Hastert lawyers ask he be spared prison in hush-money case

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CHICAGO  — Dennis Hastert's lawyers want a judge to spare the former U.S. House Speaker from prison time in his hush-money case and give him probation.

A filing Wednesday comes before the 74-year-old Republican's sentencing by a federal judge April 27.

It cites Hastert's health and says he's already paid a hefty price. It says his "fall from grace has been swift and devastating" and that he knows "the public warmth and affection" is being "replaced by hostility and isolation."

Hastert pleaded guilty in October to violating bank laws as he sought to pay $3.5 million in hush money. His plea deal calls for a sentence of no more than six months in prison.

Attorneys and the judge spoke recently about someone possibly testifying at sentencing who says Hastert sexually abused him.

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