiser for Hastert at a restaurant owned by Abramoff. Abramoff and his clients contributed more than $26,000 at the time.

The day Abramoff was indicted, Hastert denied any unlawful connection and said he would donate to charity any campaign contribution he had received from Abramoff and his clients.

A spokesman for Speaker Hastert told ABC News, "We are not aware of this.^ The Speaker has a long history and a well-documented record of opposing Indian Reservation shopping for casino gaming purposes."

This week, Hastert has been outspoken in his criticism of the FBI for its raid on the office of another congressman under investigation, Democrat William Jefferson of Louisiana.

"My opinion is that they took the wrong path, Hastert said of the FBI.^ "They need to back up, and we need to go from there."

ABC News' Rhonda Schwartz and Richard Esposito contributed to this report.

Click here to read Brian Ross' latest report on the bribery investigation into Rep. Jefferson.

Click here to see the charges on Abramoff's AmEx Bill.

Click here to check out the bribe menu of convicted Congressman Duke Cunningham.