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RUSH: This is Barrington, Illinois. John, glad you waited. Great to have you on the program. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. I would have sounded a lot smarter on Friday when the Hastert news first broke, but my initial reaction when the story first came on the air in Chicago Thursday night was, “Do we just…? When did we stop viewing people targeted for extortion as the perpetrator rather than the victim?” The way they described the story breaking, or being discovered by the FBI, it seems like the Justice Department looked at it as, “Let’s see if we can get this one by everybody and see if we can paint Hastert as the perpetrator here,” and it’s just another example of —

RUSH: Well, but wait a minute, now. I know where you’re going with this, and I agree with you to a point, but Denny’s not innocent here.

CALLER: He may not be. You’re right.

RUSH: I mean, he lied to the FBI about what he was doing with the money and why, and that’s what sent Martha Stewart to jail. Now, I agree with you that whoever is blackmailing him, whoever is doing that has not made a formal complaint. Whoever’s blackmailing Hastert for whatever it is, is the actual bad guy here, and Hastert may be… I think this is your point: Hastert, when all is said and done, may be the victim here, in terms of the isolated example of this extortion. Okay, so he’s withdrawing money in an attempt to evade reporting, and when it’s discovered, he tells the FBI investigative agents, “No, no, no,” he just doesn’t trust banks; the money is for himself. But it isn’t. He was paying somebody.

CALLER: Well, he just wasn’t smart enough to structure it in a real estate deal like —

RUSH: The Clintons.

CALLER: — the guy who transferred things to Blagojevich and maybe Obama.

RUSH: Right, to set up a shell corporation, pass the money through that, and then give your extortionist, your blackmailer, access to money in your pass-through, and then the media could marvel at how brilliant you are in business. And —

CALLER: The interesting thing, though, is the person who is “Party A,” according to the FBI, apparently supported Hastert enough to not bring this up while he was rising through the ranks and only brought it up afterwards, maybe deciding, “Well, he got his and he’s rich and retired now; maybe I should go now.”

RUSH: That’s what it looks like. This all happened 35 years ago. So Hastert goes to the Speakership of the House, doesn’t pay enough to extort somebody big money but after he leaves the speakership, lobbying central. Advise and consent central. Analyst consultant center. Big money reported to be now with Denny Hastert, so now the blackmailer decides to move in to action, and Hastert was paying. Apparently what it is was, in his mind, so bad. You know, I wonder how this would be different if he had just told the investigators.

I understand, but you don’t lie when these FBI investigators come. You just don’t lie to them. That’s the worst thing you can do because you’re not gonna get away with it. But he didn’t even want to admit to them what this was. Now, I can understand him being concerned that they would leak it because the DOJ now is Obama, and he’s Denny Hastert, former speaker and a lobbyist and all that. But still, whatever it was obviously was so embarrassing, he wouldn’t even admit to the bank why he was taking the money out, nor the FBI.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm.

RUSH: But I think you’re right. I think in this case, in just in that small defining way you’re looking at it, he is the victim of an extortion plot. Now, others might say, “Well, Rush, he not the victim. What did he do to be blackmailed in the first place?” Well, that’s in the broader context. But blackmail’s illegal, too! Extortion is illegal, too. It’s not… You know, no matter what somebody does, that doesn’t make extortion or blackmail okay. And as this is all being reported, you have to understand this.

I mean, for the Drive-Bys, this was a godsend. This takes Hillary off the front page, this takes the Clinton Crime Family Foundation off the front page. Hell, this even broomed FIFA! The FIFA guys have gotta be the happiest people in the world. The FIFA story was shaping up to be at least a week or two, and now it’s gone because every media outlet is on Denny Hastert now. Every darn one of them is.

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