Ex-House speaker accused of paying $3.5M in hush money

A stunning indictment has raised questions about alleged misdeeds by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The allegations include violations of federal banking laws and lying to the FBI. They also claim he paid hush money to cover up a relationship prosecutors say was improper, but the nature of that alleged misconduct remains a mystery, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.

According to the indictment, the former House Speaker agreed to pay $3.5 million in 2010 to a person identified only as "Individual A," in an effort to "compensate and conceal" Hastert's "prior misconduct."

The indictment doesn't reveal details of the misconduct, but it does note the two have known each other for "most of Individual A's life" and that the individual is from the same Illinois town where from 1965 to 1981 "Hastert was a high school teacher and ‎wrestling coach."

To conceal the relationship, prosecutors allege that Hastert, over a four year period, withdrew a total of $1.7 million from a number of his personal bank accounts to give to Individual A.

According to the indictment, at first, he took out large amounts -- "$50,000 withdrawals of cash" on 15 occasions. But when "bank representatives questioned" him in 2012, "Hastert began withdrawing cash in increments of less than $10,000" because banks are required by federal law to report anything larger.

In 2014 the FBI questioned Hastert about his withdrawals, and he allegedly lied, telling agents "Yeah... I kept the cash. That's what I'm doing," explaining that he did not trust the banking system.

The allegations stunned Hastert's former staffers and people on both sides of the aisle in Washington.

Hastert is the longest-serving Republican House Speaker in history, a job that put him second in line for the presidency.

He was seen as being above scandal, says Crawford.

It was his clean image that led Republicans to tap him as Speaker in 1999, during a turbulent period for the GOP. Newt Gingrich had been ousted from office over an ethics violation, and the man who was to set to replace him as speaker, Bob Livingston, admitted to an extra-marital affair.

"They turned to Denny Hastert because he was the affable, easy to get along guy," Washington Post congressional reporter Paul Kane said. "This has shocked Democrats, Republicans, lobbyists, consultants really everybody, it's really rocked this town."