Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House who is embroiled in a hush money scandal and pleaded guilty to federal charges this fall, has been hospitalized since the first week of November, his lawyer says.
"Mr. Hastert has suffered a stroke and has been treated for sepsis," attorney Tom Green says. "While in the hospital, two surgeries on his back were performed."
Hastert, 73, has been in the hospital for six weeks, and Green says he might be released "in the early part of the new year."
The former Illinois congressman was the longest-serving Republican speaker of the House. This year, he was indicted on charges of lying to the FBI and evading banking rules on currency withdrawals, both tied to allegations of hush money.
The Two-Way summed the case up this summer:
"The U.S. attorney's office alleged that Hastert paid $3.5 million to a person identified as Individual A to 'compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A.'
"Further reporting has revealed that the payments were tied to allegations that Hastert sexually abused Individual A when Hastert was a high school teacher and a wrestling coach."
In October, Hastert pleaded guilty to the currency violations.
His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 29. He could face up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000, although federal prosecutors have recommended a six-month sentence.